Cornelia Maude Spelman was a therapist with children and families before turning full-time to writing and art.  Her eleven books for young children, described by reviewers as “sensitive” and “compassionate,” have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Greek, Japanese, German, Arabic, Danish,  Portuguese, and Italian. Her new book, Everybody’s Somewhere, is coming in October from Seagrass Press (Quarto Children’s Books.)

Cornelia’s memoir about her mother and the emotional legacies in her family, Missing (Northwestern University Press) has been called “memoir writing at its absolute finest” (Alex Kotlowitz, author, There Are No Children Here).

Her newest project is Diaries, Letters, Stories, a podcast series about emotional life and relationships between mothers and children, husbands and wives, friends; about ordinary happiness, trouble, loss and grief; about recovery from addiction, and about our ability to help one another.  You can see a brief video about Diaries, Letters, Stories — on the upper right of this page there is a link to the podcast website, where you can listen or sign up to subscribe to it.

Cornelia has earned several awards from the Illinois Arts Council, was a finalist for the Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction award from Salem College, and was awarded the Bernard De Voto Fellowship in Nonfiction at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Valuing emotional awareness and management, healthy relationships, and the preservation of personal histories–especially those of women and girls, through diaries and personal papers, Cornelia has been keeping a daily diary for thirty-six years, and  is currently writing Volume 210.  They are archived at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard University .

Hear an interview with Cornelia about the importance of emotion:

A mother and grandmother, Cornelia lives with her husband, a writer and professor, just outside Chicago.