Letter of Recommendation

   Obituary Writing Books and Other Resources


Obituary Writing Books and Other Resources

Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers, by Alana Baranick, Jim Sheeler, and Stephen Miller. Published in 2005, this book is useful, straight-forward, and geared toward professional obit writers - in most cases, journalists. It includes several sample obituaries along with tips on how to write obituaries for famous people, veterans, and anyone who died under tragic or controversial circumstances.

Obit: Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People Who Led Extraordinary Lives, by Jim Sheeler. Sheeler won the Pulitzer Prize for feature-writing, and this collection of obits by him and his professional obituary-writer colleagues are a great example of how anyone's life - famous or "everyman" - can be told via a well-written obit.

The Dead Beat, by Marilyn Johnson, combines humor and poignancy. It's not only about obituaries and those who have died, but about those who write their obituaries. There are chapters on "Ordinary Joe" and "Egalitarian" obituaries of the non-famous.

Society of Professional Obituary Writers. This membership-based organization is intended to offer help and resources for those who write obituaries for a living. However, its forum/blog is accessible to anyone, and highlights interesting obits.

Index of obituary templates