One Year to a Writing Life:
Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft

by Susan M. Tiberghien

Marlowe & Company, 2007. ISBN 9781600940583.
Reviewed by Robin Edgar
Posted on 10/10/2007

Nonfiction: Creative Life

The title, One Year to a Writing Life, caught my eye. Promising Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft in the subtitle, it struck me as an appropriate book to share with the participants of my recent life-writing retreat. Although I am a professional writer and have been teaching writing for the past ten years, I hoped Susan M. Tiberghien's book would provide fresh inspiration (or at least some new prompts). Reading through her well-organized chapters and sharing some of her tips with the women in my group, I was not disappointed.

Tiberghien started her writing life when she was fifty. In her introduction, she says, "For me it is a life that slows down to touch each moment." The author of three memoirs, she has also successfully managed to navigate the publishing world and placed her work in journals and anthologies. More importantly, she loves to write and share her passion with others.

Comparing writing to gestation, Tiberghien organizes her book so that readers can nurture their stories from the seeds of journal writing to personal and opinion essays and finally, short stories and memoirs. Each section has excellent examples of good writing, outlines, and exercises that encourage new writers without overwhelming them. Generous with advice for the best form, Tiberghien also includes tips from editors in the industry for getting your work published.

One Year to a Writing Life is an easy read with practical information and resources for the beginner and for the seasoned writer. Whether you want to write professionally or for yourself, it is an excellent addition to your personal library.

Susan M. Tiberghien is an American-born writer living in Geneva, Switzerland. The author of three memoirs, she has also published widely in journals and anthologies. She teaches and lectures at graduate programs, at C.G. Jung centers, and at writers' coferences in the U.S. and Europe. Visit her website.

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