Jennifer J. Wilhoit and Writer’s Helper | Bookends

Meeting with authors and those other participants in the writing world is one of the great perks of writing this column.

I’ve met those who have “made it” in the writing world and have wide-spread name recognition, like J.A. Jance and Debbie Macomber. And I’ve met many authors that are well on their way to this wonderful name recognition place that writers aspire to, like A.C. Fuller and A.J. Banner.

Of course not all writers need to or even want to become famous, like those who are writing their own stories, but the writing of these memoirs or life histories is sometimes very hard. They may bring back old hurt feelings that can sometimes be very difficult to put down on the written page, but there is help for these writers. I have met someone that can and will help shape the story and get them past the hurdles.

For lack of a better title, I am calling Jennifer J. Wilhoit a “book doctor” or as one of her clients call her, a “book coach.” She is a mentor of the writers that need help in this process of telling the story that needs to be written.

One author she helped wanted to write about growing up in a very dysfunctional family. Although there was love, there wasn’t much structure and the single parent home was headed by an alcoholic mother. This growing up process was also during a very unsettled time in our United States history that affected them as well. Jennifer told me (and so did the author) that what this writer needed was to step back and get some grounding of old feelings of being at fault out in the open and to be done with them. Now every bump in a writer’s story may not be this dramatic, but getting past them is still a hard job and help is available.

Jennifer’s business card says, “Compassionate guidance through writing, nature and life’s difficult landscapes.” She describes herself as an author, editor, writing mentor, guide and mediator. Her books are about motivating and the art of coping. Look on under her name for the complete list of books, and she does offer group work in the form of presentations, trainings, workshops, retreats, classes. These could be online or in-person. Also check out her blog at

Reminders: If you are a writer you probably already know about the BARN on Bainbridge Island (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network). They offer so much more than just writer’s resources, including wood working, weaving and several other crafts. The BARN has just opened their new facility. Their “goal is to create a true community center, using craft as a magnet to bring together people who would not normally know one another or have opportunities to collaborate.” The new address for this fun place is 8890 Three Tree Lane, Bainbridge Island. Visit their website at and take a look at their events.

There has been a lot going on in the local book world recently.

On June 21 at Eagle Harbor Books, author Frederick Brown and his book “The City is More Than Human” visited beautiful downtown Bainbridge.

Also on June 21, at Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo the Wine and Book Club provided good wine and better company. The cost was the very fair $8 per person. Don’t miss it in the future.

Back at Eagle Harbor Books on June 22, Warren Read talked about his new book “Ash Falls”.

I’m ending this week’s column with a saying I like: “Education is not the filling of a pail, it is the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats.

— Donna Lee Anderson teaches writing and is the author of two novels and a reference book for writers. Contact her at

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