Catherine A. Welch

Photo used with permission of Catherine A. Welch.

Catherine A. Welch is an award-winning author with more than 20 books to her credit and is a writing instructor with the Institute of Children’s Literature. Elementary teachers have found her two short historical fiction books especially useful in the classroom. A teaching strategy for her book, Clouds of Terror, an NCSS/CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, appeared in Instructor (October 1995). A four-day lesson plan for Danger at the Breaker, her book praised by School Library Journal and Booklist, appears at While many of her works are biographies and history books, her writing credits include several science books. She has degrees in biology and biochemistry, and enjoys giving writing workshops to children and teachers.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Biographies of Clara Barton and Bob Hope. I also remember reading a Little Golden Book titled The Very Best Home for Me! (originally published as Animal Friends) by Jane Werner Watson.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

I encourage every high school student to read the historical fiction novel, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine. The first line of the book is: "The summer of 1972, before I turned nine, danger began knocking on doors all over China."

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Sid Fleischman, Esmé Raji Codell, and Rosemary Wells

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I love to read and started to write books after reading a countless number of books to my sons when they were young. I write for the same reason I garden, cook, or play the piano. I enjoy creative activities.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

To be a successful writer, you must be able to think both logically and creatively (thinking in new directions). You must use clear, simple, concrete language and love doing revisions.  When you read, think about how authors use vivid language and show you what the main character is thinking and feeling. Care about every word you write!