Before Sheila Kelly Welch went to school, she’d started drawing – mostly horses with flowing tails rendered in black crayon. She wrote in her junior high diary that “someday” she hoped to write and illustrate children’s stories. After earning two degrees at Temple University, she married Eric Welch, taught for several years, moved to the Midwest, and began raising a family of seven children (six adopted). At the age of 35, Sheila had open heart surgery. The metallic tick-tick of the artificial valve reminded her of the passage of time. Her first short story was accepted for publication within two years, followed by her first book, Don’t Call Me Marda, named an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award finalist.
Sheila’s short stories have been accepted by numerous magazines, including Highlights for Children, Children’s Playmate, Girls’ Life, Ladybug, Cicada, and Spider. Her story, “The Holding-On Night” published in Cricket, won the International Reading Association short story award. Her most popular book titles are Little Prince Know-It-All, for beginning readers, and A Horse for All Seasons, a collection of short stories. Two of her novels, Waiting to Forget and The Shadowed Unicorn, have been on Master Lists for Young Readers Choice Awards. Waiting to Forget is on “best book” lists compiled by Bank Street College, Pennsylvania School Library Media Association, and ranks 10th out of 102 books on Goodreads list of the best realistic fiction for middle schoolers.
Twelve years ago, Sheila was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but she continues to write and draw. If your book club, library group or school class would like to visit with this author/illustrator for half an hour via Google “Hang Outs,” please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Virtual Visit” in the subject line.