More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Six Writer-Friends Complete Book for a Dying Author/Friend

When Elizabeth Aleshire was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack last summer, she fully expected to recover and complete her book, 101 Ways You Can Help: How To Offer Comfort and Support To Those Who Are Grieving. But that was not to be. A second heart attack dimmed the prospect of recovery, and Ms. Aleshire expired at the age of 59 with a third of her book unwritten.

While still in the hospital, Ms. Aleshire received daily visits from six writer-friends, all of whom had met over the years at the International Women's Writing Guild's annual “Remember the Magic” summer conference at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where Ms. Aleshire had taught in each of the past 25 years.

When it became clear that Ms. Aleshire would not recover, the six writer-friends offered to complete her manuscript posthumously. Permission was granted by both the author and her publisher, Sourcebooks, and the team went into “emergency mode” to write the unwritten chapters in time to meet the book's publication deadline.

The book, 101 ways You Can Help: How To Offer Comfort And Support To Those Who Are Grieving, will be in bookstores by the end of April.

On Sunday, April 19, the six friends and co-authors—Kathy Barach, Marsha Browne, Zita Christian, Judy Huge, Paula Scardemalia and Anne Walradt—will tell the story of completing their friend and teacher's book as part of the International Women's Writing Guild's 57th Big Apple Conference's “Meet the Authors” Open House at the Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue (near 38th Street) in New York City.

The “Meet the Authors” Open House will be followed in the afternoon by a “Meet the Agents” Open House where writers have the opportunity to briefly discuss their work with literary agents.

“Many writers have found their agents at this event,” says Hannelore Hahn, the IWWG’s Executive Director who founded the nonprofit organization in 1976. “Actually, some 4,000 books have been published by IWWG members since we started more than 30 years ago.

“But publication has never been our only goal,” she adds. “That is why we always begin our twice-yearly Big Apple Conference weekends with a memoir-writing workshop. Writing from personal experience is immensely important for both the writer as a writer and the writer as a person.”

This year’s Big Apple Conference begins on Saturday, April 18, with Lisa Dale Norton's all-day writing workshop, “The Compassionate Memoir: Using the Process of Memoir to Change the World.”

For further information, please contact Hannelore Hahn at the IWWG’s New York City office by telephone (212-737-7536) or email (

For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife available on

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