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I specialize in six areas.
Editing non-fiction manuscripts,
Helping individuals write their memoirs and families, communities, and organizations compile their histories,
Helping small businesses and non-profits develop promotional copy and web content.
Leading free lifewriting information sessions and fee-for-service lifewriting seminars in British Columbia's Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley.
Manuscript evaluation. Have you taken your non-fiction manuscript as far as you can? Do you need constructive feedback as to how best to prepare it for publication? If so, I can help. I offer comprehensive written evaluations of several thousand words that address theme, structure, audience, point of view, characterization, chronology, pacing and narrative shape, dialogue, scene and summary, and more.
Editing non-fiction manuscripts. I edit books that win awards! I offer every level of editing — developmental, structural, stylistic, copy-editing, and proofreading. I also provide additional writing and ghostwriting services. If you need a book designer, I partner with award-winning designer William Glasgow. He can design a book and cover to meet your specifications and coordinate with the printer of your choice.
Ghostwriting. Do you have a story that needs to be written, but you just don't have the skills or the time? Tell me your story and I'll tell the world -- in your voice.
Memoirs, family stories, and community and corporate histories. Do you have a story that needs telling? Do you want to preserve your story, or that of a relative? Do you want to compile a family, community, or organizational history? I can help you do it. I offer a full range of services from interviewing and ghostwriting to coaching and book design — everything you need to put your story into book form. For more information and to view some samples, visit my website www.lifewriters.ca .
(See our recent release, "Buckerfield: the Story of a Vancouver Family." This lavishly illustrated 100,000-word, 334-page, 10 x 8 casebound coffee table book tells the stories of the Buckerfields (the feed, seed, and fertilizer family). For more information, visit www.lifewriters.ca/buckerfield.
("Matsqui-Sumas Abbotsford Pioneer Stories 1890-1950" is a generously illustrated casebound collection of 199 stories of and by pioneer families in the region. Over 150 people contributed to this 9 x 11 coffee table book that I edited and that the MSA Museum Society published in May 2013. For more information visit www.lifewriters.ca/msapioneers )
"It's Not the Ships" is the wartime memoirs of Canada's most highly decorated submariner, Frederick H. Sherwood, Lt Cdr RCNVR (Ret'd), DSC & Bar. I co-authored, edited, and published this lavishly illustrated casebound memoir that has drawn praise from submariners and naval historians. To read more and order a copy, visit www.its-not-the-ships.com.
Promotional copy and web content for small businesses and non-profits. This includes brochures, newsletters, sales letters, profiles, and web content. I partner with web designers and publication designers to offer full services. For more information and to view some samples, visit my website www.elitewords.com
Free lifewriting information sessions and fee-for-service lifewriting seminars in British Columbia's Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. In order to encourage aspiring do-it-yourself lifewriters, I offer a free two-hour information session that provides an overview of taking your stories from concept to publication and points you to resources to get started. I also facilitate a day-long fee-for-service interactive writing seminar that helps writers develop stategies for successfully negotiating the writing process and overcoming challenges related to truth-telling, trauma, and other subjects.
What my clients are saying:
“As a first time writer, I had a lot to learn about the entire process of getting a book from the initial draft to the final, finished product. . . . Thankfully, I decided to invest in a professional. Philip definitely knows his stuff. He offered objective feedback that caused me to dig deeper. Not only did he strengthen my manuscript, but he has made me a better writer. If you are wondering if it's worth it to hire an editor —it is!” — Sandra Crawford, author of In the Arms of My Beloved: A Journey Through Breast Cancer. Winner, 2010 Word Guild Award for Best Independently Published Non-fiction.
“Philip edited a number of the FVCDC newsletters as well as some promotional material. He was also instrumental in helping us plan and rebuild our website (www.fvcdc.org). He worked closely with several of our staff members as well as the website designer and wrote or edited almost all the content. We found him easy to work with and especially appreciated his ability to make the material easy to understand and navigate for first-time visitors to our website. I would be quite willing to refer him to other organisations.” — Laurie Tattersall, Human Resources Manager, Fraser Valley Child Development Centre.
“Without the help of Philip, 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.” — Joyce Bryant, CM, BEM. Author of Slender Threads: A Memoir.
“In April 2012 the MSA Museum Society hired Philip Sherwood to be managing editor for a new book, MSA Pioneer Stories 1890–1950. Our goal was to collect, edit, and publish a coffee-table book containing accounts from pioneers or their descendants. Philip played a large part in helping us succeed. Among other things he wrote press releases, developed a Mission Statement for the project, trained volunteers to interview participants, crafted the transcripts into engaging stories, developed project timelines, edited and proofread the resulting 199 articles, helped choose photos, wrote photo captions, helped design promotional posters, and collaborated with the book designer, printer, and Museum staff members. He even MC’d the book launch!
“The collaboration between Philip and Bill Glasgow, the book and cover designer, was seamless, and MSA Pioneer Stories 1890 – 1950 is as much a treat for the eye as for the mind. It has been very well received in the community, and it certainly would not be the success it is without Philip’s participation. He is truly a professional in his field — very detail oriented and leaving nothing to chance — and working with him over the last year has been a great learning experience and a distinct pleasure. I hope that this is not the last of our work together.” -- Dorothy van der Ree, Executive Director, MSA Museum
The Abbotsford Arts Council awarded me the 2014 Arty Award for Outstanding Artist in the Literary Arts.
Would you like to learn more? Email me or call toll-free at 1-800-864-9152. I'd be happy to discuss your project with you and offer suggestions. It won't cost a cent.
- Consulting and manuscript evaluation
- Copy editing
- Developmental or project editing
- On-screen editing
- Structural and substantive editing
- Stylistic editing
- Books, general
- Books, self-help
- Books, self-published
- Business materials, general
- Manuals and how-to books
- Public relations materials
- Religion and spirituality