Memoir

Telling Your Personal Story

Telling Your Personal Story

Dear Rachelle, People are always telling me, “You should write a book!” For years I have been ignoring them, but more and more people are telling me that I shouldn’t let my experiences be wasted, that I need to share them because they are not only inspirational, they will make people laugh, make them cry, and…
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When Should You Write Your Memoir?

I just finished reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed. This is an incredible book, a bestseller since its release in March, about the author’s 1,100 (that’s eleven hundred) mile solo hike through California and Oregon. She undertook the hike as a way of coping with devastating…
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the end

Should You Write the Whole Book?

Classic wisdom for unpublished authors seeking traditional publication has been this: If you’re writing a novel (fiction), you need a complete manuscript. If you’re writing non-fiction, you need a book proposal plus two or three sample chapters. If you’re writing a memoir, who knows — everybody has a different opinion. Here’s what is true and…
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Memoirs of Overcoming Adversity

I apologize for the late post today… Internet issues! Dear Rachelle, I’ve heard you talk about how difficult it is to sell a “personal story of overcoming adversity.” You’ve mentioned you won’t consider this kind of memoir unless the author has a significant platform and the story has built-in marketing potential and an obvious media hook. Would this include…
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Resources for Writing Memoir

Last week I tweeted this advice on writing memoir: “Please don’t submit your memoir until you’ve read 20 good memoirs and 5 books on writing memoir – and learned from them.” I was serious about that. We are overrun with queries for memoirs these days, and 95% of them are not written well enough to…
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Memoir Guidelines

Alexis Grant asked: Would you consider a post on memoir guidelines, since memoir falls somewhere between fiction and nonfiction in many ways? For my travel memoir, should I query when I have a proposal and several sample chapters, like nonfiction, or wait until the manuscript is complete, like fiction? What’s the usual word-count window for…
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I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.