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JUDE MANDELL is an award-winning author who loves writing for children and teens, and delights in helping them celebrate their own creativity. PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY describes her work as " . . . engaging . . . lyric."

Much of Jude’s writing reflects the humor and heartbreak of growing up in today’s world. Her “I'M THE ONE," which deals with how a child feels when ostracized and excluded, received critical praise from KIRKUS, BOOKLIST, and other literary reviewers/blogs (See AMAZING FACES below, edited by celebrated poet/anthologist, Lee Bennett Hopkins).

Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, funny early chapter books, picture books, even pop-up books--Jude writes for multiple genres.

She also provides classes, workshops and private coaching sessions for aspiring authors of all ages.

Her experience as an educator, TV performer, writer/actor/singer keeps her speaking presentations interactive, high-energy, and fun.

Jude was recently invited by FACETS MULTIMEDIA to serve as an Adult Jury Member for the annual CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL.

Jude helped her co-jurors to choose this year's animated short film winner.

Winners in each of the CICFF competition's film categories have a chance to go to the Oscars!


At one point, Jude thought it might be fun to replace her press kit picture with the photo of a kitten--to symbolize she’s lived a rather catlike nine lives.

Luckily, she realized this move would be a “litter-ary” disaster, a “fresh step” down the wrong career path.

But she has had many life experiences . . .

Before Jude became a successful writer she was a kid star on a weekly CBS-TV show, THE CHILDREN'S HOUR, which aired in Philadelphia, where she grew up.

She sang with the PHILADELPHIA LYRIC OPERA COMPANY when in her teens.

As a stage nun, she played in a summer stock production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, starring PARTRIDGE FAMILY mom, singer-actress, Shirley Jones. And she performed at Philadelphia's PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK in a children's theatre production of SINBAD, with Sherman Helmsley of the syndicated sitcoms, THE JEFFERSONS, and ALL IN THE FAMILY. While still living in Philly, she also starred as Luisa in a musical production of THE FANTASTICKS. The Off-Off Broadway Neighborhood Players theatre continued the popular production for two years running. Jude recapped her FANTASTICKS role in summer stock in New Jersey.

While studying voice and music education at Temple University, Jude worked part-time in an office that sold some of the hottest property in Philly.

How many lives are we up to already? Here's more . . .

She switched from teaching music to working with special needs students and got a Master’s Degree from Penn State to make the switch official.

After she moved to Chicago, Jude designed expensive silver jewelry for a store owned by a wild-and-crazy, red-bearded Texan named Steve.

She did a gig performing improv comedy and children’s musical theater at the world-famous SECOND CITY THEATER in Chicago, whose graduates include stars like Bill Murray, Shelly Long, Mike Myers, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

While she was teaching and writing educational materials, Jude won a national award for an adult historical novel from ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA.

Jude's still associated with the theater. Her story, "A THOROUGHLY MODERN RAPUNZEL, OR HOW I OUTSMARTED THE WITCH," was adapted/produced as a musical-comedy!

To see more about this production, plus links to pics and a news story, click on the "MY WORKS" tab.

Jude's works for children and young adult markets, and the adult market, encompass fiction/nonfiction and educational materials.


Jude's is always working on picture books to add to her list of projects. Completed picture books include HATCHING TROUBLE, DREAM TEAM, DINOSAURS MOON, THE TWO BY TWO-STEP ZOO, YENTA THE BUSYBODY, AND OTHERS.

Jude's early chapter book, HANDY ANTEATER AND DUCK: BUDDIES FOREVER! was inspired by several great SCBWI workshops presented by Penguin-Putnam's Bonnie Bader. The two quirky characters and their surprising friendship was so much fun to write, Jude already has a sequel in the works.

Jude also is exploring digital and app possibilities re: 3-D and enhanced picture book platforms to supplement two novelty books she's developed with pop-up book engineer and artist, Gene Rosner. Celebrated pop-up book artist/engineers Robert Sabuda, and Matthew Reinhart have both taken an interest in Gene and Jude's novelty projects.


BULLY WARS, a YA Verse Novel-in-Progress. lets readers mind-meld with a cast of reality-based teen and related characters: bully targets, bullies, bully-victims (bullies who are bullied by others), witnesses, and bystanders. It allows readers to walk around in someone else's skin, rediscover the power of choice, level with themselves--and consider the possibility of getting back in touch with their inborn sense of compassion for themselves and others.

The poem characters reflect the varied attitudes and actions taken by kids involved in social-acceptance battles being fought daily in schools, home, and online, including
cyberbullying, cultural, gender-based and LGBTQ harassment, mean girl relational aggression, exclusion, family and date-related bullying, retaliatory violence, self-harm, and suicide spill-over.

Jude is now exploring ways to establish a national/international EXPERIENCE EMPATHY WEEK! campaign, utilizing the research/support group opportunities she's tapped into while developing this project. Through her EXPERIENCE EMPATHY campaign, and the OP-ED pieces she'll write to support it, Jude hopes to raise everyone's awareness of the power empathy has to positively and proactively combat the systemic rise of bullying in our society.

In addition to the above YA project, Jude is busy at work on another verse novel-in-progress, BUSTED, about first-time juvenile offenders. She has recently added a strong romantic love interest to her original vision.


Jude's completed a poetry collection for middle-graders, THE PRINCIPAL'S WEARING PAJAMAS, and Other School Time Poems. These humorous, sometimes poignant poems, deal with the usual (sometimes unusual) challenges of middle grade students trying to cope with the demands of teachers, classmates, friends/frenemies, and parents.


Jude and her adult critique group in Chicago, multi-published authors all: Patricia Rosemoor, Sherrill Bodine, Cheryl Jefferson, Rose Paulus, and Laurie DeMarino--recently collaborated on an exciting paranormal-romance anthology, HEAVEN CAN WAIT (Patricia Rosemoor, editor). Using elements of history, mystery, thriller, and horror, these six linked novellas followed a pair of star-crossed lovers from Elizabethan to contemporary times.

Because of the fan response to the stories and characters in HEAVEN CAN WAIT, the authors have decided to expand their market by developing each novella into a longer, separate work, independent of the initial anthology. As a result, it is no longer available.


"I really liked HEAVEN CAN WAIT. Romance, danger, suspense and history unite in this very unique romance anthology . . . creative . . . a very fun good read . . . I recommend HEAVEN CAN WAIT ... "

"The second story is STARGAZER, by Jude Mandell . . . set in England in 1793, around the French Revolution . . . lots of disguises and secrets in this installment . . . fun and exciting to read."


Jude's written other fictional works for the adult market. Her completed Regency historical novel, THE NOTORIOUS MISS HARDCASTLE (HARDCASTLE'S DAUGHTER), won the Golden Heart Award from ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA.

A second completed Regency historical, AN HEIRESS FOR THE NABOB, placed as a finalist in the Golden Heart Award competition.


Jude's been an active member of the SOCIETY OF CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS (SCBWI) for many years. She shares her time between four SCBWI children's/young adult critique groups, one in Chicago, Illinois, and three in Florida. She also is part of a multi-published adult critique group whose members are all prize-winning authors.

Jude has workshopped with industry greats like Lee Bennett Hopkins, Bruce Coville, Neil Shusterman, Emma Dryden and others, through SCBWI, the KEY WEST LITERARY SEMINAR, and THE BIG SUR CONFERENCE.

She was also fortunate to be chosen to participate in the juried SIERRA NEVADA SCBWI MENTORSHIP PROGRAM, working with Susan Hart Lindquist and Ellen Hopkins on BUSTED, a YA verse novel-in-progress about first-time juvenile offenders.

Jude's participated in several adult seminars with famed Hollywood film writing guru and script doctor, Robert McKee, author of STORY. She has also attended workshops presented by literary agent Donald Maass, who authored the best-selling WRITING THE BREAK-OUT NOVEL, among other writing-related books.

As a member of SISTERS IN CRIME, Jude attended a weekend film writing seminar held on-site at the WRITERS GUILD in Los Angeles CA. The program featured presentations and panels with noted Hollywood screenwriters, script doctors, and television/cable/film producers and agents.

Jude recently became a participant in the OP-ED PROJECT, a national and international writing and mentoring program and opinion forum formed to encourage new voices to join the conversational debate for positive change in the social and political arenas that affect our lives.


After earning a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Temple University, Jude went on to receive her Master's degree in Special Education from Penn State University. She continued on with classes from the University of Chicago, UCLA, and other colleges and universities in order to stay on top of her game re: writing techniques and educational ideas/programs.

On receiving her M.Ed, Jude was inducted into the most select academic honorary society for women, PI LAMBDA THETA. She is also a member of PHI DELTA KAPPA INTERNATIONAL.

Jude worked for over twenty years as a psycho-educational diagnostician and educator in public schools with special needs and general education students, developing programs for them, their teachers, and their parents.

She's tested/taught/co-taught bilingual, gifted, emotionally and behaviorally challenged, autistic, and developmentally delayed populations, supporting Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for inclusion students, as well as implementing general education requirements for students receiving the standard school curriculum.

Her teaching experience ranges from pre-kindergarten through college.

At NATIONAL-LEWIS UNIVERSITY in Chicago, she helped develop coursework for their Curriculum Development courses, an innovative program that was designed to teach foreign students how to hone their English writing skills to accommodate college-level courses.

Through EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY she supervised Pre-service Student Teachers in elementary and secondary schools in the Chicago suburbs.

While in the teaching trenches, Jude saw a lot of bullying incidents and worked with kids, teachers and parents to help them find solutions to deal with bullying problems.

Recently, one of Jude's picture books was chosen the First Prize Winner in the RISING KITE CONTEST, from the Florida Chapter of (SCBWI), The SOCIETY OF CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS.

SCBWI & AMAZON.COM also awarded Jude a Letter of Merit for noteworthy work on her Work-In-Progress Grant competition entry, BULLY WARS. Only ten of these letters were awarded out of 500 entries.



Jude not only writes books, she is often “booked” herself, as a speaker and writing workshop leader, visiting schools, libraries and organizations.

Using a fun, hands-on approach, Jude gets everyone involved. Her audiences respond with excitement and enthusiasm, as they discover and celebrate the creativity and sensitivity inside themselves.

To support school YOUNG AUTHORS PROGRAMS, she’s partnered with the Chicago Public School system, Charter public schools, and parochial and suburban public schools, igniting students, teachers, and parents--even principals--into creative action.

She has taught journaling to oncology patients at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.

She teaches writing classes for young and old, and provides editorial and critique services for other writers in the field.


This list of programs and workshops can be adapted to meet the age/size of your audience, or specific curriculum demands.

• So You Want to Write a Book!
• Characters, Characters, Characters!
• The Journaling Journey.
• The Plot Thickens!
• Imagine That!
• Adventures Wanted...
• Rappin' 'Round Rhymes!
• Writing to Read/Reading to Write...
• Inspiration to Publication: How Books Are Made.
• Character Arcs/ Story Structure.
• Show! Don't Tell!

Please Email Jude for current brochure and pricing:


“Thank you so much for inspiring our students. We enjoyed having you visit St Frances Xavier School and appreciate all you did to deliver two great days."

--MARY KONSTANT, St. Xavier School,
La Grange, Illinois

“. . . thank you again for all of the extraordinary effort you put into my manuscript. Your wonderful comprehensive input made a big difference in the final version. You really went above and beyond . . . I appreciate it very much.”
--MARLENE HILL DONNALLY, author of `PAINTING WILDLIFE IN WATERCOLOR, with co-author PEGGY MACNAMARA, writer /artist/illustrator.
(Watson-Guptill Publications, 2003)

“. . . The students were excited and involved with the dramatic way you made the characters come alive! I would highly recommend your presentation to children and educators. You have promoted our students' interest and motivation to read."
--MARY ELLEN TOBIN, Special Service Teacher, Dist. 54, Schaumburg, IL

“. . . Thank you for presenting . . . at the Illinois Association of Teacher Educators. The practical information shared with the Preservice Students will serve them well throughout their teaching careers . . ."
--NAN CARLI, Eastern Illinois University

“. . . I wanted you to know that you were one of the best teachers I have had. You were very encouraging and supportive of all of us, your students. I guess I just wanted to say THANK YOU. Also, I wanted to tell you what a great inspiration you have been to me. I . . . needed the "fire lit" under me . . . I . . . have been writing, writing, writing!"
--J.L. (Student name deleted by request), Writing Lives Class, Brickton Art Center/ Park District Program,
Park Ridge, IL

“. . . Her classes always provide critical (no punches pulled) insights. . . . I always come away from each class looking at my work in new ways."
--GENE ROSNER, Writer-Illustrator, Graphic Designer