We´re thrilled to announce that the retreat will be led by
ghostwriter and editor Marnie Summerfield Smith from Your Memoir
Marnie, from Whitstable, says, "I became a journalist in 2001 and immediately gravitated towards interviewing local characters for profile pieces. I knew that where there are people there are stories. As I progressed in my career and began working for national newspapers and magazines I did more interviews by phone and missed the face-to-face contact.
Then, in 2008, I wrote a 1,200 word piece for The Sun about a soldier who had been injured in Afghanistan. I felt there was more to the story than a double-page feature so I contacted a literary agent and he secured a book deal. I was back in my car, out and about spending days upon days with the soldier, his fiancée, his colleagues, the chap who rescued him, his surgeon, the nurses on the burns unit and his family. That book was the first to be published with a foreword by HRH Duke of Cambridge and eventually became 96,000 words, confirming to me going in-depth and working on projects where the author rather than a magazine editor, had creative control was where my heart lay.
I knew that there were many people who wanted to write memoirs but who might not get a commercial publishing deal so I set up my company to help them. Since 2011 I have worked with more than 50 authors aged 22 to 95. I ghostwrite, edit, teach and also mentor - helping people to learn on the job - as all writers do! I help people go from the essential messy first draft to polished final product. I assist with content, structure, dialogue and detail ensuring that every project incorporates the three essential elements of good memoir: the what happened, the context and the emotional impact.
In size the books have ranged between 20,000 words and 100,000 words and on topics from adoption, cancer, adventure and overcoming adversity to surviving war, careers in show-business, spirit contact, business and even life as a Playboy bunny. Many of my authors' lives might be considered by publishers to be unremarkable but I consider every life to be unique, precious and worth recording. Most people I work with have kept their books private, printing copies for family and friends, some have self-published but all of them have found the process to be life-changing and empowering. Whatever your story and wherever you are in the process, I can help you".