Jane Kurtz is a children’s book author nurturing her backyard habitat in Portland, Oregon; a dedicated speaker (she has done author speaking in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and all but ten of the United States); and a volunteer for literacy in Ethiopia where she learned to read and spent most of her childhood.

In 2021, the United States Board on Books for Young People nominated Jane for the IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award of IBBY, an organization that promotes global reading. She has collaborated with Ethiopian and American writers, illustrators, and translators to create more than 100 bilingual books that celebrate Ethiopia. She has taught at VCFA for more than a decade and shared her own work on fiction, nonfiction, picture books, ready-to-read books, and middle grade novels.


MA - English | University of North Dakota

BA - Psychology | Monmouth College

Selected work

Melanie Crowder

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

A.R. Capetta

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Liz Garton Scanlon

Faculty Co-Chair, MFA in WCYA

Deborah Marcero

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Anna-Marie McLemore

Faculty, MFA in WCYA