Celebrate Your Stories
Subtitle: 100+ Fun Ideas for Show and Tell Scrapbooking
By Anita Louise Crane and Caroll Louise Shreeve
Watson-Guptill Publications, 2005
ISBN: 0823068420
Contact Reviewer:
Rating: 5 of 5

Borrowing Scrapbookers' Ideas for a Writer's Sketchbook

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This is the Place, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered and The Frugal Book Promoter.

This weekend I took a class at UCLA called The Writer's Sketchbook. Instructor Philomene Long expanded an idea that--as a writer--I've used for years. Most writers carry a notebook but a Writer's Sketchbook? Wouldn't a sketchbook be the domain of an artist? Someone who paints and draws? The idea of augmenting my notebook--making into a keepsake -- intrigued me. Then along came Celebrate Your Stories by Anita Louise Crane and Caroll Louise Shreeve.

Scrapbooking, it seems, is also incorporating writing which they usually call journaling but might well include poetry, essays, and creative fiction. The two seem to fit together as well as, say, a writer's notebook fits with glue and photographs. Why not?

Celebrate Your Stories might also help authors who are doing their own promotion. In The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't I suggest that authors doing their own marketing treat themselves to the scrapbook that they would be given if they hired a very expensive publicist. Scrapbooks that focus on accomplishments serve as a reference and, subtly, as a motivator when the author goes back to reminisce on what she has achieved, how far she has come.

Crane and Shreeve have written a beautifully illustrated paperback intended for those who have been bitten by the scrapbooking bug. It turns out they have also written an inspirational book for writers. Most of their designs are traditional; they are ideal for prodding memories that much good writing (perhaps all?) is made of. The techniques, however, are easily adapted to any style so if a writer (or a scrapbooker) has a tendency toward the nostalgic or something more contemporary is immaterial. These ideas are adaptable and sure to inspire.

Chapters picture everything from animals to romance to travel. Each scrapbook page idea is photographed and has a complete resource box to make achieving a similar look easy. An inveterate saver, I loved that these artists found so many uses for recycled treasures. Bits of lace, pretty paper, old greeting cards. Whatever you do, don't clean out your closets until after you've seen this book. You're likely to find uses for all that clutter you haven't been able to part with.

(Carolyn Howard-Johnsonís first literary novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards and Harkening, a collection of stories, has won three. Both are nostalgic looks at past generations with characters who would have been comfortable with the designs in Celebrate Your Stories. Howard-Johnson is also the author of The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't, the winner of USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004." Learn more at:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Author
Winner USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004"
#1 Bestselling E-book at:
Purchase the paperback at
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"This book mighj? be nicknamed The Frugal Promo Bible."
David Herrle, Editor,


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