Terry Connelly’s short story, “The Visitor” won first place in the 2019 Mendocino Coast Writer’s Contest and has been published in the Noyo River Review.
Her interest in writing began when she was a child. As a teen she lived in an isolated rural community in Ohio. Back then she wrote fantasy stories that were memoir disguised as fiction. Wanting to share her work, she created a neighborhood newsletter that featured only her writing. After printing she’d hop on her bicycle and ride through the winding country roads dropping copies into mailboxes.
As academic demands increased in high school her creative writing was put on hold. When her focus turned to the search for information, she developed the love of discovery as she delved into divergent topics that caught her interest.
After Terry’s children were grown she became a high school Special Education English teacher. To encourage her reluctant students to write, she created prompts that related to novels that read in class. To model expected behavior, she wrote along with her students. That was the impetus for Terry to begin writing her own stories once again.
Several years ago she decided to write about her life growing up in a dysfunctional family. Many of those stories appear in her contemporary women’s novel, The Story Cried. Several years later Terry decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. That story evolved into her YA novel, See Me.
Terry has two blogs: one that shares prompts to inspire writers, the other showcases her short stories, poetry and essays. Many of the prompts are in her nonfiction book Have Fun With This One. She is currently working on a fantasy novel, Proving Ground, which features a strong female protagonist fighting against her restrictive rules.
Terry enjoys attending writers conferences as a way to improve her craft. Her favorite conference is the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference where she has workshopped several pieces, each time learning something new.
She has a BA in Russian Literature from USC, an elementary teaching credential from Holy Names College, a BA in English from Cal State East Bay and several Special Education credentials and certificates also from Cal State East Bay.