Having started out writing a neighbourhood newspaper which she sold to buy candy and comics, Jane Yolen is now the author of over 400 books for children and adults. Jane has also worked as an editor, written poetry, and was described by Newsweek as “the Hans Christian Anderson of American children’s literature.”

We are honoured to have a master of the industry on the show to share a little of her creative wit and wisdom, as well as talk about her newest book, The Scarlet Circus, which is a collection of short stories around the theme of love in all its forms. The book has an introduction from Brandon Sanderson, who describes Jane as a life long influence. The collection will be released, appropriately, on 14 February this year.

Listen on for some unique interpretations of famous fairytales, wonderful anecdotes, and an introduction to owling – complete with owl sounds!

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

Jane Yolen has written more than 400 books for children and adults. She has won the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, three World Fantasy Awards, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, two Golden Kite Awards, the Jewish Book Award and the Massachusetts Center for the Book award. She has also won the World Fantasy Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, the Sydney Taylor Body of Work Award, and the Science Fiction Poetry Associations Grand Master Award (the three together she calls the Trifecta).

Additionally she has won both the Association of Jewish Libraries Award and the Catholic Libraries Medal. Also the DuGrummond Medal and the Kerlan Award, and the Ann Izard story-telling award at least three times. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates for her body of work, so–she jokingly says–you could call her Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Yolen, though she can’t set a leg. However, she does warn about winning too many awards, as one of them set her good coat on fire. If you meet her, you can ask about that!