Donna Marie is a teaching artist who works with learners of all ages. She teaches creative writing for UNCA’s PreRendezblue Program for incoming freshmen and has taught creative teaching for teaching artists at the Penland School and for arts organizations. She uses storytelling as a launching pad to supercharge students’ creativity across curriculum areas.

“I loved how you taught us the plan for the story. It was really fun and I’m going to remember this for a long time.”
Your friend, Blue Lizard 2, Hendersonville NC

Her residency programs engage students’ imaginations and get them excited about creative writing. These session can be designed to link back into the curriculum being studied in social studies, music or science. All her residencies and workshops meet multiple common core curriculum goals. This is integrated learning that kids love!


“Her enthusiasm for storytelling and understanding of the writing process gave our third grade students an incredible, interactive experience in literacy.  Through her storytelling and writing workshop sessions, students were able to connect with characters, look at situations from a different point of view, and be creative in their own way. Students who don’t normally show an interest in literacy came alive in these sessions, shining in a way that cannot be replicated in the classroom. I highly recommend having Ms. Todd on your school to share her love of storytelling, knowledge of narrative writing, and energy in making literacy fun!”
Carrie Lynch, Principal, WD Williams Elementary School

“Donna Marie has brings to life the magic of storytelling, the intense process of creating story, and the creativity of young 8th grade minds (not an easy feat). My learning target will say that we are learning what propels a plot forward; is it setting, character development, the voice of the narrator as they tell it? And while she is covering all of this, she’s immersing my kids in the storytelling world which ultimately results in excited, empowered, proud and newly knowledgeable kids performing stories for their peers and others when most were firmly convinced that they could not. It’s why I’ve worked with her for 9 years.”
Krista Langlois, 8th Grade ELA, National Board Certified, Buncombe Co. Teacher of the Year
Charles D Owen Middle School

Her special teaching process lets children engage with their deepest, most thoughtful selves. Her proprietary process (fueled by neuroscience) lets students deeply relax and then quietly harness their active imaginations as she guides them in visualizations of characters, settings, points of view, and story sequence. When children engage with their imaginative selves in internal quiet they develop writing skills they can easily understand and utilize in the classroom.


“I have done residencies with Donna Marie Todd year after year. She levels the playing field to allow all students, regardless of their abilities, to rise to their highest level of creative thought.”
Jim Griffin, 4th Grade Teacher (retired) Black Mountain Elementary, NC