Welcome to Jacqueline Shannon's Website
Jacqueline Shannon

I'm a widely published and award-winning journalist
and author who will happily write for you…
…or help you write what you want to say
…or what you want to remember
…or what you want people to learn from you or to
understand better.

About me

I'm a professional writer with a wide variety of interests, which is why the topics of my 16 books, published by major houses, and my magazine/web articles are so varied. My specialties include health, parenting, psychology, Baby Boomer stuff (I was born near the middle of that great tidal wave), saving money and having fun after 50, buying/selling/improving a home, "drama in real life" narratives…and many other fields whenever a good story or idea comes my way.

I am based in Southern California (mostly San Diego) but I've worked with people all over the world.

Some specifics

I co-write books with experts, celebrities, and anyone else who has an interesting life story or experience to share or knowledge to impart. I collaborated with Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel and creator of the Barbie doll, to write her memoir Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story (Longmeadow Press). Another client was Katie Arons, a Ford plus-size model, who I helped to create the book Sexy at Any Size (Fireside/Simon & Schuster), about winning as a large woman in America. I also partnered up with Doris Tate, the mother of both the Manson Family murder victim Sharon Tate and the Victim's Rights movement in the U.S.

In addition, I'm well in tune to the revolution in self-publishing. You want help with an e-book? I'm your girl.

I write crackling-good book proposals, the multi-page pitches used to sell a publisher on a book idea. I've even taught university classes on this subject (as well as other writing courses; see below). I have 20 years of experience as a book proposal writer, often writing a proposal that leads me to co-write the entire book, as well. Of the 20 book pitches I've written, 18 were sold to major publishers like Random House and Scholastic.

I write my own books, as well. When a book idea consumes me, I run with it. For example, my first eight books were novels for middle-school or teens, because I was pretty fresh from surviving those ages myself. I then switched to nonfiction and all of my books since then have often revolved around the life stage I'm in personally, (such as The New Mother's Body Book (Contemporary Books), or a cause that really excites me (for example, Why It's Great to be a Girl (HarperCollins).

I will be a journalist forever, and now I also write for blogs and websites. My national magazine and newspaper credits include Cosmopolitan (I wrote two monthly columns), Woman's Day, New York Times, Health, Seventeen, Parents, Reader's Digest, Redbook, Success, Glamour, and many others. Among websites, my articles have been featured on Zillow.com, Yahoo.com, About.com, Health.com, RealAge.com, DreamHomesMagazine.com, and, of course, on my other website, GreatToBeAGirl.com.

I am a crackerjack copy editor/proofreader. I attribute this to being a mega-avid reader and having a photographic memory for words. My first client was my dad – I proofread his PhD dissertation when I was 13. I further honed my skills while working for more than a decade as a full-time magazine editor. Since then, I've freelance edited and proofed dozens of articles and manuscripts. My corporate clients have included Dream Communications (publishers of the Dream Homes family of luxury real estate magazines), San Diego Business Journal, and Dion International Trucks, among others.

I teach writing. I've been a writing instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature, Writer's Digest School, the University of California Extension, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). Courses taught include "Writing a Book Proposal," "Using Fiction Techniques in Nonfiction," "How to Show Instead of Tell," "Writing with a Collaborator," and "Writing for Kids." I've also contributed articles to The Writer and Writer's Digest magazines.

My formal education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism (minors in creative writing and history) from San Diego State University. I did graduate work at the University of Maryland/College Park and am a fellow of that university’s Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families.