Jane Hyatt Yolen (born February 11, 1939) is an American author and editor of almost 300 books. These include folklore, fantasy, science fiction, and children's books. She wrote the Nebula Award-winning Sister Emily's Lightship (short story) and Lost Girls (novelette), as well as Owl Moon and The Emperor and the Kite, Caldecott Medal winners, the Commander Toad series and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight.
Yolen was born in New York City and raised in California, Virginia, New York and Connecticut. Her father was a journalist and publicist. She received her bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1960 and her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1976. She was married to computer scientist David Stemple from 1962 until his death from cancer on March 22, 2006. She has three children: Heidi Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple, and several grandchildren. Yolen maintains homes in Hatfield, Massachusetts and in St Andrews, Scotland.
Newsweek called Jane Yolen "the Hans Christian Andersen of America" and The New York Times labeled her "a modern equivalent of Aesop."
Her many short stories can be found in books as diverse as Am I Blue?: Coming out from the Silence and Briar Rose (The Fairy Tales Series). One example is "Memoirs of a Bottle Djinni" in Arabesques (edited by Susan Schwartz in 1988). Yolen also has a gift for the very short story, as evidenced by "Angelica" in 100 Great Fantasy Short-Short Stories. This latter anthology was edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg and Carr in 1985.
Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens, Favorite Folktales From Around the World, Xanadu and Xanadu 2 are among the works that she has edited.
Her writing also includes poetry. Yolen said that writing poems and short stories comes to her more naturally, but that she has tried to master the longer form when a particular story called for it. Many of her poems, like her books, have won awards. Some of her awards to date: the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, both first and second place in the 2007 Dwarf Stars Award, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the Association of Jewish Libraries Award, and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.
In the children's writing community, she is known for her pithy observations and her generosity toward beginning writers and illustrators. Yolen has also criticized the Harry Potter series:
Yolen has also criticized publishers for providing too much publicity for celebrity authors and not giving other beginning authors, such as talented students of hers, a chance.>