Jane Kurtz’s recent middle grade novel, Planet Jupiter (Greenwillow/ HarperCollins) was called “a page turner” by several reviews, and she’s proud of the plot craft she learned at VCFA.

She has also published picture books, nonfiction, novels for young readers, easy ready-to-read books, short stories and articles. Her poetic picture book, River Friendly River Wild, was given the Golden Kite award for excellence in picture book text by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Another picture book, In the Small, Small Night, was named one of the year’s best by the Washington Post, and School Library Journal put Jane’s picture book glimpse of animals on the African savanna (Water Hole Waiting) onto their best-of-the-year list.

Many of her books connect with Ethiopia, where she spent most of her childhood and now volunteers to create Ready Set Go books, easy readers for Ethiopian children. She does author visits all over the US and internationally and has taught writing at the elementary, secondary, and university levels.


MA - English | University of North Dakota

BA - Psychology | Monmouth College

Selected work

David Macinnis Gill

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Louise Hawes

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Tom Birdseye

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Kathi Appelt

Faculty Emerita, MFA in WCYA

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Shelley Tanaka

Faculty, MFA in WCYA