It seems like I've been writing since
birth! I started writing poems before I got to school. I wrote the
class musical in first grade both words and music. It was
about a bunch of vegetables who got together in a salad. I played
the chief carrot!
While I was in junior high, I wrote
an entire essay in rhyme about manufacturing in New York State.
In high school, I won a Scholastic poetry contest. In college, I
wrote newspaper articles and songs.
Then, on my 21st birthday, I sold my
first book. It was a nonfiction book about women pirates
Pirates in Petticoats. After that, I was a book writer
I've also been an editor, a teacher,
a storyteller, a critic, a songwriter for rock groups and folk singers
as well as a mother and now a grandmother. I've been married
for 35 years to Dr. David Stemple, who is the chairman of a university
computer science department.
Despite this, I only started using
a computer for writing a few years ago! Before then, I wrote on
a typewriter, endlessly revising. My friends call it gem polishing.
But I remember something the great poet John Ciardi once said
that a poem is never finished, just abandoned. I am that way with
everything I write. I just keep going over and over and over until
someone yanks it out of my hands! I've written more than 200 books.
Jane Yolen was interviewed by Scholastic.com users. Click here for the transcript of that interview.