Charlie May Simon is known today for being the eponym of a children’s literature award. But during her lifetime she was a prolific author for children and for adults.
Born in South Arkansas, she was raised in Memphis and then resided in Chicago and Paris. With her then-husband (who would serve as illustrator for her books even after they divorced) she moved to Perry County in the 1930s. She returned to writing, with Robin on the Mountain being published in 1934. In 1936, she married longtime friend and Arkansas poet John Gould Fletcher. The couple resided in Little Rock.
Following his 1950 death, Simon continued to live in Little Rock, though she traveled all over the world. Her books for children and adults covered a variety of topics and themes.
In 1971, the Arkansas Department of Education named its annual Children’s Literature Award the Charlie May Simon Award.
After her death in 1977, she was buried next to her husband in Mount Holly Cemetery.