Sharon Barrett

Sharon Barrett - Ghostwriter

Chicago, Illinois

I write in the non-fiction and fiction genres. I'm drawn to memoirs, biographies and in-depth profiles of compelling people and events.

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A prospective client once asked how he might justify what he considered to be the self-indulgent exercise of writing his autobiography. "What is so extraordinary about my life?" he asked. He had just turned ninety. My reply was simple, one that I know most writers of biographies and autobiographies share: I believe the books we write should strive to capture the events and people who have helped shape a meaningful life. I told him I thought every life was worth documenting. I wasn't just jockeying for the job. I believed it.My hope is that every biography or autobiography I contribute to will read a bit like a novel with all the introspection, emotion and humor such books deserve.

I begin each project with a preliminary conversation about the approach to be taken. A book may follow a straightforward, linear path or begin with a pivotal moment in one's life and go back in time. It may be structured by events or years and include excerpts from journals or diaries. Specific events within the book might be set within the context of the times.I explain the research involved – I believe research is the foundation for any good story, non-fiction or fiction–and explain the interviewing process. The amount of time I spend interviewing clients depends on the client: one may take thirty hours, another, ninety.One of my clients told me our interviews were like therapy .I also interview family, friends, associates, business allies and occasionally, rivals.

I've written biographies and extensive profiles of pioneers in the medical field, business world, politics, the scientific community, the legal profession, law enforcement, entertainment, education, and finance. I've also written stories on the lives of historical figures and explorers.

I've written or contributed to books published by Lake Claremont Press, William Morrow, Berkley Books, Weldon Owen Pry Ltd., and Public Affairs, Perseus Books Group. In addition to books, I write magazine and newspaper articles, documentary scripts, speeches and content for non-profit organizations and corporations.

To introduce me to readers, one editor wrote: Sharon Barrett is an award-winning writer and journalist. She was one of the first journalists to document the work of scientists at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Level Four Laboratory, and the first journalist to gain access to the elite Yosemite Search and Rescue Team. She has traveled the world, from Suriname to the Galapagos Islands, in search of memorable and meaningful stories. Her work has gained national recognition and industry awards including the Peabody Award and the Thurgood Marshall Award.
English (US)
Action & Adventure
Mystery & Crime
Short Story
Biographies & Memoirs


  • The Peabody Award
  • The Chris Award
  • The Telly Award
  • The Peter Lisagor Award

Work experience


May, 2010 – Present (almost 10 years)

Ghostwriter of autobiographies and memoirs. Writer of biographies, television documentaries, newspaper and magazine articles.


• Skilled at in-depth research, the interviewing process, and the writing of manuscripts.

• Experienced in content development, creating a vision and structure, and project management.

• Proven ability to deliver highly rated projects on schedule and on budget.

• Has the ability to write for a diverse range of clients and media outlets.


May, 2008 – May, 2010 (about 2 years)

Executive producer, writer and script doctor of several national documentary series hosted by renowned journalist, Bill Kurtis.

• Acted as the sole liaison between the company and clients.

• Created the look, style, and format of all productions, guiding the creative process from initial concept to end product.

• Acted as the script doctor on more than fifty scripts annually.

• Created a production plan and strategy to implement all series simultaneously.

• Developed business plans, budgets, policies and procedures and created and implemented marketing strategy.

• Hired and developed a team to create state-of-the-art projects.

• Clients included National Geographic, Discovery, The History Channel, PBS, The A and E Network, and CNBC.

Principal and Executive Manager

Barrett Production Services, LLC
January, 2000 – May, 2008 (over 8 years)

Researched, interviewed and wrote articles and profiles for various media outlets including magazines, newspapers and cable channels.

Worked with corporate, government and non-profit organizations to create a concept for fundraising initiatives. Developed and wrote brochures, speeches, and testimonials. Clients included Chicago Magazine, the City of Chicago, Lyric Opera, the Chicago Tribune, SOS Children's Villages, the Economic Club of Chicago, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, PBS, Motorola and the Chicago Education Fund,

Feature Reporter

The Chicago Sun-Times
September, 1995 – January, 2000 (over 4 years)

Newspaper reporter/writer for the tenth largest newspaper in the country, reporting and writing breaking stories, profiles, and reviews

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