Eileen Spinelli has won numerous awards for her writing, but she also knows what it feels like to have her work criticized. Telling the story of how she became a writer, Eileen says, "In second grade, my teacher, Miss Campbell, read my composition aloud as an example of the worst one handed in. I've been writing ever since." Miss Campbell was not on the panel of judges that gave Eileen the 1990 Magazine Merit Award for fiction from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, nor was she involved in the decision to give the 1991 Christopher Award to Eileen's warm and funny picture book Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. Eileen also won the 1990 Highlights fiction contest and has had numerous stories and poems published in national magazines. She is the author of numerous books, including Song for the Whooping Crane, Sophie's Masterpiece, and, most recently, Here Comes the Year. Eileen, who enjoys traveling, her herb garden, old movies, flea markets, bookstores, tea parties, screened-in porches, and theater, continues to be hard at work on several book and poetry projects. She lives with her husband in West Chester, Pennsylvania.