Born: September 21, 1958
Ohio connection: Birth
Tracey E. Dils was born September 21, 1958 in Cincinnati, the daughter of Lawrence Albert (a physician) and Grace (a homemaker; maiden name, Shaffer) Dils. She was raised in Granville and earned her B.A. at College of Wooster in 1980. As a teenager she won a national short story contest. Later, a position as editor-in-chief at Willowisp Press, which publishes children’s books, and the birth of her first child motivated her to write for children. Dils writes and directs her own company called A Writer’s Place, and lectures to elementary school students. She believes that writing for children “is the most important work one can do. Children’s writers have the power to influence young minds and, most importantly, to create a new generation of lifelong readers.” Her works include: Words, Words, Words(1988); The Puppy Who Needed a Friend (1989); The Scariest Stories You’ve Ever Heard, Part III (1990); Grandpa’s Magic (1990); Whatever I Do, the Monster Does Too (1991); George Washington: Country Boy, Country Gentleman (1992); Boytalk: How to Talk to Your Favorite Guy (1992); A Look around Coral Reefs (1995); Annabelle’s Awful Waffle (1995); Real-Life Scary Places (1996); You Can Write Children’s Books (1998); Mother Teresa (2000); Samuel L. Jackson (2000); and The Exxon Valdez (2001). Dils also contributed to How to Write a Novel for Young Readers and Get it Published, edited by Kathryn Falk and Cindy Savage, 1990.
Ohioana Alice Louise Wood Memorial Award For Children’s Literature, 1998.