I’m the owner of lifewriters.ca and our principal writer, editor, and interviewer. I also manage projects from start to finish, making sure that all the details are attended to. Since 2004, when I started lifewriters.ca, I’ve remained enthusiastic about helping individuals, families, and organizations tell their stories. It’s enormously rewarding to see people drawing, as someone put it, the extraordinary out of their seemingly “ordinary” lives. As a result, I have become convinced that just as there is no “normal,” there is no ordinary.
A key to the success of any storytelling project is that the process is centred on the narrator(s) — honouring their wishes at every stage and ensuring that their story is told in their voice and preserved in a format of their choosing. That’s important to me. While I facilitate and provide professional assistance, the wishes of the narrator must ultimately guide the process.
In addition to my BA in Adult Education and Provincial Instructor’s Diploma, I have received invaluable professional training in the Writing and Publishing Program at Simon Fraser University where I completed three certificates: Editing, Publishing, and Marketing. I also keep up with new developments by attending workshops and conferences sponsored by Editors’ Canada.
For do-it-yourself storytellers, I teach classes on lifewriting at museums and community centres. I also give talks on a pro bono basis to authors’ groups, service organizations, museums, libraries, seniors’ clubs, and retirement residences.
In 2014 and 2018, the Abbotsford Arts Council honoured my work by awarding me their Arty Award for Literary Merit.
In all my professional dealings, I endeavour to be guided by our Code of Ethics, which was developed by the (defunct) Association of Personal Historians.
Writing and Publishing Program, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C.
- Profile Writing
- Journalist Interviews
- Creative Magazine Writing: Stories that Live
- Symposium on the Book: From Memories to Memoir
- Skillful Structural Editing
- Developing an In-House Style Guide
- Building Your Editing Business
- Clear and Concise: Guidelines for Style
- Annual Conference 2011, Vancouver, B.C.
- Annual Conference, 2016, Vancouver B.C.
Writers’ Union of Canada
- Making the Leap to Writing as a Career
Association of Personal Historians
- Annual Conference 2006. Portland, Oregon
- Program Committee, 2010 Conference. Victoria, B.C.
- Annual Conference 2010, Victoria, B,C.
- Program Committee 2011 Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Program Committee 2012 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri
Museum of Performance and Design, San Francisco, CA
- Annual Legacy Oral History Workshop, 2009
Author / Editor Clinic, Seattle, WA
- Manuscript Session
- Developmental Editing — Book-length Creative Nonfiction
- The Business of Freelance Developmental Editing
- Editors’ Canada
- B.C. Federation of Writers
- Abbotsford Arts Council
PROBUS, Abbotsford, November 19, 2018
The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, October 31, 2018
North Shore Writers’ Association, North Vancouver, May 11, 2015
Langley Centennial Museum, “Art of the Book” lecture series, Langley, April 23, 2015
Learning Plus, Abbotsford, February 7, 2015
Canadian Authors Association, Vancouver branch, January 14, 2015
The Reach Museum, Abbotsford, January 6, 2015
Ottawa Public Library, October 4, 2014
Royal B.C. Museum, Victoria, August 6, 2014
Rotary Club, Abbotsford, April 2, 2014
(in partnership with The Reach Gallery Museum, MSA Museum, Surrey Museum, Learning Plus, and Port Moody Public Library)
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Abbotsford, October 24, 2018
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Surrey, February 25, 2017
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Surrey, October 27, 2016
Writing Your Life Story (6 hours), Surrey, February 25, 2016
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Surrey, February 18, 2016
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Port Moody, January 30, 2016
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Learning Plus, Abbotsford, December 1, 2015
Lifewriting Interview Skills (3 hours), Abbotsford, June 27, 2015
Writing Your Life Story (6 hours), Abbotsford, May 23, 2015
Book and Cover Design and Self-Publishing (3 hours), Abbotsford, March 28, 2015
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Abbotsford, March 21, 2015
Lifewriting Interview Skills (3 hours), Abbotsford, March 7, 2015
Writing Your Life Story (6 hours), Abbotsford, February 28, 2015
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Abbotsford, January 31, 2015
Writing Your Life Story (5 hours), Abbotsford, November 22, 2014
Lifewriting: Free Information Session, Abbotsford, September 20 2014
Lifewriting: Free Information Session, Abbotsford, April 19, 2014
Writing Your Life Story (5 hours), Abbotsford, November 18, 2012
Lifewriting Free Information Session, Abbotsford, October 18, 2012
An Introduction to Lifewriting, Abbotsford, June 7, 2008