I have a passion and a proven record for nurturing people’s stories and shaping them, from the most bare-bones concept to the polished, printed page. As an MFA professor, published author, and book critic, I bring experience and stewardship to turn your idea or personal story into a book that grabs prospective agents, editors, and readers from Page One.
I find joy
· Helping individuals fully realize their personal stories · Creating intriguing narrative structures · Crafting engaging prose
Choose your path to success:
1: DIY – I guide you step-by-step to structure your project and build sentences, paragraphs, and chapters into the fully-realized manuscript you envision. It’s like earning an MFA in Creative Writing without all the hoops to jump through. By the time we’re done, you’ll be able to take on future book projects on your own. This approach is for those who would like to master the writer’s toolkit.
2: Full Collaboration – For those who don’t have the time or interest in developing the finer nuances of the writer’s craft, I will work with you in a close, confidential partnership as we shape your story. I will develop your voice on the page and fully produce the literary work you dream of sharing with the world.
My reputation has been built on:
· Powerful tales of the human spirit and its triumph · Narratives that blend science and intensive research · Illuminating personal stories of grit and humanity · Working with narrative nonfiction and fiction
Agents and editors say I: · Bring conceptual magic to each project · Meet deadlines Surpass expectations · Make projects fun and hassle-free
Bernadette is a joy to work with. She has an uncanny ability to translate an author’s voice to the page, and to make even complicated subject matter easy to understand. The editorial process was smooth. A true professional. — Mauro DiPreta Senior Vice President & Executive Editor William Morrow
Thank you for the fantastic work you did on the book. It reads so beautifully and I appreciate what an essential role you played in the process. —Jessica Sindler Editor, HarperCollins
Bernadette Murphy is an absolute joy to work with. She is collaborative, insightful, and always looking to bring out the best in her authors. She cares deeply about her craft and that shows up consistently in the terrific work she produces. Bernadette is as dedicated as they come and a true partner. —Michael Palgon, Literary Agent The Palgon Company
Writers who work with me say I:
· Build their craft and confidence · Strength their writing · Transform their book dreams into hard copy Bernadette Murphy, you were my editorial rock throughout this journey, asking questions and challenging me to write with more honesty and heart. Every author would be lucky to have you pushing them on. — Undisclosed cable news personality, book named Best Nonfiction of 2019 Kirkus Reviews
I met Bernadette during a month-long writing retreat in Bali where she served as my writing coach. She provided wonderful insight and guidance as I took the first steps in writing my novel, Malawi's Sisters . Bernadette asked pointed questions that helped me develop the story and the characters, and she gently nudged me forward when I was floundering. With her consistent feedback and encouragement, I forged the first draft. She's a joy to work with! — Melanie Hatter, author Malawi's Sisters winner Kimbilio National Fiction Prize judged by Edwidge Dandicat
Coming from a background heavy in non-literary disciplines I really only possessed the basic concepts regarding writing. I knew what I liked, what I didn’t, what made a sentence work, and an inherent understanding of how to tell a story. Yet all the important bits, the nuts and bolts of structure, character development, unity, coherence, and revision that make for great writing, eluded me. Working with Bernadette filled in a lot of the blanks. She pushed me to dig deeper, to ask myself the hard questions, and to read my work as the reader would. Bernadette took me to the next level and instilled a much needed sense of myself as a writer and strengthened my confidence and ability. — Patrick O'Neil, author Gun, Needle, Spoon: A Memoir
I’d always loved to write but it was under the tutelage of Bernadette Murphy and her guidance is how I learned to hone my skills. I’d written an essay in one of her classes at UCLA and she told me after reading it: “Heather, this is a book.” Two days ago, I signed a book deal, my manuscript ignited by that essay. Bernadette was with me every step of the way as I wrote this book. It took years to complete, but she hung in there with me, coaching me, and is now helping me through this next phase. I could not have accomplished this without her. --Heather Haldeman, author Behind the Gates: A Memoir Apprentice House Books, Spring 2021
Bernadette was the first person I worked seriously with on my book Fireflies. I came to her, trembling inside, not sure I was really a writer at all, bursting with pieces of a story that I knew somehow belonged together. She gave me the courage to hold onto those pieces and gather them on the pages. I am amazed that Fireflies was born from that original strange uncertainty. It’s a book I am deeply proud of. Bernadette’s supportive guidance and encouragement were the beginning, my first real steps as a writer. — Heather Gordon Young, author Fireflies: Finding Light in a Dark World