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Carmela's Blog

Turning Life into Fiction Workshop

I'll be presenting a workshop on "Turning Life into Fiction" at two Chicago-area libraries this spring. In addition to
Robin Hemley's writing book of the
same name, I'll be mentioning the
following texts:

Also, one of the exercises in my workshop is based on a Wednesday Writing Workout I posted on our TeachingAuthors blog in this post


If you have any questions about my presentation, feel free to post it as a comment below or email me through my contact page.



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Resources for Great Beginnings Presentation

Below is a list of the resources I shared in my ACFW-Chicago presentation "Great Beginnings: How to Hook Readers and Keep Them Turning the Pages":



  • Beginnings, Middles and Ends by Nancy Kress (Writer's Digest Books)
  • The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb (Writer's Digest Books)
  • Hooked: Write Fiction that Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go by Les Edgerton (Writer's Digest Books)
  • Your First Page by Peter Selgin (Serving House Books)
  • Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Crons (Ten Speed Press)


Blog posts by former literary agent turned developmental editor
Mary Kole
, author of Writing Irresistible Kidlit (Writer’s Digest Books):

I didn't mention the following articles, but they may also be of help.

If you have any questions about the presentation, you can post them as a comment below or email me via the "Contact" page of this blog.


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Congratulations! Plus SCBWI Network Info

Congratulations to the winner of
the Bag and Swag Giveaway in honor of Women's History Month: Carolyn P. of Pennsylvania.
I'll be getting the prize out to her later this week.


Thursday evening, April 5, I'll be speaking to the SCBWI Chicago Network on the topic of
Working with Small Presses. That presentation will be based on research I did for one of my articles in the 2018 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. I plan to share some online resources related to the topic with the attendees. You can find links to those resources here on my website.


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Anniversary Giveaway: Book Bag and Swag!

Giveaway in honor of Women's History Month and the
six-month anniversary of the release of Playing by Heart


     For the month of March, I'm hosting a giveaway in honor of Women's History Month because Playing by Heart was inspired by two notable women of history: composer Maria Teresa Agnesi (pictured above) and her sister, linguist and mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi. (To read more about the sisters, see this website I created in their honor.) March is also the six-month anniversary of the release of Playing by Heart. It's hard to believe the book has already been out six months!


     The giveaway prize is pictured above. It includes a limited-edition zippered book bag featuring the cover of Playing by Heart on the outside pocket, with some "swag" tucked inside the two pockets: bookplates that I'll autograph especially for you, and some bookmarks. I use one of these bags myself and love it! 


     You must subscribe to my Creativity Newsletter to participate in the giveaway. All subscribers are welcome to download a free PDF excerpt of Playing by Heart.  Go to this page and click on "Download Now."  


Giveaway Instructions:

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter 1, 2, or all 3 ways:

  1. You must subscribe to my Creativity Newsletter to enter.
    Current subscribers: simply enter your subscription email address in the first option of the widget below.
    New subscribers: provide the email address you'd like to use to subscribe and you'll be automatically added to the mailing list.
  2. Post a picture on Instagram of someone reading Playing by Heart.
    Be sure to tag @cmartinoauthor (my Instagram handle) and use #PlayingbyHeart
  3. Tweet a picture of someone reading Playing by Heart. Please provide the URL of your tweet and tag @carmelamartino (my Twitter handle). If possible, include #PlayingbyHeart

If you have any problems entering, email me via the Contact page. Contest runs through March 1-31. Winners will be notified via email.


Open to those 18 and over only. You must have a U.S. mailing address to receive the prize. Good luck!

P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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