Born in Gainesville, Florida, Mari Ann Stefanelli received a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida and has more than 15 years’ experience in the field. Her career ran the gamut from managing local level politics, educating the public about cancer prevention and detection at the American Cancer Society, to promoting life-saving new drugs at Hill and Knowlton.
As much as she loved her clients, she loved writing about them even more.
She revamped her career to focus on writing, editing, and creating events that inspire and sustain writers and authors. She lives in the Atlanta, Georgia, area with her husband and children.
A Word from Mari Ann:
When you’re considering hiring someone to trust with your project, especially a project as sensitive as editing your manuscript or writing in your voice, you read a bio hoping to find something that resonates with you, something that will answer the question: Will she be the right professional for me? With that in mind, here are a few more details about me:
As a youngster, I loved books and read constantly––including the dictionary while I ate breakfast each morning. Over the years, my passion for the written word continued to flourish, but while I was at the University of Florida I realized I also loved to listen to people. Unbidden, complete strangers would tell me their life stories, and I’d almost always know if they were hiding something, something that had made them who they were. I wanted to write about them, lift up their lives for reflection and let them know they mattered. Sometimes I did that. But mostly I carved out a happy existence in the public relations world, where I wrote about my clients––sharing only what they asked.
The birth of my daughter, coupled with a return to the South and the birth of my son a few years later, led me away from public relations and into my much-loved role as a mother of two. The death of my mother, followed a few years later by my scare with a life-threatening illness, led me back to writing and editing.
In the providential way that life sometimes comes together, I’m now able to focus on what I enjoy most: listening to people, telling their stories, or helping them tell their own. I’ve also launched a retreat, The Writer’s High Retreat™, which debuts April 24-26 at the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, North Carolina.
I’ve been blessed to find and sustain my writer’s high––that blissful moment when the mind, the heart, the soul and the body mesh seamlessly to create beautiful language––and I’d like to help you find yours.