Emily Arnold McCully is an American writer and illustrator who is best known for children's books. She won the annual Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration in 1993, recognizing Mirette on the High Wire which she also wrote.
She was born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1939, but grew up in Garden City, New York. She attended Pembroke College, now a part of Brown University, and earned an M.A. in Art History from Columbia University. At Brown she acted in the inaugural evening of Production Workshop and other plays, co-wrote the annual musical, Brownbrokers, and earned a Phi Beta Kappa key.
In 1976, she published a short story in The Massachusetts Review. It was selected for the O'Henry Collection: Best Short Stories of the Year. Two novels followed: A Craving in 1982, and Life Drawing in 1986. In 2012, McCully published Ballerina Swan with Holiday House Books for Young People, written by legendary prima ballerina Allegra Kent. It has received rave reviews from The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, and School Library Journal.
As an actor, she performed in Equity productions of Elizabeth Diggsâ€™ Saint Florence at Capital Rep in Albany and The Vineyard Theater in New York City.