Shelley Ann Jackson


Shelley Ann Jackson loves books, animals, children, art, yoga, and baked goods, but not always at the same time. She holds a BFA in Communication Design from the University of North Texas, an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from The School of Visual Arts, and an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has been lucky enough to use all three of her degrees — design, illustration, and writing — professionally and to teach each at the university level.

Shelley currently leads the Children’s Book Illustration master’s program at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University. She also serves as a mentor and advisory board member for Pathways Into Children’s Publishing, which trains diverse aspiring illustrators in the field. She is a long-time member and volunteer for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, including a stint as regional advisor for the Austin, Texas chapter. Shelley has worked with numerous clients, such as Animal Planet, Boyds Mills Press, Compassion International, HarperCollins, the New York Times, Penguin Putnam Inc., and Tundra Books. Her children’s picture books have been honoured with awards including a non-fiction research grant from SCBWI, ForeWord magazine’s Gold Medal for Juvenile Non-fiction, and Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year.

Growing up, Shelley lived in five US states: New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Colorado and Texas. She was painfully shy but learned that she could make friends through drawing — a unicorn with an extra-twisty horn was her specialty. Now that Shelley, her illustrator/author husband, and their creative teenage daughter live in Cambridge, England, drawing is still a big part of her life. In their free time, the family roams the UK and Europe, drawing interesting things along the way, seeking out towns they’ve read about in books, and hunting for handmade chocolates. Shelley is repped by Lori Steel. 


Fun Fact: When Shelley was researching horses for her first book, she visited the Kentucky Horse Park with her family. Since then, they’ve made a habit of horse-inspired holidays. They’ve ridden through the Colorado Rockies, the Black Forest in Germany, the Snowdonia Mountains of Wales, the moors of Exmoor, and the tundra of Iceland. They’ve camped in the New Forest — where native ponies raided the campsite — and drove a horse-drawn caravan through County Wicklow, Ireland. 

Work by Shelley: