Gloria Whelan is an American poet, short story writer, and novelist known primarily for children's and young-adult fiction. She won the annual National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2000 for the novel Homeless Bird.
Whelan's books include many historical fiction novels, including a trilogy set on Mackinac Island and a quartet series set in communist Russia. Whelan is also the author of short stories which have appeared in The Ontario Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Gettysburg Review, and other literary quarterlies. Her collection of short stories, Playing with Shadows, was published by the Illinois Press. Her stories have appeared in several anthologies and in Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards. Whelan is, according to Liz Rosenberg in the Chicago Tribune, "an accomplished, graceful, and intelligent writer."