School Visits 📚 Community Programs

I’m offering programs by zoom and in person.

Writing a Picture Book,” a Workshop for Teens and Adults

Picture books for children are poems with pictures. They can be funny. They can bring a family memory to life. Maria Popova describes picture books as “stories that tackle with elegant simplicity such complexities as uncertainty, loneliness, loss, and the cycle of life.” What makes a story one that children will love?  What are the components that blend and form the structure and beauty of a picture book story? We’ll explore word by word and image by image how a few picture book are made. and the narrative components that help a picture book sing. I’ll offer guidelines and prompts to invite participants to write a picture book. I have presented this as a two session workshop. In session 2, writers share their own stories in progress with the group.
Resources for you:

“Writing a Picture Book” Handout

“Writing a Picture Book” Links to Resources

Article on “Writing a Picture Book”
Goals: You will draft a picture book!
Who is this program for: Adults and Teens

For full information please read here.

Book Club Visits with Adults or Teens It’s been a great pleasure for me to meet by zoom and in person with book clubs. The Good Braider is one that many have read in their reading groups. Contact me for info.

Presentations and School Visits

I offer a variety of presentations that I adapt for your school, library, or community. The programs for students are built around working with groups who’ve read one of my books or heard chapters read aloud so that we have a common text. The programs run 45 – 60 minutes and offer interactive components. I also welcome followup e-mails with questions from students to go deeper or offer resources to students and classes. You can e-mail me at tfarish at gmail

I’ve offered programs for children, teens, ESOL learners, college students, and adults. Here are a few sample programs

Who Is a Refugee? Who Is an Immigrant? Who Am I?

from Mu’o’n Thi Van, author of “Wishes”.

Stories from Vietnam and the Vietnamese Diaspora
Wishes by Múón Thi Van, illustrated by Victo Ngai

“More refugees are made every day, not only from local violence and persecution, but increasingly from catastrophic natural disasters and climate change effects…Sometimes doing what we can just means saying, ‘Hello.’ …I wish only for a safer, kinder, fairer, more beautiful world.” Mu’o’n Thi Van

Description: We’ll read passages of poetry and fiction to learn about our own and new cultures and what refugees can teach us. Within this global context, I’ll tell about discoveries I’ve made through interviewing refugee kids and teens for my books and from writing collaborations with immigrant writers. We’ll do a hands-on activity to explore ways for writers and students to learn about refugees. Students will gain a greater understanding of the words refugee, immigrant, asylum seeker, migrant; older students will learn writers’ research methods; experience the world of fiction to imagine others’ lives.
Resources for you:  Refugee Fact Sheet, Links to resources from the American Immigration Council and Center for Applied Linguistics, reading list with passages from picture books, memoirs, and novels.

Who is this program for: 1. For younger readers reading one of my own and others’ picture books about immigrant kids. 2. For teens and adults exploring the refugee and immigrant journey across disciplines. 3. For immigrant kids or teens, using the books as mentor texts to write a poem or scene of their own story.

Story Workshop

Description: We’ll read aloud from two of my books, looking for clues to understand a character’s changing emotions. We’ll look at word and gesture to help us infer meaning and practice reading between the lines. This is a very fun workshop including cats and longing and patience and rewards. Goals: Build skills in interpretation of stories and exploring the emotional world of characters; identify ways that characters solve problems; practice writing or telling using the senses and action vergs. Resources for you: Reader’s theater script of Luis Paints the World; “Stellar Mentor Picture Books from many Cultures” as a handout

Cooking Up a Picture Book with Children

Here are two traditional folded books. One is a small story about my grandfather. The other is a lullaby. In a two-hour or two-session workshop, we’ll read a picture book and children create a character, add a setting, a taste, a scent, and an emotion to create their own folded book. We talk story craft and the idea of little books as gifts. This book is called a curandero and is traditionally about creating a book to send good wishes to someone we care about. Or even a lullaby for a new baby.

A Children’s Book From Idea to Holding the Book in Your Hands

A presentation to visually show the steps from idea to research to drafts to editing, the writer-illustrator collaboration, all the steps that writers take to create a book.

Extraordinary Journeys

Curiosity begins everything for a writer. This presentation takes students on a journey to research the way a writer follows clues and digs deep to write fiction or nonfiction. Sometimes research takes a writer across the ocean, sometimes it takes a writer into the woods where she walks her dog. It’s all about wonder.

Download “Read, Write and Imagine Our World”

Resources for teachers, librarians, kids, and teens on 1) Writing 2) Learning about Refugees and Immigrants

Discussion Guides for My Books

In Washington, DC in an Open Book Foundation program

Terry’s multi-media approach to sharing these difficult stories is both a celebration of the lives of young people who have grown from their adversity and a tribute to the creative and beautiful individuals who are living right in our midst in Maine.”
– Nancy Watson, Bangor High School Librarian

“[Terry’s program] showed the children that immigrants and immigrants’ children  are just like them: they have favorite foods, and miss their brothers, and need to run away sometimes, and need to show everyone that the world is at home, too.” Mo Churchill, Children’s Librarian, Newport, NH

You can read more about my programs on my blog. Go to School and Community Reading and Writing Projects.

Events Summer and Winter ’22 – 23

Feb – March 2023, Vietnam

July 26 Goodwin Library, Farmington, NH, A Children’s Literacy Foundation Summer Literacy Celebration. Storytelling and Storymaking!

June 11 – Chesterville Library Literacy Celebration, Chesterville, Maine

Recent Past Events

May 11 – Chesterville Library Literacy Celebration, Chesterville, ME

May 6 – 8, Monadnock Poets & Writers Retreat. Greenfield, NH., I’ll be a fiction workshop leader. Info here:

April 8, Valley View Community School, Farmington, NH. Family Literacy Celebration, sponsored by the Children’s Literacy Foundation.

March 25, New Hampshire School Librarian Conference, Author Panel, Concord, NH

March 30,  New Franklin School, Portsmouth, NH “Cooking Up a Picture Book” Grade 3

March 19, Wheaton Writing Academy, Dialogue Workshop, Info here: “Dialogue Like Diamonds” Noon-3, Register at

March 10, New Hampshire Humanities, Connections Book Discussion, author visit.

Feb. 18, Virtual Storytime with “Books with Buddies,”(High school students read with elementary kids) Spring Early College Academy, Houston, Texas

Feb. 2, 2022 World Read Aloud Day with OD Bonny.

“Local Writers, Global Stories,” Child & Youth Expo, Ontario Library Association, Toronto, Zoom event with OD Bonny and Andree Poulin. November 3, 2021.

“Cooking Up a Picture Book!” a workshop for ESL teachers and the Connections Adult Literacy Program of New Hampshire Humanities. October 6, 2021.

VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH AND GIVEAWAY A Feast for Joseph. September 15, 2021 6 p.m. presented by I’m Your Neighbor Books with PRINT: A Bookstore

I’m Your Neighbor Books is celebrating A Feast for Joseph. The picture book draws the reader into the food and music of the Acholi, a community living in Uganda, Sudan, and worldwide—including our own neighborhoods.

Acholi in America:
A Book Launch for A Feast for Joseph
September 15, 6:00 PM EST
Register to attend on ZOOM

“Writing a Picture Book” Workshop, Worcester Public Library, August 21, 2:30-3:30. Register at

Summer Stories, Dover Housing Authority, A Children Literacy Foundation author visit.  August 11.

Farmington, NH. Elementary School, A Children’s Literacy Foundation author visit.  July 30. Stories, movement and art

Kingston Community Library Summer Reading Club author visit, July 8, 30.

Writing a Picture Book” workshop, Manchester City Library, June 24 and July 1, 6:30 p.m. Register at

ONLINE Mass Poetry Fest, Reading with a panel of veteran poets. May 15, 10:15. Panelists are Terry Farish, Rodger Martin, Jimmy Pappas, and Karen Skolfield,

ONLINE Thirsty Lab Reading, Princeton, Massachusetts, April 27, 2021, 7 p.m.

ONLINE Hobbs Memorial Library Meet the Author Series, Lovell, Maine, March 25, 2021. 7-8 p.m. Children’s book writer and my friend Elizabeth Atkinson and I will interview each other about our work writing for children and teens.

New Hampshire Theater Project’s “Tiny Mayhem” February 13. Showcase of contemporary performances including my short play “Something Gold”.

ONLINE Workshop: Writing a Picture Book, January 14 and 21, 6:30-8 p.m.

Children’s Literacy Foundation
, Zoom story telling.  February 10. CLiF posts recordings of their weekly author story times on their site.

Portsmouth Book Club, February 23, 2021, The Good Braider

Recent Past Events:

Thompson Free Library Reading Group on zoom. Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. Dec. 10. I joined the Thompson Library’s reading group who are reading The Good Braider.

Lemon Punch Theater Lab, New Plays on Zoom, including my short play, “Something Gold” Nov. 7, 7 p.m. Register here:

Veteran Poets Reading Veterans, November 11, 2020, 7:30 p.m.   Terry Farish, Rodger Martin, Jimmy Pappas, Karen Skolfield, Kyle Potvin. Sponsored by The Worcester County Poetry Association, Mason Library, Keene State College, and others. Info at

Strawbery Bank Virtual Children’s Book Festival Nov. 14, 10-2  Register here

Zoom Book Club reading The Good Braider, Nov. 24, 6:30 p.m.

Check out my Virtual Author Visits for School and Libraries if you’d like a program of stories, ideas, and our voices.