Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Sharon IMGP5889 (2)

Note: Sharon no longer accepts clients for research, editing, or writing projects.

She recommends Jim for all projects. He is also an experienced researcher, editor, and writer, as well as publisher.

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack is a Certified Genealogist® with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing. She has been certified by Board for Certification of Genealogists® for thirty-five years. 

Sharon is the author of twenty-eight books and hundreds of articles, essays,  columns, and reviews that have appeared in nearly every major genealogical journal and publication. Some of her books include Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief, You Can Write Your Family History, Carmack’s Guide to Copyright & Contracts, Your Guide to Cemetery Research, the biography In Search of Maria B. Hayden: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K., and If We Can Winter This: Essays and Genealogies, The Gordon Family of County Leitrim, Ireland, and The Norris Family of County Tyrone, (now) Northern Ireland. Sharon’s memoir, Midlife Medium: A Genealogist’s Quest to Converse with the Dead, was published by Köehler Books in June 2022. Her newest book, Madame Restell: The True Story of New York City’s Most Notorious Abortionist, Her Early Life, Family, and Murder was released in October 2023.

Her work has also appeared in writing and literary publications: Literary Hub, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Hippocampus Magazine (where her essay, “Switched at Midlife” won “Most Memorable” and was one of ten essays selected for the Best of Hippocampus, May 2013), Literary Hub, Wilderness House Literary Review, Portland Review, Steinbeck Review, Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Chronicle, and Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art (where her essay received Honorable Mention in the annual Creative Nonfiction Contest). Sharon’s essays have been finalists in contests for the Bellingham Review’s Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction and in Creative Nonfiction’s True Crime contest, and for publication in River Teeth and Calyx. In addition, Sharon serves on the editorial board of Steinbeck Review and is an assistant editor for Brevity.

Sharon received the Spiritualists’ National Union John McIndoe Prize in 2018 for the highest score earned in the Diploma advanced courses and the The Olive Haywood Award for Achievement in recognition of achievement over and above what is usually expected of candidates undertaking the Spiritualists’ National Union accreditation or awards. Her thesis was “Spirit Rapping, Spiritoscope, and Psychometry: The Mediumship of Maria B. Hayden, M.D.,” which she expanded into the biography In Search of Maria B. Hayden, M.D.: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K.

Sharon is on the English adjunct faculty of Southern New Hampshire University, and the genealogy adjunct faculty for Salt Lake Community College’s online Certificate in Genealogical Research and Writing program. She also teaches online writing classes for Writer’s Digest University.

Along with a BA (summa cum laude) in English from Regis University, Sharon holds a Diploma in Irish Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and she earned her MFA (with Distinction) in Creative Nonfiction Writing from National University. Sharon also  holds an Advanced Academic Diploma in Spiritualist History from the Spiritualists’ National Union in the U.K.

Visit Sharon’s author website

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