Marion Roach Smith's Page

Profile Information

Who I am:
I believe that everyone has a story to tell. The author of four books, all of which contain a large degree of memoir, my most recent book is "The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & And Life," (Grand Central, 2011) an irreverent, quirky, provocative product of the countless memoir classes I have taught for more than a decade. Under the name Marion Roach, I am the author of "The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair," (Bloomsbury, 2005), a wild blend of memoir and history; the co-author with famed forensic pathologist Michael Baden, M.D., of "Dead Reckoning," (Simon & Schuster, 2001), a hands-on, behind-the-scenes journey into the world of forensic science; and of "Another Name for Madness," (Houghton Mifflin, 1985), the first, first-person account of a family’s dramatic struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. A former staff member of The New York Times, I have written for The New York Times Magazine, Prevention, The Daily News, Vogue, Newsday, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart Living, Discover and The Los Angeles Times. A commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, for six years I was the author and voice of The Naturalist’s Datebook, heard daily on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius/XM 110.
Websites:
http://www.marionroach.com
Connect with me online! My site, blog, or Twitter handle are:
My website is www.marionroach.com. I can be found at the Facebook page, The Memoir Project, and on Twitter at @mroachsmith.
Books I've written, anthologies I've contributed to, and any scripts or plays I've authored:
The Memoir Project, A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life (Grand Central, 2011)
The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair, (Bloomsbury, 2005)
Dead Reckoning, (Simon and Schuster, 2001)
Another Name for Madness, (Houghton Mifflin, 1985)
Media outlets that I currently write for:
I have read my essays on NPR's "All Things Considered," and blog for The Sister Project. I am a former staff member of The New York Times, and have written for their Science Times section, and have also published in The New York Times Magazine, Prevention, The Daily News, Vogue, Newsday, Good Housekeeping, Discover and American Health, and am a former “American Treasure” columnist for Martha Stewart Living.
My writing is:
Nonfiction, Memoir, Journalism, Blog Posts, Screenwriting
Outlets where I review books, TV, or film:
I do, on my blog.
Services I offer to other writers:
I teach classes in memoir, and blog about writing memoir, and am always happy to share what I know.
My professional associations:
Member, Author's Guild
I found out about She Writes from:
Dana Trombley, Grand Central Publishing

Latest Activity

Marion Roach Smith liked Rachel Maizes's profile
Sep 12, 2013
Marion Roach Smith left a comment for Jill Smolowe
"So excited about your new book. Delighted that you chose She Writes Press. I think it's the perfect match."
Sep 10, 2013
Rhonda Rae Baker liked Marion Roach Smith's profile
Apr 3, 2013
Pamela Jane replied to the discussion 'How to stand out in the crowd of Boomer memoirs' in the group Baby Boomers
"I'm always up for a good, new memoir, and always looking for a new one to read.  I'm a children's author, and I've been working on my memoir (not for kids) for twenty years.  Too bad it's taken so long,…"
Jun 4, 2012
Tori Pleasent liked Marion Roach Smith's blog post Want to Write Memoir? Let Me Introduce Myself and My Manifesto. Maybe We can Help.
Mar 15, 2012
Marion Roach Smith replied to the discussion 'What did you blog about Today?' in the group Blogging about Books and Writing!
"I wrote a post about dropping that glue gun, backing away from the scrapbook and getting back to work on your memoir writing. It's here. http://marionroach.com/2012/03/is-that-glue-gun-in-your-pocket-or-are-you-just-really-not-glad-to-see-me/…"
Mar 1, 2012
Marion Roach Smith replied to the discussion 'What did you blog about Today?' in the group Blogging about Books and Writing!
"I posted my regular weekly feature, News You Can Use. The idea is to aggregate news items for you to use to write short pieces of memoir. Have at it, writers. http://marionroach.com/2012/02/writing-memoir-news-your-can-use-februaryu-25-2012/"
Feb 26, 2012
Heather Marsten liked Marion Roach Smith's discussion How to stand out in the crowd of Boomer memoirs
Feb 25, 2012
Heather Marsten replied to the discussion 'How to stand out in the crowd of Boomer memoirs' in the group Baby Boomers
"Twenty-five years ago, at the prompting of a therapist, I wrote my memoir. At the time I was still mired in the pain of the abuse I received as a child. Instead of an uplifting and inspiring memoir, it was raw pain and not skillfully executed. I…"
Feb 24, 2012
Virginia Lloyd liked Marion Roach Smith's blog post Writing Memoir? Write What You Know From the Small Moments of Life
Feb 22, 2012
Virginia Lloyd liked Marion Roach Smith's blog post Writing Memoir? Make Your Argument and Include Transcendence
Feb 22, 2012
Judy c Kohnen liked Marion Roach Smith's blog post Want to Write Memoir? Let Me Introduce Myself and My Manifesto. Maybe We can Help.
Feb 21, 2012
Marcie Bridges commented on the blog post 'Writing Memoir? Make Your Argument and Include Transcendence'
"Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. ;)"
Feb 21, 2012
Marion Roach Smith replied to the discussion 'What did you blog about Today?' in the group Blogging about Books and Writing!
"Writing memoir? Then you must read memoir. Today on my blog I suggest some new memoir -- books, essays, a radio piece -- including some that are short, one that is illustrated, and one that is very dirty, indeed."
Feb 21, 2012
Judy Berna commented on the blog post 'Writing Memoir? Make Your Argument and Include Transcendence'
"Oh, he is a keeper, Marcie! He can drive me crazy sometimes, but I lucked out, marrying that one. So many times I make a situation so complicated, and he'll hear me out, then sum up the answer in a single sentence. And if I'll let my…"
Feb 20, 2012
Marcie Bridges commented on the blog post 'Writing Memoir? Make Your Argument and Include Transcendence'
"Judy, I hopped over to your blog and read your post. What a lovely husband you have, to mute the TV and turn his full attention to you; so often these days, that does not happen, even in our own homes. I, too, will be waiting to read your soon-to-be…"
Feb 20, 2012

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Marion Roach Smith's Blog

Writing Memoir? Make Your Argument and Include Transcendence

Posted on February 18, 2012 at 5:48am 8 Comments

It’s our sixth day together, meaning it's time for the last two points of my ten-point Memoir Manifesto. Ready to wrap things up, She Writers? I suspect you are. You’ve got work to do.

Make your argument

Every piece of non-fiction is an argument. Maybe your argument is simply, "life is better when you garden,"…

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Writing Memoir? Use the Algorithm and Act Like Galileo in Walmart

Posted on February 17, 2012 at 7:28am 11 Comments

Earlier in the week, a She Writes reader made an astute comment on one of my posts.

“Much of what you say I've heard before," wrote Julie Farrar.  "I don't mean that in a negative way.  It is just universal writing wisdom -- if you want to write, then just write.”

Julie is absolutely correct in this comment. The first six points of my Memoir…

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Writing Memoir? Pack Light, and Ask Yourself: "What is this About?"

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 1:00am 5 Comments

It’s Day Four in my guest editing week at SheWrites, and it’s time to let you in on a little secret. The topics we cover today are the least favorites of my students. Nobody likes these, which suggests that these are the most important of all ten points on my Memoir Manifesto.

So let’s master them, shall we?

Pack…

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Writing Memoir? Write What You Know From the Small Moments of Life

Posted on February 15, 2012 at 7:30am 7 Comments

On Monday, I began my week as the visiting editor at SheWrites by publishing my Memoir Manifesto, a ten point list of what I like to think of as suggestions for memoir writers, though given the word “manifesto,” these might sound more like demands. You decide.

No matter what you call them, these points were hard-won, coming out of writing four books, countless magazine pieces, and more than a dozen National Public Radio essays, all of which include a large dose of memoir.

I…

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Comment Wall (17 comments)

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At 5:51pm on February 16, 2012, suzi banks baum said…

Hi Marion,

Any chance I can convince you to come to our March 2 event at Simons’ Rock? I would LOVELOVELOVE to have you there. Really wonderful writing and discussion and celebration of women writers. Bedtime snacks too. The blog series is brimming with posts- please invite your students to participate. I am running it through March. Love, S

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At 2:47pm on February 14, 2012, Karen Creamer said…

I'm enjoying your articles on Memoir so I have subscribed. :)

My book is in the ruthless editing stage: I am busy cutting, cutting, cutting...

 

At 10:45am on February 14, 2012, Ananda Leeke said…

My writing is going well. I am taking more time to finish my Digital Sisterhood memoir this year.  Thank you for asking.

At 12:46pm on June 29, 2011, Nancy Hinchliff said…
Thanks, Marion for the friendship...looking forward to interacting with you are SheWrites.
At 5:24pm on June 13, 2011, Tania Pryputniewicz said…

Marion,

very much enjoyed looking at The Sisters Project site--quite the web of love and inquiry, a hub making up such a necessary mirror for women, sisters everywhere. Love it. Have a sister poem plus interview that braids together four sisters, poetry, scultpure and photography over at Connotation Press. Will return to TSP to do my homework on how to link if you are interested (and just to check out the rest of your projects). Pleased to meet you here.

At 1:58pm on June 13, 2011, kiana davenport said…

Hi Marion.. yes anything I can do to help.  Ask away.  We are all in this together.

And She Writes has helped me.  Alohas from Hawaii....Kiana

At 6:07am on June 11, 2011, Pauline Frederica Kiernan said…

Delighted to be getting to know you, Marion. I'm about to look up your Sister Project.

Looking forward to talking and sharing.

Pauline

At 12:14pm on June 10, 2011, Monica Medina said…
Welcome to our She Writes Volunteers group, Marion.  Be sure to sign up to plan or attend a meetup in your community.  Keep us posted and let us know if you have any questions.
At 11:34am on June 6, 2010, Jill Starishevsky said…
Hi Marion,

I wanted to connect with you and ask for your feedback. I recently did my first on-camera interview for the children's book on child sexual abuse prevention that I wrote, My Body Belongs to Me. Please let me know what you think when you have some time.

Thanks in advance.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/talking-kids-sexual-abuse-10255396

Jill Starishevsky
Author, My Body Belongs to Me
www.MyBodyBelongstoMe.com
At 1:10pm on March 22, 2010, Zoe FitzGerald Carter said…
HI Marion, Thanks for reaching out. Sisters are a huge topic of interest for me and I'd be happy to have to the book featured on your website. Have sent you an email as well. Very best, Zoe
 
 
 

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