Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Terry Catasus Jennings


Region: Mid Atlantic (D.C./Virginia)
Age Levels: 5-10
Will Travel: Anywhere in my country
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:

I was born in Cuba and came to the United States in 1961, right after the Bay of Pigs invasion. I am a writer of children's non-fiction and fact-based fiction, trying to break into the middle-grade fiction genre. I am delighted to be represented by Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary Agency.

Stories have lived in my head, ever since I can remember--the endless reporting of the funny, interesting situations of life. As a child I had visions of spending hours writing by candlelight in a garret, swaddled in blankets like Jo Marsh even though I lived in a one-story house in Cuba. My vision didn't come true until after I had lived half my life, assuming I live to be a hundred. Raising teenagers gave me situations that begged to be written and enough time to write them. The very first piece I ever submitted, "Slipping Over to the Passenger's Side," about teaching my 15-year-old to drive, was published by The Washington Post. I wrote humorous essays for my hometown newspaper for four years. I have now found my love, writing for children. As well as several award-winning titles, I have written for the Smithsonian's Science Education Center, newspapers, magazine and I contribute educational content to other print and internet outlets

Presentation Description:
Gopher to the Rescue:  A presentation about the recovery of an ecosystem after a natural disaster like a volcano (Assembly and classroom presentations, K-5)

Sounds of the Savana:  Explore how prey and predators interact in the African Savanna, using sound and each trying to preserve the species. (Assembly and classroom presentations, K-5)

Magnetic Magic:  Explore the magic of magnets and discover how Earth's magnetic pole shifts. (Classroom Presentation 4-5)

Vivian and the Legend of the Hoodoos: Consider how we use legends, and the conservation message of the Legend of the Hoodoos. Consider how most of us are, or know someone, who, like Vivian, has a foot in more than one world. Hers are the tribal and non-tribal worlds. Others' might be the old country vs. the United States. Consider how we should respect the traditions of both worlds. Classroom activities include archeological dig for native "artifacts," and reassembling a broken pot from the sherds. The workshop also explores the effects of erosion. Students are invited to write a poem about a geologic form sculpted by erosion.
Writing Creative Non Fiction for students
Working with Students on Writing Creative Non Fiction.