Do you struggle with writing about your business and your life?

So many people have a story to tell, and they don’t think it has value or matters…they feel frustrated and invisible.

 Mary E Knippel, Writer Unleashed at YourWritingMentor.com, is fiercely committed to utilizing her 30-year career as a journalist to help you feel validated and seen to share your story powerfully so your ideal clients recognize that you are their answer and hire you. 

Mary is committed to  inspiration, compassion, and synchronicity. It is her mission to support you to be visible, vibrant and successful in sharing the story you were born to deliver to the world.

If you are looking for a proven professional who uses her experience as a journalist to ask provocative questions to uncover the heart of your message with clarity and compassion, help you craft the compelling story of your business, and put you on the path to being recognized as an expert in your field, you’ve come to the right place. 

Mary’s clients come to her when they are paralyzed about where to begin, what to say and how to make sense of the life-changing message they know they are here to deliver. Mary is someone who believes passionately in her clients and the importance of their message. If you work with her, Mary will not only help you gain confidence in your writing abilities to find the words and the way to share your unique story; she makes it fun!

Mary began her path to becoming Your Writing Mentor by writing in her own journal at the age of 11 and progressed to Humor Editor for her high school paper with visions of becoming the next Erma Bombeck. Marriage, raising a family, moving across country…twice…and breast cancer…twice…have given her plenty of journal material and the basis for her upcoming book, “The Secret Artist,” part memoir and part self-help as it chronicles the pivotal role creativity played in her recovery from breast cancer. 

Mary’s first journal. This is the one Mary hid from her brother who wanted to read what she was writing!

As a speaker, Mary calls on humor and compassion to inspire audiences to stop hiding in the shadows, living life in the safe fringe, and to step out into the spotlight to be seen. She stresses the importance of each individual and not to live a life of regret. Mary shares the story of how her family came to her with an unusual request. Her older brother had passed away and they wanted her to write the eulogy. She not only wrote the eulogy, she delivered such a heart-felt story about her brother the entire congregation was smiling through their tears.

Speaking at the funeral solidified Mary’s confidence as a speaker. Several years later (after facing down her own mortality with a breast cancer diagnosis for a second time), she fully embraced the message “you matter…your story matters,” giving talks, such as her signature talk entitled, “The Pen’s in Your Hand-Unleash Your Story Worth Writing,” and workshops to inspire audiences with the desire to live their best life.

What lights Mary up about this work is knowing that through our work together your words will sparkle and shine and compel the audience you are meant to connect with to take action because they know your core message, who you are and what you do. You can feel confident engaging Mary to guide you and your organization to solve these problems.

What sets Mary apart from other service providers is that she has been where you are in struggling to find the words and to string them together in just the right order. She knows the triumph and that feeling of joy when you find the right combination of exactly the right words to convey exactly what you what you want to say, and to evoke the response you are looking for.  She can help you avoid the pitfalls of an aspiring writer and the challenge of a solo-preneur who fall prey to becoming overwhelmed with details and inundated with the many steps of building this new endeavor. 

Five things about Mary and her experience that might surprise and delight you…

  1. Mary’s mentor Sarah Ban Breathnach, New York Times best-selling author of Simple Abundance and Peace & Plenty, wrote the foreword for her upcoming book, The Secret Artist-give yourself permission to let your creativity shine.
  2. Mary believes passionately that everyone is creative in their own way and encourages everyone to go where their curiosity takes them…go ahead…follow the whimsy!
  3. The first time Mary was on stage at age 5, she froze and forgot her lines. She didn’t get a speaking role again until the 8th grade. Shy, quiet Mary speaks up all the time now!
  4. Mary has 13 stitches in her left knee from a motorcycle accident, which happened the day before her first date…to go motorcycle riding.
  5. Mary grew up on a farm and not only does she understand the characters in NPR’s Garrison Keillor Lake Wobegon stories, she’s met their counterparts in her Minnesota hometown.

One of Mary’s clients described working with her like this:  “Mary is like a Master Baker of writers. She knows how to mix, knead and ‘let rise’ the letters that are in my mind. I have the ingredients; the ideas, feelings, and mental images. With Mary’s help, I can write what everyone will want to savor. Like a fine chef, she will help you knead your thoughts and shape your words until you can put them on paper. Then she will help you fine tune those words so your thoughts can be presented like a masterpiece. Great words served with a side of Mary.”

Leading Unleash Your Story! Workshops and working one-on-one with clients who are serious about claiming their voice to tell their stories are among her favorite ways to make a difference for her clients.

Clients rave about her ability to break down large projects into manageable chunks, big picture ideas, implementation tips and the step-by-step guidance they receive without having to make a long term or big budget commitment. Guiding other to achieve winning results they can feel in their balance sheets is her passion and commitment. Mary is a DIY writing mentor blogger and someone who inspires business owners to take control of their storytelling and media opportunities through consistent winning actions every day. She was also a personal profile contributor for the Bay Area CoastViews Magazine.

In June 1984, Mary graduated from the University of Minnesota, School of Journalism at the ripe old age of 34. She and her husband also adopted a 6-week-old baby girl in April of that year.  In November of that same year, she landed her first “professional” job as an Editorial Assistant for BUYlines Magazine, a local weekly shopper. It was also her favorite job (except for motherhood) until she became Your Writing Mentor.

Everything Mary recommends to clients is based on tips she has put to the test to earn great results for scores of Bay Area-based clients and her own thriving practice. If she could transform from just another carpool mom and secretary to Your Writing Mentor by following her own advice, just imagine what is possible for your own growing business when you invite her to apply her direct-from-the-trenches, proven storytelling and writing tips, and winning track record to your own advantage. 

Katherine Graham said, “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun.” You matter and your story matters. The time to begin is Now! 

Similar benefits await when you decide to invite Mary to serve in the powerful ways that she can support your success. Book Mary to speak to your group. Download her speaker sheet at http://yourwritingmentor.com.

Does the question “Now What?” echo as a vague whisper or a loud demand?  Have you spent your whole life taking care of others and now look up to discover your family has grown up, your marital status has changed, or you are experiencing health problems? Perhaps your children have grown, or your job has been reorganized?

Mary knows how you feel and helps you along the journey from the woman you no longer recognize to the woman you want to become.

One of her goals she is no longer putting off is writing her memoir. The author of The Secret Artist, give yourself permission to let your creativity shine! Mary invites you to discover how tapping into your creativity has amazing power.  

After two breast cancer diagnosis,  Mary is passionate about encouraging everyone not to wait until they have a health crisis to UNLEASH and take care of themselves.

You too can create your rewrite your story and craft your own happily ever after. 

Mary believes good copywriting is more than just clever words; it is words that work to convey the desired outcome of every sentence. Her method of persuasive storytelling combines your professional story with your personal insights. Asking pertinent and precise questions about your project and anticipated goals Mary creates a story, the story of your business, which draws each reader in and inspires them to respond.

Mary helps her clients move from concept to creation whatever the project:  web text, personal profiles, newsletters, e-mail campaigns, blog posts, articles or artful taglines. Using her skills as a free-lance writer, editor, speaker, and workshop facilitator, Mary encourages everyone to overcome their reluctance to embrace their writing potential and address writing challenges with fun and flair.

As a member of the Polka Dot Powerhouse Network, Mary has embraced another opportunity to build relationships with women who are passionate about making a difference in the world. This unique connection company has provided opportunities as part of the Half Moon Bay chapter, as a speaker at various other chapters, as a member of the Advisory Board and as a Breakout Speaker for the national convention, Celebation 2017!

Mary E Knippel and Sandi Krakowski Copywriter Certification July 2012

Mary E Knippel and Sandi Krakowski Copywriter Certification July 2012


Mary E Knippel and Teresa LeYung-Ryan presenting at SFWC 2012 web

Mary E Knippel and Teresa LeYung-Ryan presenting at SFWC 2012

As a Developmental Editor, Mary helps aspiring writers with their creative projects, and entrepreneur put their message into print. As a speaker and facilitator, she moderated the “Healthy Living” panel at the 2010 Northern California Storybook & Literature Festival as well as participating as a panelist at the 2010 New Media Film Festival-San Francisco Bay Area.

Mary at work at SFWC

Mary on stage at Rebecca Hall Gruyter’s Women’s Empowerment Series

Professional Organizations:

Bay Area Independent Publishers Association

Bay Area Travel Writers (panel participant) 

California Writers Club-Peninsula Branch (past vice president, Mentoring Facilitator, speaker) 

National Association of Memoir Writers (panel participant) 

National Association of University Women – Half Moon Bay Branch (panel facilitator)

Polka Dot Powerhouse Network Connection Company – Half Moon Bay Chapter (Advisory Board, chapter meeting speaker and Breakout Session Speaker 2017 Celebration) 

San Francisco Writers Conference (speaker, coach, and Independent Editor Coordinator) 

Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter (Past President and Advisory Board)

Women’s Empowerment Series (speaker, panel participant at multiple events)

Women’s Speakers Association 


The pen is in your hand. Discover your story worth writing! Sign up for a complimentary Unleash Your Story Consultation today! 


  Mary’s column, Live a Life Unleashed!” is currently appearing in this quarterly magazine. Grab your complimentary subscription here.
  Mary wrote a guest blog for her friend Nina Amir, and Nina assembled the wisdom of the experts into an e-book. Available on Amazon!
  No matter what you may have faced in life, reading these motivational essays, from over 30 powerful authors, will help nourish the soul. Reading this book, full of expert self-help tips, will send robust rays of sunlight to SHINE into the lives of women and men across this great nation. “Come Out of Hiding and SHINE” will bring hope to those wishing for a better tomorrow, will provide encouragement to those seeking a less stress filled life, and will help readers acknowledge that hiding doesn’t work.  Grab your copy here!
    We are honored to bring this transformational book, Bloom Where You Are Planted and SHINE! This powerful anthology includes over 25 powerful authors who share their personal stories, first-hand experiences, and expert tips to help you Bloom and SHINE in your life. Reading and sharing this book will encourage Women and Men around the world to Bloom and SHINE! May you always choose to Bloom and SHINE (share your gifts with the world)!”  Released Sept. 15, 2017
    What is the legacy you have inherited and made your own from the wisdom of your elders? This book captures multiple stories of the women who have gone before us and shaped us into th women we are today. To be released early 2018.


Mary’s memoir, (work in progress)THE SECRET ARTIST – give yourself permission to let your creativity shine! is an inspirational account of her breast cancer experience and the tremendous healing powers we can all access when we tap into our creativity.

A graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of Minnesota, her work has appeared in Minnesota, Colorado, and California. She has also used her skills as a writer and editor to help the community and promote non-profit organizations including The Junior League of Colorado Springs, Another MOTHER Newsletter, Cheyenne Mountain Elementary, Colorado Springs REVIEW MagazinesPARENTS PLUSColorado Springs Business Journal, and Half Moon Bay Review and Pescadero Pebble. For the past decade, she has been a writer for CoastViews Magazine.