Carmela A. Martino

Author. Speaker. Teacher.

Selected Works

Middle-Grade Novel
Rosa didn't know which she hated more--being lonely or being different. One thing she did know--she wanted a baby brother . . . one just like Antonio.

To read an excerpt from the novel,
click here.

For a list of discussion questions, click here.

The new edition of Rosa, Sola is now available, and includes a new "Discussion Questions" section for classroom use. The paperback can be ordered directly here, and from most online booksellers. The Kindle version is available from Amazon, and the Nook version is at!
Two Articles in the book below
Carmela's two articles appears in the 2016 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market edited by Chuck Sambuchino (Writer's Digest Books).
Short Story in Anthology
Short story in I Fooled You: Ten Stories of Tricks, Jokes, and Switcheroos, a middle-grade anthology edited by Johanna Hurwitz. See the teacher's guide here.
Poem in And the Crowd Goes Wild! A Global Gathering of Sports Poems edited by Carol-Ann Hoyte and Heidi Bee Roemer, a collection of 50 sports poems by writers from 10 countries.
Poem in Anthology
In Chicken Soup for the Soup: Teens Talk High School edited by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark, & Madeline Clapps
For Recommended Reading for Children and Teens click below:

I am available to speak to students in grades 1-12 and adults . When speaking to children, I prefer groups of no more than 75 students, but I can make accommodations for larger groups. Following is a description of my basic presentation. For information about other programs, click here or scroll down.

Worms, Pens, and Butterflies

Much of who I am as a person and an author is rooted in my upbringing as the first-born child of Italian immigrants. In this presentation, I discuss how my background and life experiences influence my writing. I also describe my roundabout route to becoming a published author, emphasizing the importance of both reading and writing in accomplishing career goals, whatever they may be. I typically use PowerPoint or overhead slides to show some of the milestones (and humorous events) along my path to publication. This presentation lasts 45 minutes to one hour, including time for questions. I am willing to do up to four presentations in one day.

"Worms, Pens, and Butterflies" is best suited to grades 3-6. Contact me for information regarding programs for younger or older audiences.

See the right-hand sidebar for what educators and attendees have to say about my presentations.

I love to teach almost as much as I love to write. Here I am presenting a workshop at the Annual Illinois Young Authors Conference.

Other Presentations

I am also available to present writing workshops based on classes I have taught, and I will tailor my talks to the audience's needs. (For example, I often incorporate the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing.) In my children's workshops, I use games and group activities to "make writing fun." Here are some sample topics:

Re-Visioning—Seeing with "Fresh Eyes": describes the many revisions Rosa, Sola went through prior to publication and presents specific techniques to help students "re-vision" their own writing.

Transforming Life Into Fiction: explains how I fictionalized people, places, and events from my childhood to write Rosa, Sola. Students practice transforming their own real-life experiences into fiction.

Young Author's Workshop: presents techniques for generating ideas, developing characters, creating plot, and describing setting.

Markets for Young Writers: provides a step-by-step process for submitting work, along with tips for finding markets open to students in grades 3-12. (For links to writing tips and market information for young authors, be sure to visit the For Writers page.)

My adult presentations include:

Writing for Children
Transforming Life into Fiction
Writing with Feeling
Point of View—Getting it Right!
Writing with Prompts—Jump-Start Your Writing

For photographs and descriptions of past presentations, see the News page.

Need help planning an author visit?

All content copyrighted by Carmela A. Martino, unless otherwise noted. Please do not copy without permission.

My Bio

If you'd like to learn more about me before or after my visit, go to the Home page and scroll down to the "About Me" section.

Educators' Comments about my Visits:

"What a wonderful two-day workshop you did with us, and how much our parents and students enjoyed seeing you again at our Family Literacy Night! Your journey towards becoming a published author was interesting and inspirational... It helped our students realize the importance of valuing their own personal experiences and using them to express themselves as writers!”

—Mary Chamberlain,
River Grove School, River Grove, IL

"Many thanks for an outstanding two hours chock-full of valuable information for our creative writing group. . . . In the words of the students, ‘It was awesome and informative!’”

—Paulette Goodman,
Kennedy Junior High School, Lisle, IL

Your presentation engaged our wide span of ages and kept them engaged. The writer's workshop really stimulated our young authors, too."

—Rebecca Plaza,
Union Ridge Elementary School, Harwood Heights, IL

"Your interactive presentation was inspiring and entertaining. . . . The afternoon workshops were especially helpful. Students enjoyed the writing exercises, and your concrete tips were just what was needed.”

—Beth Cushing,
Mary, Seat of Wisdom School, Park Ridge, IL

"Thanks again, Carmela, for a wonderful presentation. . . . You are a terrific author, but I hope you know that you are a wonderful teacher and motivator as well.”

—Gail Hilmer,
Addison Public Library

Feedback from Young Attendees:

"I enjoyed the workshop very much. It also taught me how to write better stories. I learned a lot on how to improve my writing for now and the future. Now I have more ideas for stories in the future."

—Brian M, Grade 6

"Thank you for coming to my school and teaching us about writing. I loved your presentation and your book. You have inspired me to write more."

—Amber A, Grade 6

"I learned a lot about writing. I have always wanted to be a writer myself, except I write poems. You helped by encouraging me, and telling me that I could do it!"

—Michele F, Grade 6

"I really liked how you took time to answer our questions about the book and tell us about yourself. I also enjoyed listening to your presentation about your personal life and your public life. When you were here I learned how hard it is to become an author and how many steps it takes to actually publish a book."

—Shannon, Grade 6