Sunday, February 24, 2008

Martha Alderson, M.A. Bio

Martha Alderson, M.A. is an international plot and story consultant. Her clients include best-selling authors, writing teachers and fiction editors. She created a unique line of plot tools for readers and writers, including BLOCKBUSTER PLOTS Scene Tracker Kit, and the Plot Planner DVDs. She teaches plot workshops privately, through University of Santa Cruz, Learning Annex and writing conferences.

Long before working with adult writers, Martha worked with children with speech, language, and learning disabilities. She finished graduate school with a Masters in speech development, a double major in Psychology and Speech Pathology, a California Teaching Credential in Special Education, National certification by the National Speech and Hearing Association, California certified by the California Board of Medical Examiners.

Upon graduation, she worked in the California public school district as a speech and hearing specialist and later became the language consultant to all the special education classes district wide.

Alderson went on to establish a speech, language, learning disablility clinic for children young adults. After more than twenty years of interacting with thousands of children, she knows firsthand the many different ways people learn. She sold the practice and began writing.

She began her writing career fifteen years ago, writing articles in her area of expertise -- speech, language and learning disability therapy. She won local recognition for both "The Silent Disabilities" and a series of articles promoting a letter-writing campaign to fight the lowering of funding for California's educational system.

Six months later she became the managing editor of a regional home improvement glossy magazine. It was then, after hours, she began writing.

Five years ago, Alderson started teaching plot workshops incorporating as much sensory feedback as possible for full discovery and ease in learning. With the help of this communications leader, children and adult writers of all skill levels now grasp the elusive concept of plot and are able to use it effectively in their own works of fiction.

Never losing her love of working with children, Alderson began volunteering her time to teach children plot writing through the Friends of the Los Gatos Library sponsorship. She then went on to develop a writing program for a local children's shelter.

In 2005, she was a California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners nominee for "her outstanding contribution in developing and providing annual Young Writers Workshops for children and youth in Los Gatos for the past five years, and extending the program to the children and youth of the Santa Clara County Children's Shelter."

"The astonished look of accomplishment on the kid's faces is a wonderful testament of your gift to teach. We are forever grateful for the time you shared and are anxiously awaiting your next visit. The Children's Shelter is a temporary placement facility for abused, neglected and abandoned children. Thanks again for making a difference in the lives of our children."
Mark Forrest, Recreation Director.

Although her major work is with adult writers, Alderson continues to work with language arts teachers and reading teachers, and helps children better grasp reading comprehension and develop writing skills.

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