Hi, I'm Jen!

I'm a poet and writer.

Words are my tools to help

make the world brighter.


J is for JITTERBUG's

my very first book.

Let's read together, 

click here for a look!


Read something funny,

spark something new!

Check out these poems

I wrote just for you.


Do you like books,

and poetry too?

Let's get together,

there's lots we can do!


What's New? 

Young Writers: From Inspiration to Publication - October 4, 2020 - spaces limited!


Are you a young writer who dreams of "getting published"?  Don't wait! Young Writers: From Inspiration to Publication is a 1.5 hour online class created to launch you on your journey!  From that first moment of inspiration, through research and editing, all the way to finding the perfect contest or publication that's looking for work like yours -- we'll cover it all.  For more information and to register: http://www.sandiegowriters.org/october-young-writers-jen-laffler/

Teen writer or poet?  Join me for Teen Writers: From Inspiration to Publication.  You will be amazed at all the opportunities out there for ambitious writers of all ages.

KidsWrite! Now Accepting Submissions Until January 5, 2021

read Jen's blog post about the class here


Calling young writers, ages 6-18, who live in San Diego County:

KidsWrite! San Diego Children's Writing Contest is now accepting submissions for its 2020/21 theme:


What The World Needs Now

There is no cost to enter. Winners and Finalists receive cash prizes. Please visit the KidsWrite! webpage at www.kidswriteSD.com for more information and to enter. Submissions close Jan.5, 2021.

KidsWrite! is a program of the San Diego Writers Festival, and is partnered with the Coronado Library and Union-Tribune Festival of Books.


Jen Laffler

Jen Laffler is a children’s author and poet. Her children’s book, J is for JITTERBUG: A Fanciful Animal Alphabet, was published in 2016 (Just A Little Genius, Ink.). Her latest project is the poetry collection, Please Don't Pet The Cactus (And Other Poems Kids Inspired), which  is packed with poems about s’mores, Hair Fairies, mosquitoes, and cookie dough. (Some of these poems have been more fun to research than others!) Lately, Jen's poems have been published in magazines and journals (Winning... and LosingMantisCotton Candy and Stuck!), presented on a podcast (Wipeout!), adapted into a short play (The Matzoh Ball Poem); and shared by Jen and others in schools around the world. Jen was especially proud to share her tribute to the Parkland student-activists, Bring on the Brainstorm, at the 2017 March for Our Lives rally in Encinitas, CA.  That's her in the newspaper picture, standing on a picnic table with a megaphone; shaking a little in front of all those people, but confident in the words and our cause, which are all about keeping kids safe!


Inspired by those student-activists, Jen dreamed up the KidsWrite! San Diego Children’s Writing Contest, now in its 3rd year and partnered with the San Diego Writers Festival, Coronado Library, and San Diego Union-Tribune's Festival of Books.  KidsWrite!'s mission is "to elevate and celebrate strong, diverse children's writing". Learn more about KidsWrite! and how you too can submit your own writing at www.KidsWriteSD.com


Jen is a mom of three girls and an adorable white Lab named Funston, an alumnus of Wellesley College, and a former Wall Street banker (a lousy one who filled spreadsheets with poetry-ideas for years and didn't even try to hide it).  She is a proud Girl Scout Troop leader (7 years); speaks Spanish; and believes in magic — the magic of Pablo Neruda. Jen believes that there is nothing quite like poetry — the right words at the right times — for creating deep and joyful connection between people; and that fresh young minds are naturally gifted at this kind of connection-making. Her favorite kids' poem just might be "Smart" by Shel Silverstein.  


Jen writes"garden inspiration" at www.windowbox.com, and occasionally finds time to update her own gardening blog at www.spearsshootsandstalks.com.


iFAQ's: Infrequently Asked Questions 

Do you like ice cream? - Ryan B.

Hey, Ryan. Why yes, as a matter of fact, I do like ice cream!  And my favorite flavors are Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Baskin Robbins' Chocolate Chip. Feel free to bring them to any reading (but you'd better plan on sharing!)


Hello There! I am Sydney! I liked your poems. You inspired me to write a poem. I have a question though, what is a Jitterbug? - Sydney D.

Hi Sydney! A Jitterbug is an entirely made-up creature which not only loves to dance, it has wings to help it do all kinds of amazing flips and tricks!  I did not invent "the Jitterbug", though - it's a very energetic dance that was super-popular in the 1930's and '40's.  Here is a video of dancers from Dancing With The Stars doing the Jitterbug. It's not an accident that dancing is an important part of J is for JITTERBUG - Tony Perrin, the illustrator, is a professional dancer as well as artist and jewelry designer.  Look closely at the Jitterbugs on the cover, and you'll see one wears a cursive "J" for Jen, the other a T for Tony.


More answers to iFAQ's coming soon!