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New Release:
"Matsqui Sumas Abbotsford Pioneer Stories 1890-1950"
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Memoirs -- also known as personal histories or life stories -- are the most popular and versatile projects that we offer. They generally take two forms.
A complete life story, or autobiography, spans a person’s life, usually in a chronological format. Memoirs — enormously popular nowadays — take a slice-of-life approach, dealing with certain events or a specific era of the story-teller's life. Either format can run from several dozen to several hundred pages and be supplemented by photos and other memorabilia.
Life stories are characterized not just by the recounting of dry facts that make up a life, but rather by the details, stories, anecdotes, struggles, joys, thoughts, reflections, and humour that give life to that life—as seen by you, the storyteller.
For some, preserving their life’s stories is a chance to reminisce, recount anecdotes and family stories, old and new.Others want to include as much family history as they can. Some look forward to reflecting on the events of their lives — trying to figure it all out, make some sense of it, and maybe pass on some lessons. And others see it as a chance to expound on their personal or political passions.
Most life stories have a bit of everything, and if they’re well told and come from the heart they exude life and make for a compelling read.
The process of committing your story to paper can be empowering and rewarding, partly because you, the storyteller, get to make the rules.
You’re in charge. This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to tell it your way — your take on your life. You take the project where you think it should go. You determine your goals, who your audience is, what you want to say, how you want to say it, and what you should include and leave out. You have the final say.
Of course, we’re beside you every step of the way. Whether you want us to organize the entire process, or just need help in one or two areas, we can help you tell and preserve your story.
Many storytellers ask us to facilitate the entire process. They just want to talk -- concentrate on telling their story and not be bothered with all the details. We love taking care of the details — doing everything necessary to make it easy for you to tell your story. (For more details, please read The Process).
Some storytellers just need help with a particular part of the process. Perhaps they have already written their story and need an editor. Or they want help designing and printing the book. Or they simply need a coach — someone to offer advice, encouragement, support, feedback, and a listening ear.
Whatever assistance you need to tell and preserve your story, we can probably provide it. We’re sensitive, patient, and professional, and we’ll ensure that the finished product clearly reflects your voice and personality. 

So if you’d like some help in telling your story, give me a call at 800.864.9152 or email me. I would enjoy discussing your ideas in a free, no-obligation consultation.

Click here to see some life story books that our clients have written.

Family Histories
Family histories are complex projects that usually require interviewing several family members and researching several generations of a family tree.
If you would like to discuss chronicling the history of your family, give me a call or email us. Tell us about your ideas in a no-obligation consultation. It won’t cost you anything.
Click here to see an example of a family history. 
Ethical Wills
Ethical wills — also known as Legacy Letters — preserve information about yourself that you want to pass on to future generations. They usually take the form of a letter and focus less on the events of your life, emphasizing your hopes, beliefs, and values.
For many, writing an ethical will represents the opportunity to answer the questions, “What have I learned from life? What values, hopes, and beliefs do I want to bequeath to my children and grandchildren and others who come after me?”
Ethical wills are popular, and not just with the elderly. Adults of all ages have discovered the truth of Socrates’ observation that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Pausing at different stages in life to try and make sense of it all and identify and reflect on core personal values is a rewarding experience.
Rite-of-passage events such as births, weddings, anniversaries, and deaths, are ideal occasions to create ethical wills and share them with loved ones. Many testify that the experience is strengthening and therapeutic and often draws parents and adult children closer.
The process of creating an ethical will is relatively simple and can be completed in as little as a month. We can help you plan the project. Then we’ll interview you, transcribe and edit the manuscript, and format the finished product. You’ll be in control of the entire process and the final document will be your words in your voice.
If you'd like to learn more about ethical wills, give me a toll-free call at 800.864.9152 or email me. I’d be happy to explain and talk about your ideas in a free, no-obligation consultation. 
Tribute Books and Memorials
Tribute books, or memorial books, are a wonderful way to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one who has passed away, ensuring that he or she will not be forgotten.
A complete tribute book is compiled from a number of sources. These include letters, diaries, written testimonials, photos and memorabilia, and interviews with family members and close friends.
We can help you plan, write, and publish a tribute book. We work with you to plan the project and then interview you and others as necessary. After we compile documents and complete any research, we weave all the material together into an engaging narrative.
     Once revisions are completed and you are satisfied with the manuscript, we’ll scan and place photos and documents, design the book and cover, and oversee the printing and binding. (For more information, read The Process).
Throughout the process, you’re in control. We consult with you every step of the way, and you always have the final say.   
If you would like to commission a Tribute book, give me a toll-free call at 800.864.9152 or email me. In a free, no-obligation consultation, we can discuss the project and see how we can help.
Click here to see a tribute book
Corporate Histories
A well-written, professionally published history of your organization is sure to please employees, clients, and members of the community.
Corporate histories are similar to life stories except that they relate the story of an organization —businesses, schools, clubs, churches, associations, and museums. They are collective biographies in that they recount and explain the visions, values, successes, and challenges that made the organisation what it is today.
These projects are carried out in much the same manner as life stories. We help you define the scope and parameters of the project and then conduct any necessary research. Then we interview several of the individuals who played key roles in the life of the organization. These transcripts, coupled with research into the social and cultural context, are crafted into a narrative that is engaging and readable.
      Once you are satisfied with the manuscript, we scan and place photos, documents, and other memorabilia and then design the book and cover. The final step is overseeing the printing and binding process. 

Click here to see an example of a corporate history.

If you need help compiling and preserving your organization’s history, give me a toll-free call at 800.864.9152 or email us. We can discuss your plans in a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Philip Sherwood


"Without Philip's help, I could never have written and published my memoirs. Not only is the finished product much better than I ever could have imagined, but the whole process was very rewarding. Philip and his team are professional in every sense of the word, and I benefited first hand from his intuitive editing skills - his ability to rearrange a passage with skill and subtlety without sacrificing anything of the narrative. And all done with a lightness and humour that makes working together pure fun.

"He also taught me the satisfaction of discipline and deadlines! Now that the book is completed, there will be a sad silence at 10.00 p.m., when we had most of our working conversations - I'm a night owl and that's my prime time! Thank you, dear Philip!"

- Joyce Bryant, CM, BEM, author of Slender Threads.


Sample Publications



Read More... provides a broad range of services in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. These include freelance editor, freelance writer, ghost writer, publication design, book design, personal historian, transcription services, memoirs, family history, corporate history, life stories, biographies, autobiographies. Lifewriters is a member of the Association of Personal Historians and the Editors' Association of Canada.