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Susanne Remembers. A Mennonite Childhood in Revolutionary Russia

Susanne Willms Thielman. 2009. 176 pages. ISBN. 978–0–9739618–2–9. Hard cover, 11 x 9. Judson Lake House Publishers printed 1,000 copies. Book design by William Glasgow and Neil Klassen. Cover design by William Glasgow.

Project Highlights
In the early 1980s the client (who is ninety-five and whose first language is not English) wrote a draft of her childhood memories growing up in revolutionary Russia. It sat until 2008 when she hired us to organize and edit the manuscript and add material from the journals of other family members. Our involvement included:

  • Developmental, structural, stylistic, and copyediting the manuscript and back cover blurb.
  • Proofreading
  • Reading family diaries, journals, and autobiographies and selecting material to include.
  • Writing a 4000-word background article to give readers the necessary context to make sense of the story.
  • Ghostwriting the preface
  • Consulting with the designer and publisher concerning the front cover.
  • Writing a 700-word media release that resulted in extensive coverage in the print media for the book launch.

To read an excerpt from the book, click here.

To read an excerpt of the media release, click here.


"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.


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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.