A love for children’s literature runs in my family. My father used to pray for rain on family vacations so that we could stay inside and do puzzles while he read to us. I still hear his voice when I read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I hear my mother’s voice when reading Winnie the Pooh. I think the cadence of those books got tangled in my DNA. It made me the writer I am today. And it gave me the passion to help others create the magic we call children’s literature.
So far, I’ve published four novels, two picture books, and one biography. My work has been nominated for numerous awards and has received accolades in professional review journals. My picture book, Seed Magic, was called a “must have for all libraries” by School Library Journal. I earned an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
My writing career began when I worked as a newspaper journalist. My first assignment was to interview someone famous. I took on a Boston radio personality and completely flubbed it. It was a good lesson learned. Since then, I’ve honed my skills through hundreds of interviews with personalities large and small.
I sharpened my research skills writing both historical fiction and history. Working as a librarian for more than 20 years, several of those as a reference librarian, gave me experience in helping people find information. And I know how to recognize a reliable source, which can be tricky in this information age.
Besides a biography of Bloody Mary, and a picture book for children at risk of abuse, my nonfiction for children and adults has appeared in newspapers and magazines.
I’m a founder of the LoonSong retreat in Minnesota, set up for writers of children and young adult fiction and nonfiction. I co-lead a picture book writing workshop there.
Learn more about Jane on her website – here.
Student CommentsThis class was truly informative and inspiring–one of the best I've taken. Jane is a terrific teacher, very attentive, kind and encouraging with the ability to see the story broadly in context of the market as well as zeroing in on the details that make the story and characters work. As an aspiring picture book author I felt this class was a safe place to share my work while getting valuable feedback and lots of encouragement from Jane's thoughtful and thorough critiques. I also enjoyed the conversations about published picture books and other articles from the reading list. A great experience that I would highly recommend to others. I look forward to coming back for another class. Renee Burke
I was very happy with this course and with Jane Buchanan. She added material, as in reading [and] links, that were really interesting and helpful... I felt she pushed my understanding along and gave me tools to work with. She gave us lots of places to connect to..all really helpful. I thought she was one of the best that I have taken and I have done a few! Paula Mcevenue