One Writer’s path…

Elizabeth Pomada (l) co-founder of San Francisco Writers Conference and Mary E. Knippel

Elizabeth Pomada (l) co-founder of San Francisco Writers Conference and Mary E. Knippel

Have you ever looked around at your life and wondered…how did I get here?

This week I’m bracing for a fast and furious week (Feb. 12-16) at the San Francisco Writers Conference (SFWC). I will be helping out in various capacities:

  • Independent Editor Coordinator:   Assist participants signing up for a Free 8-minute consultations with Independent Editors during the conference (I am also one of the editors)
  • Panel Facilitator & Participant:  Making Your Work Rejection Proof – Advice from Freelance Editors on Thurs., 2/12 at 4:45 p.m.
  • Panel Facilitator:  Finding and Working with the Freelance Editor for You on Sun. at 11 a.m.

I’m going to take a minute to share with you my path…my evolution of participating at this prestigious event catering to everyone and everything in the publishing industry.

Once upon a time, my family moved to the beautiful San Mateo Coastside. I told someone I was a writer. I was introduced to the Andrea Brown, President ofWomen’s National Book Association-San Francisco chapter (WNBA-SF) and Linda Mead, Membership chair , who also lived on the Coastside.  They immediately took me under their wing and ferried me to monthly meetings in the City because I couldn’t imagine driving the streets of San Francisco yet. That’s where I met the founders of the SFWC, Elizabeth Pomada (past president of WNBA-SF) and Michael Larsen (programs chair).   

Over time, my confidence in my writing and my leadership skills grew with a lot of hard work and encouragement from my colleagues and friends in WNBA-SF. I served as president of WNBA-SF and vice-president of the California Writers Club-Peninsula Branch. I sought out and won assignments as a free-lance editor for the monthly CoastViews Magazine. 

At the first SFWC, the job I felt qualified for at the event was…babysitting the purses in the volunteer lounge.

Yes, that’s all I felt I could handle because I didn’t feel ready to go for what I really wanted…to do what I’m doing now…helping other women tell their story, and shining the light so that they can see their gifts.

As you can tell from the list above, my expertise at the conference has evolved along with my confidence and skill-set. When my own editor suggested I help her at the conference as a “Book Doctor,” I jumped in because she’d be there too. When she was unable to continue with the conference, she recommended me for the job with a glowing endorsement.

I’m sharing where I started at the conference to help you see that if you keep showing up and moving forward wonderful things will happen. 

If you stay in one place, nothing will happen.

Stop by the Garden Room during the SFWC and say Hi…or better yet…sign up for a free 8-minute consultation with an Independent Editor!

Show up and Shine!

About Mary E. Knippel

Mary E Knippel, Writer Unleashed and the founder of Your Writing Mentor supports women to take pen in hand to unleash their story worth leverage their impact through their stories...reclaim their polish their words so that they sparkle and shine from the start...and go from making dinner to making a difference. Contact her at mary (at)