Diane Shortland

Freelance Writer


After five years writing the column ‘Laughter Therapy’ I approached publishing houses with a view to publishing all the column articles into a book. Whilst no-one took me up on the idea, I did receive some very encouraging responses:


“I read it with interest and applaud your unwillingness to let circumstances get you down. Your honest and forthright style is engaging and amusing.” Bloomsbury


“Thank you so much for sending us your articles on living with ME. I wanted to write back to you in person to say how much I enjoyed these pieces and how they made me laugh. They definitely deserve a wider audience and they provide an eye- opening insight into a much - misunderstood illness. I think you should persevere and try and find a print publisher. “ ISIS Publishing Ltd


“I have taken the liberty of reading them and much enjoyed them! Good luck in finding a publisher and do let me know if you are successful - I will give you a plug on my website and in my group newsletter.” Scimitar Press


“It looks to be very valid projects……find a well deserved home”. Anova Books


“The work looks original and intriguing, and also seems to perform a very positive function. This is a book that just has the most positive approach one can imagine; laughter. And it says too, to the sufferer and just as much to the family; you are not alone, and there are things that can be achieved by the right mental attitude. ME is not at all funny, but the lightness of touch is a remarkable achievement. It is well and intelligently written. There is not a hint of self pity here; the author has communicated the one intangible thing, that no surgeon or doctor however gifted can provide - the will to win, and in the face of perhaps the hardest disease about which to be strong! She is quite stroppy in a way, and that is a helpful attitude - this may not be received orthodoxy, but I believe it is so. Fight is good. Diane Shortland has made something first rate and very human. This book can inspire and help.” Athena Press


“These promises to be an excellent collection of articles based around living with ME, and you successfully show how the illness touches every area of the sufferer’s life. You are absolutely right about the healing benefit of humour, and you express these well in your light self-effacing style. The articles are chatty in nature, arousing smiles and sympathy in readers and thus meeting the needs of your target audience”. Book Guild Publishing


Coming back to the project a fresh last year, I was able to see how to progress with the idea of a book to a new and more widely appealing proposal. I am now in the process of writing a memoir on  living with ME.


From ME sufferers…


“It would be so easy to be depressed about being chronically ill but Diane turns things on their head, she finds the humour in life and it's infectious! You can't help but laugh n smile when you read laughter therapy and it brightens your day”. Tom Dinnen, Ireland.


“A unique and superbly funny insight into life with ME. A delightful read which strikes the perfect balance between being poignant and sensitive to the subject matter whilst being hilarious and entertaining. A real gem”. Sarah-Jane Slack, Northants.


“Your articles have always been like a ray of sunshine and always made me smile. I did so look forward to reading them and miss them. The way you write and your observations were something I found I could connect with. You displayed a great understanding and empathy as well as warmth and humour. You’re very talented and I wish you every success in your future career” Irene Beck, Bedfordshire.


“I loved reading Diane's Laughter Therapy column. It was always the first page I would turn to when the magazine came through my door. She could make me laugh out loud and it always brightened my day.” Tori Dinnen, Belfast.


“I always really enjoyed reading Diane’s Laughter Therapy column. In fact it was the highlight of the magazine for me and always the first page I turned to. She totally understands from the inside what we all go through and has a wonderful talent for making it funny. It’s so important to be able to laugh, no matter how grim things seem at times, and it’s great that Diane is able to give this gift to so many people. Please write some more!”  Shula Feist, Faversham.