Ellen Blum Barish

Ellen Blum Barish
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Ellen Blum Barish

Writer. Coach.

About Me

I have spent my whole life in publishing. I love everything about bringing words to the page, especially when it’s about making art from stories of our lives. I can help you turn yours into the best version of itself so that you can make your mark in the sand.
To schedule a free, 30-minute consult, please visit the Coaching page.

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About Me

My Books

Seven Springs: A Memoir

“A wise, candid, and emotionally powerful memoir.”  Kirkus Reviews

“Barish’s brave memoir reminds us that understanding our trauma can be a first step toward healing. It also is a beautiful story of a blooming faith.” Marcia Meier, Brevity

One afternoon in the spring of 1972, a Mack truck sped through a residential intersection and collided with a station wagon carrying a young girl and her friend on a ride home from school. The accident shattered the girls’ realities. A blanket of silence fell over them until they reconnected at their twentieth high school reunion. That conversation set me on a twenty-year journey, reflected in seven springs, that reunited me with my past, my self and what I now understand as faith.

“Lyrically and poetically written, Seven Springs captures the author’s journey of healing as she unpacks the unprocessed trauma lingering in her body and soul from a childhood car accident. It is a meditation on life and death, expression of emotions, carrying family wounds and finding strength and courage in friendships, nature and the Jewish spiritual tradition. So many of these themes resonate with me personally though I know that Barish’s story will carry meaning for readers from all backgrounds and experiences.” Gabrielle Kaplan Mayer

“In an era of growing appreciation for the long-term ramifications of trauma, Ellen Blum Barish’s memoir offers a tender exploration of the shock and loss around a childhood car accident.  Barish traces the ripples of this seemingly simple trauma into relationships, physical health, emotional wellbeing, and her Jewish faith, making of them a heartfelt, engaging story.  I recommend it.”  —Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, author of Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art & Practice of Spiritual Memoir

“I was very touched by the story itself, the beautiful writing and the spiritual resonance that was present.” Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg

My memoir, Seven Springs (Shanti Arts), is available here.


Read the reviews of Seven Springs in Kirkus, BrevityJewish Chicago, Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, Jewish Boston, Boulder Jewish News and Rick Bailey’s blog. Watch the animated conversation with  Miriam Bauer sponsored by the North Castle Public Library or the Facebook Live Author Talk with Jill Howe here.

"Tandem Thoughts"

A tandem bicycle ride in the Netherlands becomes a metaphor for long-term relationships. “Tandem Thoughts” is one of 25 essays anthologized in Chicago Storytellers: From Stage to Page (Chicago Story Press) for release in late 2020. Find it here.

Views from the Home Office Window: On Motherhood, Family and Life

A working mother offers insight on parenting and living a rich life.

For much of her life as a mother, Barish has worked from home as a writer, crafting columns about parenting based on her own experience as well as conversations with other mothers. This slim volume gathers a selection of those pieces written over more than ten years of being a parent to two daughters. In each piece, the author addresses an aspect of motherhood and family life, ranging from whether she should rein in a daughter who lives for the competitive edge to tackling her older daughter’s questions about sex. She also covers the needs of mothers: reconnecting with herself through yoga, claiming time and space for her work as a writer and taking the occasional getaway vacation without the kids. Through these short reflections, the reader follows the author’s daughters as they grow up and as Barish herself grows as a woman and mother. She describes how just as a parent is feeling comfortable and confident about how to relate to the current stage in a child’s life, she is already growing into a new phase–a cycle that continues even after a daughter leaves for college. Throughout the book, Barish discusses her evolving relationships with her daughters, as what they need from their mother changes over the years. In a later essay, the author revisits the “mission statement” for motherhood she wrote when the girls were young and reflects on how it has stood the test of time. As a collection of newspaper columns, this is more a series of brief conversations with a mother who’s been there and who has sought out the experiences of other mothers, than an in-depth examination of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Barish’s heartfelt, thoughtful style makes her stories ring true.

Quick doses of wisdom and solidarity for women at all stages of motherhood.

Kirkus Reviews


Available on Amazon

Read reviews of the book

Free Resources

“Writing Your Marker Story” provides prompts and links to readings to get you thinking about writing stories from your life.

Download now

“Ellen’s Eight Essential Elements of Essay” offers short and concise lessons on craft.

Download now


“Leaving a Legacy By Letter” is a 50-minute webinar crammed with videos, examples and exercises on writing for legacy.

“Inspiring Sparks for Spiritual Self Care” is a webinar that I created for congregants in my synagogue that includes spiritually stimulating music, essay and psalms designed to spark writing.

Hosted and recorded by Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, Evanston, Illinois.


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