Meet Our Coaches

Welcome to The Narrative Project, where we believe YOUR story matters and we are committed to giving you everything you need to get your book into the world. 

I’m Cami Ostman, the founder of The Narrative Project and your Chief Story Warrior. When I published my first book, Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents, something interesting happened: the actual process of writing the book changed the way I thought of myself. As I wrote words like: “No one needed to give me permission to celebrate myself…I had my own internal locus of celebration,” they became true. In fact while I was writing, I found myself repeatedly asking, “What do I wish to be true about my main character (me) in this chapter?” And as I composed my manuscript, I discovered that I was able to inhabit the words I was writing.

Words are powerful. We CREATE our identities with words. We tell our truths with words. As we write, we become!

Our passion at The Narrative Project is to support YOU in writing your book so you can experience your own transformation.

I hold a B.Ed. in English from Western Washington University and an M. S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University. In addition to my memoir, Second Wind, I’m the co-editor of Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions, a contributor to Adventures Northwest and to my own blog, 7marathons7continents.com. I’m also one of the founders of Red Wheelbarrow Writers, a community of writers in Western Washington and a blogger for psychologtoday.com. I’ve been profiled in Fitness Magazine and my books have been reviewed in O Magazine, The Atlantic, and Washington Post.

I have assembled a team of equally qualified writing coaches who partner with our writers to help them do the most honest writing of their lives. Through weekly classes, one-on-one support, and tailored, honest feedback, we specialize in helping authors “figure out what they really have to say.”

We work with you to bring your best work into the world, always keeping in mind that ultimately, we’re all authoring our own lives!

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor is the lead coach at The Narrative Project. Her non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction have appeared in print and online in several journals and anthologies including: Kuwento: Small Things; Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington; The Raven Chronicles; and Beyond Lumpia, Pansit, and Seven Manangs Wild: An Anthology.

Her poetry chapbook, Pause Mid-Flight, was released in 2010. Her poetry and essay collection Dancing Between Bamboo Poles was released in 2019 and is available on her website: rebeccamabanglomayor.com. Rebecca received her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University in 2012. Currently she is working on a contemporary fantasy novel.

Anneliese (Anni) Kamola

Anneliese (Anni) Kamola

Anneliese (Anni) Kamola is an author and developmental editor living in Bellingham, Washington (anneliesekamola.com), as well as a coach and the executive assistant for The Narrative Project. She has published work in True Stories Volume I (2019) and True Stories Volume II (2020), as well as in WWU’s Fairhaven College literary magazine, Inkspeak (2010). Anni has written, produced, and performed two solo dance/theater/storytelling performances, This Is My Body (2011) and Filling the Void (2013), and a solo storytelling show, Stories of Strong Women from Around the World (2015). Anni’s writing is informed by neurobiology, attachment theory, and trauma/resiliency studies. She loves music, dance, good food, family, and international travel.

Wendy Welch

Wendy Welch

Wendy Welch is the author of The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Fall or Fly (about fostercare and the opioid crisis) and a forthcoming book on COVID-19 conspiracy theories from McFarland Press. She edited Public Health in Appalachia, From the Front Lines (a collection of healthcare providers talking about substance use disorder patients) and a forthcoming book about Appalachian doctors and nurses during the corona virus pandemic from Swallow Press. Welch lives in Virginia where she directs a medical education consortium. She enjoys crocheting, playing the harp, and swimming.



Nancy Canyon

Nancy Canyon

Nancy Canyon is published in True Stories II, Memory into Memoir, A Raven Chronicle Anthology: Take a Stand Art Against Hate, Water~Stone Review, Fourth Genre, Floating Bridge Review, Able Muse, For the Love of Orcas Anthology, and more. With Pacific Lutheran University’s MFA in Creative Writing and University of Washington’s fiction certificate, she teaches writing for Chuckanut Writers and coaches writers at The Narrative Project. Nancy won Chanticleer Review’s Cygnus Award for Paranormal Fiction for the forthcoming novel “Celia’s Heaven.” Her memoir manuscript “Struck” is a finalist in Chanticleer Review’s 2019 Journey Award for Narrative Non-fiction. Her story “Holy Spirit Delivers” is a finalist for Scribes Valley 2019 Short Story Contest. Her poetry book “Saltwater” is available at villagebooks.com. Nancy also works as a visual artist in her Morgan Block Artist Studio in Historic Fairhaven. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her husband Ron Pattern. More at nancycanyon.com and facebook.com/canyonwriter.
Colleen Haggerty

Colleen Haggerty

Colleen Haggerty is an author, coach, speaker, facilitator, and trainer. As a Story Warrior for The Narrative Project, Colleen delights in creating community for and giving support to writers who have committed to writing their books. She brings a discerning eye and a probing, curious mind to the writing process, supporting writers to express what they really want to say. Colleen’s memoir, A Leg to Stand On, An Amputee’s Walk into Motherhood, was published by She Writes Press. She has personal essays published in numerous anthologies. As a Soul Tender, Colleen supports people to access their Soul selves and Soul needs through creative practices and compassionate self-witnessing. You can watch her TEDx talk, access her writings, and check out her events here at colleenhaggety.com.


Laurel Leigh

Laurel Leigh

With in-house book publishing credentials as well as fifteen years as a freelance editor for clients in the US and Sweden, Laurel Leigh’s skills as a structural editor and script doctor are highly sought by multiple publishers, producers, and individual authors. She has acted as project manager for numerous titles published by Chronicle Books, including Family Spirit with William Grant & Sons (Glenfiddich) and The Seven Stars Cookbook with Caesar’s Entertainment, which received a Gourmand World Cookbook Award. Recent editing projects for Dallas, Texas–based BenBella Books include the hit titles Up in Arms by American Pain author John Temple; The Menendez Murders by journalist Robert Rand; and Baby, Don’t Hurt Me by former Saturday Night Live star Chris Kattan.

Both her memoir and fiction have been featured in the acclaimed magazine The Sun among other publications. For her creative contributions and service to the writing community in Bellingham, Washington—including helping to found the popular Chuckanut Writers Conference—she received a Mayor’s Arts Award. 

Laurel Leigh holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism from Gonzaga University. She has taught writing classes since 2005 and is delighted to be on the team of The Narrative Project as the Next Step coach. www.LaurelLeighWriter.com


Dana Tye Rally

Dana Tye Rally

Dana Tye Rally (danatyerally.com) is an author, coach, editor, magazine writer, and formerly, an award-winning newspaper reporter. She is currently working with non-fiction writers to support them in finishing their dream book projects. Dana has taken part in two successive nine-month programs through The Narrative Project toward completing her memoir-in-progress, “Lessons in Reverse.”

Dana is published in True Stories, Volume II, and in numerous women’s and trade magazines. Through Cami Ostman and The Narrative Project, she has encountered a warm, resilient community that offers ongoing support for writers and their publishing goals. As a writing coach, she is passionate about giving writers the tools and inspiration they need to stay committed and to flourish.

Dana loves her blended and extended families, her pug Fin, her wonderful friends, reading, travel, yoga, cooking, chocolate, whimsical adventures, acts of courage, dry humor, and being immersed in the creative process.


Looking to move forward with your writing? Get this FREE GIFT. Videos and exercises to help you get moving on your memoir!

NaNo Rebels: A Walk on the Nonfiction Side

by Cami Ostman | Write-Minded Podcast

Testimonials from students

"Cami’s keen instructions, insights, gentle guidance and authentic caring for my writing woke my writer up! I have more enthusiasm for my writing now and more knowledge with which to approach my projects. I am more confident and joyous in my writing thanks to Cami!”

JJ Joshua, Intuitive Coach and Self-help Author

"I was #1 in Russian Travel and I've won the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award for 2014! I even had the chance to do a book reading at the Kazakh Embassy in DC. My book journey is going well and Cami made that happen."

—Janet Givens, author of At Home on the Kazakh Steppe: A Peace Corps Memoir

"When I hired Cami as a developmental editor for my memoir, my manuscript felt like a massive ball of tangled yarn. With her years of experience as a therapist, Cami has a keen eye for identifying themes, motivations, and resolutions, which allowed her to masterfully pull the threads of my story out of the mess. She laid them across the arc of my book with precision. Cami helped me to produce the book I truly wanted to write.”

Colleen Haggerty, author of A Leg to Stand On

"Cami is a talented writer with a special devotion to bringing out the best in other people's work. I contributed an essay to her book, Beyond Belief, and communicated with her on developmental edits for my piece. Her direction and notes were so valuable to bringing my storytelling to greater heights, and I am impressed at the level of care and detail she showed for each of her many contributors. I highly recommend working with Cami, and I recommend her books too!"

—Erin Seaward-Hiatt, contributing author in Beyond Belief

"If it had not been for finding Cami and the Narrative Project, I would still be limping through a terrible first draft, picking at line edits. Instead, in two and a half years I have transformed the narrative of the memoir I have been dinking away at for decades. The Narrative Project has provided me with more tools than I even knew I needed. Instead of dreading the writing that goes nowhere, I am enjoying the ride, creating new possibilities and diving in to discover more ways to share with the words that are just right."

—Lora Hein

"I started with half a dozen personal essays. After eighteen months of hard work along with the smart feedback, keen eyes, and pertinent, invaluable critique from this program's leaders and members, I finally had the first draft of my memoir!"

—Renee DeMont

"I participated in the first Narrative Project program in October of 2016 after returning from a three-week solo backpack trip in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains with the specific intention of using that trip as the basis for a memoir I hoped to write. I had absolutely no idea how to start this project, but by the end of the program, I had a structure within which to write and a full  140,000-word rough draft! I can say with certainty that I would not be where I am with my memoir were it not for this well-structured and accountability-based phenomenal program."

—Kathie Tupper

"After I suffered a traumatic brain injury, I wanted to explore the experience in a memoir. I started working with Cami Ostman in her nine-month Narrative Project course, and I followed up with her Next Chapter course the following year. I wrote somewhat slowly because of my injuries, but Cami supported my work, offered numerous suggestions for getting through the draft, and gave me many tools to understand what I was trying to express and how to do it. If you have a story to tell but have not been able to get yourself started, I cannot recommend highly enough the Narrative Project program as a way to push yourself, as well as create the best possible version of your story."

—Seán Dwyer

"The Narrative Project gave me everything I needed to shape mountains of research into the book I envisioned. More importantly, I have made lifelong friends and we have continued to support each other as we bring our stories into the world."
—Anne
"Dabbling for over twenty years at writing the stories of my life with my husband and four children in Africa and Asia, I realized I did not know what I was doing when it came to writing my memoir. I attended one of Cami’s free writing workshops and committed my time and energy to her nine-month program. Cami Ostman and my critique group helped me find the threads that pulled my stories together and see myself as a writer. "
—Tori
"On a chilly September day in 2018, I entered Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park to attend a free one-day seminar held by Cami Ostman. Having never attended a writing workshop, I had preconceived notions that I would write. While I didn't write that day, the kindling within my soul was sparked and my desire to write my story ceased being a dream and began to be a reality. I joined the 9-month program and went from 0 words on the page to over 70,000. I learned about the writing process, themes, and gained new confidence in my ability to write. The best is yet to come!"
KristiLyn

"In my 18 months with the Narrative Project, I have learned that a writer doesn't write alone. TNP fosters a community of value beyond payment or description. The support is that of a healthy family, and the critique is that of an inspiring Masters program. The Narrative Project has provided me with an all-inclusive roadmap for how to live my dream as a published writer, and the confidence to get my butt in the chair."

Anni

"Over the past 50 years, I have made many attempts to write my story, but my unhealed trauma would rise whenever I tried. Cami Ostman created a safe enough space...Before I knew it, I had the beginnings of a book that I now feel I am meant to complete. This program offers the necessary support for becoming a writer who tells the truth. It's not for the faint of heart, and both requires and nurtures courage. Cami and her highly-skilled and tenderhearted coaching team do their level best to make damn sure you don't fall between the cracks."

Renee

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