Author and Illustrator

Our old cat, Oliver, is shown cuddling with a pillow decorated with cat faces.

Sheila Kelly Welch grew up in the rolling hills of southeastern Pennsylvania. She began writing and drawing while attending elementary school; her black crayon was always worn down from drawing horses. At Tyler School of Fine Arts, Temple University in Philadelphia, she majored in Fine Arts and went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Education. She was a special education teacher in Philadelphia, PA and in rural Minnesota. She  and her husband, Eric Welch, raised seven children in their country home in Illinois. 

Her first short story was published in 1983, and since then her work has been accepted by numerous children’s magazines, including Cricket, Girls' Life, Children’s Playmate, The Friend, Spider, Highlights, The Red Scarf, Ladybug, and Cicada. She has illustrated many of her published short stories for The Cricket Magazine Group. Welch has written and/or illustrated fourteen books for various ages. Her novel published by Front Street/Cricket Books, THE SHADOWED UNICORN was short listed for South Dakota’s young readers’ Prairie Pasque Award and was likened to Paterson's BRIDGE TO TEREBITHIA in a review in Booklist.

Several of Welch’s stories are based on her parents’ oral accounts of life during the early part of the twentieth century. One of these, “The Holding-On Night,” about the 1918 flu pandemic, published in Cricket, won the International Reading Association’s Short Story Award. 

Sheila is currently working on several picture book manuscripts and illustrations, and she’s also revising two novel manuscripts. Her most recent novel, WAITING TO FORGET, was published by namelos has received many positive reviews. It 's on Best Books lists for Bank Street College and Pennsylvania School Library Association. Two of her picture books are published in digital format by MeeGenius, now part of Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt.  MESS-UP MOLLY is about a clever horse and a determined little girl. BIG CAT AND KITTEN, for beginning readers, is a simple tale of a kitten who is not exactly welcomed by the big cat of the house. A magical mouse appears on every page, changing colors until Kitten finally wins Big Cat's affections.

As you can tell, I loved our pets. I think the cat I'm clutching was named Sugar Plum, and my mother is holding Cream Puff.

I'm the little girl in the dress and the other girl is my best friend. Behind us are my father's sisters and my sister and brother plus several of our goats.

This picture shows one of my six granddaughters who lives in CA and is a surgical technician.

This snapshot shows my sister's horse, Tony, a strawberry roan, with me in the saddle and my brother is making sure I don't fall off.

Here I am, sitting on my big  brother's garden  tractor  with my doll. I'm about three years old.

Same setting as all the other above pictures on this page but many (many!) years later. The little white-haired lady is my mother with a bunch of grand kids, including five who are my sons and daughters.