“Selene Castrovilla is a passionate, engaging author and presenter known for her gripping YA, and informative historical based picture books. She has been referenced by the great Jackie Woodson as, “A writer to watch.” I have had the pleasure of watching and learning from Selene at several events. Selene was a featured kid lit rock star at our nErDcampLI, kidlit palooza and at several book events such as Barnes and Noble Teen Festival, and Books of Wonder. Her presentations teach readers and writers of all ages the importance of marrying passion and process in one’s writing. Adult learners, students, teachers, all who attend her sessions leave wanting to read and write more.
Selene is knowledgeable and has a sense of humor which together make for a wonderful combination for children. Selene shares her amazing talents and leads students through a variety of writing exercises. She is a mentor author who models and inspires writers of all ages.
The students who work with Selene absolutely adore her. I appreciate Selene sharing her time and talents with the Nerdy on LI community. I am grateful for her energy, humor, and expertise. Without hesitation I would recommend her as a visiting and connected kid lit rock star for students of any age.
The Educational Collaborative Book Ambassador
It is my continual thrill and honor to visit schools, libraries, historical societies, writing/reading groups and organizations. Lectures and workshops are tailored to your needs. Manuscript whispering is offered as well!
My visits may be geared toward my books on the American Revolution, my young adult novels or my life as a writer. Writing workshops are also available. By requests, I now offer a workshop on empowering oneself/living one’s dream.
Here are popular programs I offer:
The Writing Journey
“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”
Have you had a story idea gnawing in your brain?
Are you hankering to share your personal experiences?
When reading, do you feel inspired to create your own book?
You’ve always wanted to write. What’s holding you back?
We have many reasons for wanting to write, but there’s one basic reason why most of us don’t: fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of inability, fear of failure.
Award-winning author Selene Castrovilla has been there. She knew she was a writer since she could hold a pencil, and yet she let her fears keep her from writing until she was in her thirties. With ten books published to date, Selene will rip through your fear in this workshop designed to inspire and motivate you to begin writing your manuscript—and keep you writing until you come to “the end”.
Writing the Young Adult Novel
Coming of age is one of the most exciting topics in young adult literature. What happens to us in our teen years defines us for life, and putting this on the page effectively has resulted in some of our most compelling literature. Consider The Catcher in the Rye, The Member of the Wedding, The Lord of the Flies, The Outsiders…the list of breathtaking young adult literature is long. Award-winning author Selene Castrovilla delves into passages from iconic young adult novels and discusses what makes them so powerful. After looking at voice, sensory details, characterization, setting and pacing, Selene will guide us in writing exercises designed to kick-start your very own young adult novel.
A Writer’s Life
A look inside the life and career of award-winning author and mom Selene Castrovilla.
Selene explains how she always knew she was a writer from when she held a pencil — and she followed her passion to publish seven award-winning books. She discusses the steps she took to become a writer, as well as how she got her first book published. She also reveals her writing process, including how she gets her ideas. She’ll talk about her writing day, how she continues to publish books, why chooses certain topics and how the publishing industry works: from idea to printed book.
Students will walk away with a firm concept of how to pursue a career in writing — or even just write a book for fun. They will be inspired by Selene’s passion for her work. They will realize that authors are regular people who had a dream — and then followed though with it.
George Washington’s Spies!
George Washington couldn’t outfight the British, so he needed to out-spy them!
Author and historian Selene Castrovilla brings history to life with her program about George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring, and how Long Island was crucial in order for George Washington to win the war. Selene shares how she came upon these true stories, and why she felt compelled to write about them. Using passages from her award-winning nonfiction picture books about the Revolutionary War, Selene demonstrates how the citizens who gave their all to save their country are just like us. What’s in our hearts never changes.
Celebrating George Washington
We hear the same old legends about the father of our country. But there’s so much to know about this amazing man! Award-winning author and American Revolution historian Selene Castrovilla has spent fifteen years researching and writing about George Washington, and she shares amazing, humanizing facts with your students.
—Defeated at the first battle of our revolution, Washington managed to retreat every one of his soldiers across the East River to safety. 10,000 men in ten small boats, in one night!
—Without enough men to outfight the British, Washington found another path to victory: he outspied them!
—Washington once stopped his officers from mutinying and brought them to tears by putting on a pair of new spectacles, remarking that he had not only grown gray, but almost blind in service to his country.
Selene Castrovilla brings George Washington to life for your students, and shows how we would not be a country without him.
Where do story ideas come from?
This is the starting point of your students’ adventure with award-winning author Selene Castrovilla. With an MFA in Creative Writing and children’s even books to her credit, Selene has the knowledge, experience and passion to inspire and engage young people.
Selene works with your students in assemblies, classes, small groups and even one-on-one. She will work with you to tailor a theme and goal.
Some topics Selene covers:
– the power of the perfect word
-coming to our “senses”
-mighty metaphors and striking similes
-emotions in motion
-ready for revision
-a done deal
Students will relish the creative process. They will head home brimming with ideas — and the ability to see them through.
My Life and Career as a Teen Author
Meet author Selene Castrovilla, author of seven books including four teen novels. When she was growing up she knew she was a writer — but she lacked the confidence to pursue a literary career for many years. It is her mission to show young adults that they CAN be writers — or anything the want to be!
Selene will talk about her journey towards publication, her daily writing routine, where she gets her ideas and more. She will discuss her writing process and give specific tips.
Your students will walk away inspired to live their dreams.
Teen Writing Residency
Award-winning teen author Selene Castrovilla works with students to analyze and revise their current creative works and invent new ones. Using skills developed through her own successful writing as well as her MFA Creative Writing program teachers (including Jacqueline Woodson), Selene takes the fear out of writing, replacing it with joy. Students walk away with improved writing skills and the desire to implement them.
This program may be one day, or expanded over several days. Selene will present one assembly, and work with classes, small groups or even one on one throughout the day.
PARP Kick-Off Family Night
Kick off your PARP program with a family night! Award-winning author Selene Castrovilla shares from her exciting nonfiction books (yes, nonfiction CAN be exciting!) about the Revolutionary War. She’ll discuss how she went from a PTA mom to a published author (even though she’s still is a PTA mom.) She’ll also reveal she incredible,little-known stories about the people who fought for our freedom.
Plenty of time for questions, too.
Your students and their parents will be excited to get started with PARP after this fun and informative evening.
Selene’s revolutionary books will be available for purchase and signing.
Additional programs may be tailored for your specific occasions and needs. Just ask!
1 day (up to four presentations)
$1200 + travel expenses
$1500/day + travel expenses
$650 + travel expenses
Library visit $500 + travel expenses
Lecture: Historical Society/Organization $500 + travel expenses
Writer’s Group Weekend Coach (including workshops & one-on-one coaching): $1800 + travel expenses/room and board
All other events negotiable. If you have a Long Island or NYC reading or writing group and are willing to feed me, I’d love to discuss one of my books with you.
Virtual visits available.
45 minutes – 1 hour virtual session $250
three sessions in one day $700
MANUSCRIPT WHISPERING: ONE-ON-ONE COACHING
Looking for someone to read your work and give feedback, without tearing you apart? Want someone who sees your vision, not their own? Need help finding your focus through all those words? I have fifteen years’ experience guiding people to get their manuscripts in line with their concepts.
What you will get: A thorough analysis of your work. What works, what doesn’t. Solutions for what doesn’t work.
What you won’t get: A revision; line-editing; a waste of time and money.
Ten pages $100 (includes a fifteen minute phone follow-up)
Twenty-five pages $200 (includes a half hour phone follow-up)
Fifty pages $300 (includes a forty-five minute phone follow-up)
Seventy-five pages $400 (includes an hour phone follow-up)
One hundred pages $450 (includes a ninety-minute follow-up)
REQUEST MY SERVICES