Storyphile’s Marie Lesoway has had a hand in writing, editing and producing scores of publications over the years.
Slinkapoo, I Love You: A Daughter’s Quest for Love
By Rena Jeanne Hanchuk. 350 pages.
Edited and produced by Marie Lesoway of Storyphile.
Rena Jeanne Hanchuk is a community activist, event organizer, presenter, teacher, former radio host and volunteer extraordinaire. Her memoir began as a eulogy for her father, with whom she had a troubled relationship all her life. In the process of writing, her pen became both the sword and the shield that helped her come to grips with the complexities of her life. She realized that her father had always loved her and that she had always loved him. They loved each other as best they could, and that’s all any of us can do.
When Rena was little, she desperately wanted a Slinky toy that could walk down stairs like the Slinkys in the commercials on TV. Her determined campaigning earned her the nickname Slinkapoo, which her father called her to his dying day. It was an expression of love from a man who never learned to say the words “I love you.”
“Thank you to my long-time friend Marie Lesoway…for agreeing to be my editor. You believed in me as a writer. You fed me books about the art of writing memoirs. You encouraged me to read other good writers’ works. And you squeezed the deepest-hidden stories out of reticent Rena. It’s a credit to your insight and professionalism that my story has finally been told. Thank you!”
Looking Back on My Life: Stories to Tell My Grandchildren
By Lillian (Winters) MacLeod with Marie Lesoway. 375 pages.
Nonagenarian Lillian MacLeod looks back on her life to gather up stories for her grandchildren, who have never used a crank telephone or churned butter or come face to face with a wildcat. Matter-of-fact, good-humoured and frequently funny, her reminiscences evoke a time and place long past—when a woman’s work was never done and her contributions were rarely valued or recognized.
Storyphile started Lillian’s book by recording a series of interviews. These were transcribed and reshaped into what readers have called “a delightful autobiography.” The addition of genealogical and historical research created a backdrop for Lillian’s life and times. And family photos and recipes helped bring Lillian’s stories to life.
“Thank you for all the work you did for me on my book. You did a wonderful job! Everyone has high praise for it.”
Lillian (Winters) MacLeod
“The book is amazing! You did an incredible amount of research. I don’t know how you found all the information you did on past generations and then made sense of it. It is a very interesting read. I can’t thank you enough for this great remembrance of my mother.”
“I want to compliment you on not only undertaking a project of this scope but putting it together in such a professional and enjoyable package.
It is one thing to pull together quotes and anecdotes; it is extremely difficult to ensure these not only provide a cogent narrative, but do so in the subject’s own ‘voice.’ As I read the book I could easily visualize and hear my Aunt Lillian telling her story which, in a way, is a small part of my own.
A number of years ago I was asked who my great-grandparents were and found I could not name them on either side. As a result I decided to dabble in genealogy and now know their names as well as those of a number of generations that preceded them. This is just data, however, and does not tell me who they were. I can only resort to best guesses as to what their lives were like and what dreams we might share.
Your Storyphile concept provides that missing narrative and I wish you great success with it.”
Work Hard, Have Fun and Keep Smiling
By David Simpson. Edited by Marie Lesoway. 106 Pages.
This memoir with a twist presents hockey tips, stories, lessons from the stars and down-to-earth advice from a former London Knights captain, Ontario Hockey League scoring champion and Canadian Hockey League player of the year.
Storyphile’s Marie Lesoway worked with the author to shape his life story into a practical guidebook for parents, volunteers and coaches involved with Canada’s greatest game.
“Writing about your own personal life experiences is in equal parts awkward, frustrating and rewarding. Marie has the gift of looking beyond the anecdotes and finding that consistent thread that REALLY reveals the person. For me, she took the awkward out of the narrative and delivered a most rewarding experience.”
David Simpson, Director, Ivey Business Families Centre
1982 Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year
Out of the Peasant Mold
A Structural History of the M. Hawreliak Home in Shandro, Alberta
Produced for Alberta Culture and Multicilturalism. 166 pages.
Out of the Peasant Mold is one of dozens of interview-and-research-based reports Storyphile’s Marie Lesoway prepared for the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Marie described the process in a speech at the 100th Canadian anniversary of one of the families she researched. This particular family—the Slemkos—were so impressed with her work that they adopted her as an honorary member of the clan.
Download family reunion speech.
Produced for Grant MacEwan Community College and the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts. 100 pages.
The Mosaica project involved commissioning professional arts photographers to celebrate 100 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. The resulting photograph collection was published as a book and exhibited across Alberta as part of the Edmonton Art Gallery’s touring program. Storyphile’s Marie Lesoway was the project manager and provided research, writing and editing services for the exhibit and book.
The Sacred Sacrament of Matrimony
By the Basilian Fathers Museum. 70 pages.
Storyphile’s Marie Lesoway was the editor of the exhibit catalogue for the Basilian Fathers Museum display on marriage.