I'm an award-winning author, and I've been writing and teaching for most of my life. In my work as a communications consultant and speaker, I help individuals and organizations learn how to communicate more clearly and effectively, with clarity and compassion. I help people including as caregivers and activists learn how to sustain and nourish themselves in a life of service. And I help would-be writers and speakers with their projects.
I've published two non-fiction books for teens and more than 100 articles in a diverse range of print and online outlets that have reached tens of thousands of readers. I tell meaningful stories with the goal of inspiring compassion for ourselves and others.
What They Say About Me
My work has been called "powerful," "indispensable," and "life-changing" (and not just by my mother). I've been featured in The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, and Medium.
My favorite reviews, though, come from my students and clients. People who've been in my classes, attended a show, or worked with me one-on-one often tell me that my words stick with them and inspire them for years. (Scroll down to see some testimonials in their own words.)
That's my biggest payoff--making a lasting difference in someone's life by connecting them with a clearer, more powerful version of themselves, a version who can identify and communicate their deep truths and live a fulfilled and supported life. How do I do all that? Subscribe to my free newsletter to learn all about it (scroll down or click the link).
I trained as a high school English teacher (after having watched "Dead Poets Society" about 800 times), then I acquired and edited books for a few different publisher, and worked in corporate communications. I've written basically every type of copy imaginable, from annual reports for a military medical foundation to ad campaigns for a men's underwear brand. (Yes, men's underwear. The irony does not escape me.)
I've written heartfelt stories that have found small audiences, blog posts that have been shared thousands of times, and a book that's about to be in its third edition.
I've taught classes to handfuls of people, and performed stories in front of hundreds. This is one of my favorites:
I've got an honors degree in Secondary English Education with a concentration in psychology. I've also got a certificate from the University of Denver Publishing Institute, as well as certifications in massage therapy, structural myofascial therapy, and plant-based nutrition. (Check out some of my fam's awesome and easy vegan recipes here.) I'm a long-time martial artist, as well.
Oh, and I'm a mom. (If you don't think that fits under "Education," I'm guessing you're not a parent.)
That's diverse training, I know. For me, living is learning. I'm fascinated with the intersections among our internal physical and emotional experiences and the outside world, and everything I've studied has in some way enhanced my work.
I'm into learning about the connections that make us tick and how understanding them can help us recognize our shared humanity and achieve dynamic peace. I'm all about non-violent communication.
Also, I read obsessively about writing, speaking, and spirituality and am always working to be a better communicator, myself. As my wife, Mala, says, what you're here to teach is what you're here to learn.
This is Mala,
my partner in all things. She's our family's hearth tender, presently devoting most of her energy and attention to our little one. She's also a sex educator and women's holistic health practitioner. Plus she's my own best reader and critic. I tend to listen to her because she's pretty much always right ... about everything. We're super-spiritual, nature-loving vegans trying to raise a conscious kid in a crazy world.
Areas of Expertise
As a consultant and speaker, I work with individuals, groups, and organizations to bring more compassion and empathy into their lives and work. For those who are already in high-empathy mode, I help them learn the critical skills necessary to living an aware, heart-open life and sustaining their work without suffering.
My specialty areas for writing coaching are self-help, spirituality, memoir, psychology, animals and nature, and young adult (YA), and for fiction are literary fiction and YA. I can also help you with journalistic and blog writing, and finding your writerly voice or the voice of your personal brand for your website. But again, it all boils down to helping you communicate more clearly in your life, which will not only boost your writing, it will bring you joy.
I am also an adjunct faculty member at Potomac Massage Training Institute in Washington, DC, where I teach communication, boundaries, and ethics of touch to future and current bodyworkers.
Click here to see some of my own published works and performances.
I can't take public credit for all of my projects because some of my work is behind the scenes, making sure someone else gets kudos. Also, I like to keep the identities of my students and bodywork clients confidential--it's a relationship power differential thing. But here are some things that people (named and unnamed) have said about me as a consultant, teacher/speaker, and bodyworker:
"Kelly Madrone has an amazing editorial eye. She can help you frame and organize the structure of your narrative, clarify your message, and bring out the best in your manuscript. I recommend her highly." --Elizabeth Rapoport, former executive editor at Random House, author, and creator of "Write Club"
"It's difficult to articulate the magic that Kelly Madrone brings to a project. She settles in and brings her whole self: heart, mind, soul, intuition, and miles and miles of wisdom. I gave her a pretty decent manuscript. And she gave me back a gamechanger. Can't wait for our next collaboration." --Christine Crockett Smith, author and consultant
"Kelly Madrone consistently delivers top-quality, powerful writing that’s well-researched and reported. She’s responsive to edits, files her work on time, and is overall a delight to work with. My only hesitation in recommending her is that if she takes on work for you, she’ll have less time for us!" -- M. Carrie Allan, senior editorial director, The Humane Society of the United States and columnist for The Washington Post
"I am 56 years young and have had many teachers during my lifetime. Kelly stands above the rest. Kelly built each student up, gently guiding us in a direction that made perfect sense for us individually. I have seen many instructors succeed with a couple of students, but to be able to do this with 30 students was beautiful to see. Kelly's integrity is beyond reproach and to top it all off, she is extremely funny. Don't miss an opportunity to take a class with her. She will change your life as she did mine. --former student
"Kelly defines what a teacher should be." --former student
"When I saw Kelly walk into [class] for the first time I thought, ''S***'s about to get real,' and I wanted to hug her. ... I was impressed with how vulnerable Kelly was willing to be with us. She really helped me." --former student
“Kelly is not only knowledgeable and skilled, but a compassionate and principled professional, and I'm glad to have found her!” --bodywork client
"Kelly is The Truth. She's the real deal." --bodywork client
"Kelly is grace." --former student
"Kelly is extremely professional, courteous and respectful of her clients and I cannot think of anyone in this profession I would recommend more highly." --bodywork client
"Kelly has taught me so much not just about how to do massage, but how to live." --former student
And then there was the time some of my bodywork students gave me this incredible going away surprise . . .