Gretchen Woelfle

Gretchen Woelfle began writing for children by turning family history into short stories and has gone on to publish award-winning picture books, middle grade nonfiction, biographies, and historical fiction including The Wind at Work, Katje the Windmill Cat, and All the World’s A Stage: A Novel in Five Acts. She is now focusing on biographies of unsung women in American history: Jeannette Rankin: Political Pioneer; Write on, Mercy! The Secret Life of Mercy Otis Warren; and Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence. Visit Gretchen online at


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

The “orange biography series”: Childhood of Famous Americans

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“It is not often someone comes along that’s a true friend and good writer. Charlotte was both.”

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Authors: Charles Dickens and Nick Hornby. Illustrator: Alix Delinois.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I’ve got stories to tell! I’m curious to learn about all kinds of things, so research is bliss for me. Then I decide whether the story is best told as fiction, biography, or history, as a picture book or longer narrative. I like to write in many genres for children of all ages.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Keep working at it and have fun!