New Book THE FOUNDING MOTHERS OF THE UNITED STATES Now Available on Amazon!
I'm a guest on the Sandi Klein Show, where she has Conversations With Creative Women! We talked about hidden history, and how I uncover it--as well as my other genres and how I manage to juggle them. Did you know there was a women's tea party during the American Revolution? Learn about this and so much more.
My most popular presentation-great for elementary school and middle school author visits, as well as historical societies and organizations, libraries and museums:
Heroes, Villains, Humans:Why the People in the American Revolution Were Just Like Us
It happened a long time ago, but the American Revolution is easily relatable when we look at the people of the revolution and their motives. We have inventions and technology they lacked, but inside we're the same. What's in our hearts never changes.We will look at the characters and motives of:
George Washington: A man who would not give up. Suffering loss upon loss, he continually found ways to save his army--and ultimately, against all odds-- win the war. We would not be a country without the amazing George Washington.
The Marquis de Lafayette: A teenager who defied the French king to cross the ocean and fight for us--even though we didn't even want him! Ultimately, he brought the French in to help us, and he was responsible for the culminating confrontation of the revolution: The Battle of Yorktown.
Alexander Hamilton: He's become an icon on Broadway, but there's more to learn about him! We'll explore his up and down relationship with Washington, and learn about things the play doesn't cover.
The Culper Spy Ring: These unsung heroes were responsible for getting Washington the information he needed! Why did they do it?
Benjamin Tallmadge: The most important person you never heard of. Not only the organizer of the Culper Spy Ring, but the man who realized that Benedict Arnold was a traitor. And so much more! We can learn so much about humanity and ourselves through the virtues and actions of this man.
Benedict Arnold: Possibly the most fascinating person in the revolution, because we continue to debate: How did our greatest soldier become our most notorious traitor? A hero and villain wrapped up in one body, Benedict Arnold is a case study in what defines humanity, and why we choose to be good or bad.John André: Why did all of the Americans cry when this British major was hanged as a spy? The co-conspirator of Benedict Arnold is a tragic figure of the American Revolution, and an example of how our desires can lead to our downfall.
NEW: Our Founding Mothers-- Included in this presentation, or in their own stand-alone presentation!
Audiences walk away with a new appreciation and deep understanding of the humanity inside the American Revolution--and they relate with our history evermore.
Here are other popular programs I offer:
The Writing Journey *great for adults
“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”-Lewis Carroll
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, and four more on the way, 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 *great for adults and teens
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 in to 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 you through writing exercises designed to kick-start your very own young adult novel.
A Writer’s Life *great for organizations and libraries
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 ultimately followed her passion to publish ten 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 she chooses certain topics and how the publishing industry works: from idea to printed book.
Audiences 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! *great for Long Islanders and New Yorkers
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 and New York were 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 *great for Presidents' Day, Fourth of July and American Revolution anniversaries/commemorations
We hear the same old legends about the father of our country. But there’s so much to know about this incredible man!
Award-winning children's books author and American Revolution historian Selene Castrovilla has spent fifteen years researching and writing about George Washington, and she s hares astounding, 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 audiences, and shows how we would not be a country without him.
Writer-in-Residence *great for school visits
Where do story ideas come from?
This is the starting point of your adventure with award-winning author Selene Castrovilla.
With an MFA in Creative Writing and many 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 tailor a theme and goal. Available for one or multiple days.
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 *great for teens
Meet author Selene Castrovilla, author of ten 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 Selene's 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.
Audiences will walk away inspired to define and live their dreams.
Teen Writing Residency *great for teens
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 *great for PARP school visits
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 remained a PTA mom until her sons graduated from high school).
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
for all ages
Book yours today!
"Selene 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 Educator Collaborative Book Ambassador
"Selene cracked open the craft of writing and dealt out individual, delicious "how-to" packages for creating voice in writing. I am also feeling a desire to jump into lesson planning!"
Dalila Eckstein, teacher
"Librarians and teachers:
Selene Castrovilla has several kids' books about the American Revolution, all meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated. Besides these, Selene writes YA novels (and an adult one, too) that are spot-on fabulous (and she's a BooksNJ alum, too!) Jacqueline Woodson calls Selene "a writer worth watching." Invite her to your library or school. It'll be a great visit, I promise."
Director of Library Services at Bergen County
Cooperative Library System
I am in awe of educators and parents of young students during this time of COVID, and I want to help. Contact me about my curriculum-related Zoom visits. I want to pass along my enthusiasm for American history to our youth.
My latest presentation is:
The Surprising Truths About Our Founding Mothers
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