SDMWA Founder and Programs Chair, Writing Coach
Marni Freedman (BFA, LMFT) is a produced, published, and award-winning writer. After graduating as an award-winning student from the USC School of Filmic Writing, Marni began her career with her play, “Two Goldsteins on Acid,” which was produced in Los Angeles. She worked as a script doctor for top film companies and worked as a script agent for the Mary Sue Seymour Agency. One of her plays was made into a film, “Playing Mona Lisa,” and was produced by Disney. She teaches at San Diego Writers Ink, UCSD Extension, The Center for Creative Aging, runs the successful San Diego Writers Network and produces a yearly theatrical Memoir Showcase. This year, Marni received an award for her touring one man show, A Jewish Joke and edited the Anthology, The Literary Vine published by Wolfheart Press. Marni is also a therapist for artists and writers. Her first book on writing, 7 Essential Writing Tools: That Will Absolutely Make Your Writing Better (And Enliven the Soul) was recently published and is an Amazon Bestseller. Her next book, The Memoir Map, will be released in November 2017. You can also find Marni at thefeistywriter.com, a writing hub to help writers find and believe in their authentic voice.
After spending twenty years in the corporate world launching new businesses and creating and executing sales and marketing strategies, Danielle is transitioning into more creative pursuits. Currently at work on her memoir, she is also very involved in both the local writing and non-profit community, working with Kids Included Together, Empower Charter School, and the San Diego Memoir Writers Association. Danielle received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Vanderbilt University and is currently blogging at her site at daniellebbaldwin.com.
Shawna is a missing-person advocate who works creating public awareness for missing persons and supports those left behind.
Currently, Shawna lends her support to Senate Bill 1087 which will create a new Senate government position aimed at helping families cope when a loved one goes missing in the state of Missouri. Unfortunately, there is no Federal Interstate program coordinating the search for missing persons and support for their families and loved ones. Shawna works tirelessly with individual state programs in the hopes to someday bring forth a national program that brings together missing person searches and support across state jurisdictions.
Shawna worked tirelessly as a vocal advocate and supporter of California Senate Bill 1322 that was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2016. SB1322 is a human trafficking law that will not criminalize underage victims with prosecution.
Shawna owns a thriving esthetics business in La Jolla, Calif. In her spare time, she can be found reading on the sands of San Diego’s local beaches, touring the coastline on her paddleboard, or teaching paddle yoga in San Diego’s Mission Bay. Shawna is completing her first memoir, about her family’s struggles having a missing loved one and her contrasting experience working on high-profile missing child cases.
Board Member and Webmaster, Personal Branding and Author Websites
Jeniffer Thompson is a personal branding expert and digital marketing strategist with more than 20 years experience in the publishing industry. She is the Founder and Principal at Monkey C Media, an award-winning design firm specializing in book packaging, author websites, and digital marketing strategies. She is an author and speaker who delivers strategy-rich content and actionable tools that educate and empower authors. She is passionate about helping authors navigate their publishing journey, elevate their brand, and establish their author platform. Mrs. Thompson serves on the board of Publishers and Writers of San Diego and San Diego Memoir Writer’s Assoc. Read her blog at JenifferThompson.com; visit her company website at monkeyCmedia.com
Secretary, Author, Advocate and Fundraiser
Elizabeth is currently working on behalf of the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County as an advocate and fundraiser. Formerly an award winning advertising executive with Sports Illustrated, People and Life magazines, a life-changing climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro steered her towards a new path, working in conservation and education in Costa Rica, Baja and the Galapagos Islands. Along the way she discovered writing and is currently finalizing her memoir, Beyond the Peak with Marni Freedman’s Thursday group. An excerpt from her memoir, Masai in the Mirror was performed on stage as part of the 2016 San Diego Writers’ Ink Memoir Showcase.
Board Member, Author and Creative Entrepreneur
Author, Creative Entrepreneur, Chief Compliance Officer for San Diego County Credit Union
Kelly is a tenacious, goal oriented, solutions driven compliance executive with over 20 years banking experience. She holds an MBA degree from Santa Clara University. She is the owner of Scrap Diva Retreats an inspirational retreat house in Murrieta, California. Kelly hosts scrapbook retreats, colorful mixed media classes and teaches vision-boarding and art journaling. She is currently working on her coming of age memoir about growing up selling crystals at Grateful Dead shows across the country.
Tracy J. Jones is a professional content writer and editor, ghostwriter, and copy editor with more than 25-years’ experience writing and editing for private clients, non-profits, and corporations. Her writing and editing clients include novelists, screenwriters, memoirists, bloggers, and self-help and nonfiction writers. Tracy is the content editor and a featured writer at TheFeistyWriter.com. She’s been involved with the San Diego Annual Memoir Showcase since its inception first as a participant and producer and most recently as a head judge, writing coach, and co-director of the popular program. She’s an editor and writing coach for the inaugural edition of the San Diego Memoir Showcase Anthology, teaches a Saturday Memoir Read & Critique at San Diego Writers, Ink and also runs a successful Tuesday night writing group in La Jolla. She’s a board member of the San Diego Memoir Writers Association and has been a featured writer/performer in So Say We All’s VAMP showcase. For more information, email Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advisory Board Member and Blog Editor
Advisory Board Member
Cherie Kephart is a writer, editor, and poet. She holds an M.A. in Medical and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, a B.A. in Communications from UCSD, and has worked for many years as a scientific and technical writer. Her memoir, A Few Minor Adjustments, is the winner of both a 2017 San Diego Book Award and a Bookvana Award. It was also featured in the San Diego Annual Memoir Showcase and performed onstage at the Horton Grand Theater. Cherie’s essays, stories, and poems have appeared in publications and events such as: The San Diego Poetry Annual, The San Diego Writers Ink Anthology, Oceanside Literary Art Walk, Wild Lemon Project, Magee Park Poets Anthology, and in the Transform Your Life classes. Cherie lives in San Diego and has been celebrated for her holistic approach to healing, and her willingness to examine her life lessons in her writing. Stay connected with Cherie at: CherieKephart.com