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"Carrillo evokes the wonder and confusion of first love in his debut YA novel."   
        -Kirkus Reviews

"Dominic Carrillo lets us imagine—through his thoughtfully rendered teenage narrators—what an individual life means, and how much each one matters.”
     —Rachel DeWoskin, award-winning author of
'Someday We Will Fly'

"Nia and the Dealer is a beautiful story. Bravo, Dominic Carrillo. Keep stories like this coming, not just for young adults but for all of us.” 

Dominic Carrillo is a teacher and award-winning writer from San Diego, California. Dominic earned both his bachelor and master's degrees from UCLA, where he began creative writing. His stories in San Diego Reader  magazine led him to publish his first novel To Be Frank Diego  (2012).


Since the publication of The Improbable Rise of Paco Jones  (winner of the SDBA for best YA, 2017) Dominic has focused on writing young adult novels with universal coming-of-age themes. The Unusual Suspects  (SDBA winner & IAN Book Award finalist) was released in 2018 and translated into Bulgarian soon after. His short story "Ghetto is Not an Adjective" is featured in the YA collection Living Beyond Borders (Penguin 2021). His latest YA novel, Acts of Resistance (Santa Monica Press 2023), is based on the true story of how 50,000 Bulgarian Jews were saved from the Holocaust. 


Dominic speaks at library events,  schools, and conferences. He lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria and is working on his next YA novel.

"As a librarian, I strongly recommend Carrillo's book (and his visit!).  Paco Jones is an ambassador for teens making sense of their place in a new school and with new friends."
       -Dr. John Kurtenbach, librarian

"Dominic is an engaging presenter for students of all ages. He captured students attention with funny, relevant anecdotes from his own life and challenged students to be creative, imaginative and brave."

      -Pam York, librarian

"Dominic Carrillo talks about peer pressure and the fleetingness of fame and popularity, and how in the end, you must be yourself. It is a nice, fast read for anyone, and a great story for kids trying to find out where they fit in."

SDBA interview
Bulgarian TV interview
Creative Writing Podcast interview

Born to Write  Podcast  interview 

Imperial Valley Press article

Sopris Sun article

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