The Magic of Memoir!

magic of memoir, Jill Kandel, anthology

The Magic of Memoir in my life.

Months and months ago, I met Brooke Warner, C0-founder of She Writes Press, and Linda Joy Meyers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers.

They were putting together an anthology and doing a contest. They said, “Send us an essay.”

The essay contest was asking these questions:

  • Share their stories of hard-earned wisdom.
  • We want to learn how you dealt with the inner critic, or the practical strategies that provided motivation to write about the dark times your story might have brought up.
  • Share with us the lessons you earned from the mistakes you made on this journey, and how you overcame them.
  • Tell us what inspired you, what kept you going, and most of all why you tackled the challenge of writing a memoir.

Months and months ago, I went home from that conference and sat down and wrote an essay. And rewrote it. And rewrote it again.

Then I sent it in to them. And life went on. And I forgot. Almost.

Last week, I got an email from Brooke and Linda Joy.

  • Dear Jill,
    Huge congratulations! Your piece has not only been accepted for publication in our anthology, The Magic of Memoir: Inspiration for the Writing Journey, but you’ve won second place! We were very moved by your piece. It’s beautiful—poetic and evocative. We’re thrilled to invite you to join this collection.


There’s a fine list of essayists and authors who will be interviewed in The Magic of Memoir. Including Mary Karr (author of The Liars’ Club) Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic) and Dani Shapiro (author of Still Writing)! I am so amazed to be included in an anthology with these well-know and crazy good authors!

Here’s a list of all the essayists chosen to be in The Magic of Memoir.

And a POST on the “Real Magic” of reading and choosing the winners.

Pre-Buy a copy. 

And what is my essay, “Writing the Silence Away” about?

It’s about writing for fourteen years and how the writing opened doors of communication between my husband and myself. It’s about fights we had. And ways we walked through and past those differences. It’s about the silences I held in my life and how I learned to let them go. It’s about the blessing of writing, the power it gave me, and how I use writing now as I teach women in jail. In short: it’s about my life and the whole magical process of being alive and making sense of everything, because in so many ways, writing for me is life.

Jill Kandel
  • Mary Austin
    Posted at 08:52h, 02 August Reply

    Jill, congratulations! What wonderful news! I’m looking forward to reading your essay, and the whole book.

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 00:26h, 03 August Reply

      Thank you, Mary! I’m really happy about this essays, too!

  • Kelly Greer
    Posted at 08:54h, 02 August Reply

    Crazy excited for you. Cannot wait to read your words here. What a well deserved honor!

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 00:27h, 03 August Reply

      Hey, Kelly! Thank you. I’m excited to get my hands on the book and read it, too!

  • Gianna Anderson
    Posted at 09:03h, 02 August Reply

    I really really want it, and want to read it. Really really really want to. ❤

  • Ingrid Lochamire
    Posted at 17:29h, 02 August Reply

    So very excited, Jill, and anxious to read your essay. What a wonderful honor! I know your words will encourage others to allow their own words to bring healing and hope to their lives.

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 00:29h, 03 August Reply

      Hi Ingrid! Thank you!! It’s such a strange thing, this writing life, and how our words touch other people. I know your words to the same. Blessings!

  • Gerri Leach
    Posted at 22:45h, 02 August Reply

    Congratulations Jill! Thrilled for you and the acknowledgement a your God given gift is earning you!
    Be blessed as you continue living & writing! Thanks for sharing that passion with the ladies in jail.

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 00:30h, 03 August Reply

      Thanks, Gerri! You are an inspiration to me in also sharing your gifts and passions in this old world of ours.

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