Love in the Digital Age – Writing Exercise and Video

Posted on 20. Sep, 2015 by in Blog, Press/Events

Love isn’t just for Valentine’s Day. If we’re fortunate, it’s for every day, and it’s often the power behind a strong piece of writing. Readers register the depth of feeling without understanding exactly why they’re so moved. Consider this excerpt from Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘How it Feels to be Colored Me’:

“In the abrupt way that jazz orchestras have, this one plunges into a number. It loses no time in circumlocutions, but gets right down to business. It constricts the thorax and splits the heart with its tempo and narcotic harmonies. This orchestra grows rambunctious, rears on its hind legs and attacks the tonal veil with primitive fury, rending it, clawing it until it breaks through to the jungle beyond. I follow those heathen–follow them exultingly. I dance wildly inside myself; I yell within, I whoop; I shake my assegai above my head, I hurl it true to the mark yeeeeooww! I am in the jungle and living in the jungle way. My face is painted red and yellow and my body is painted blue. My pulse is throbbing like a war drum. I want to slaughter something–give pain, give death to what, I do not know.”

She never mentions love but, wow, you can tell she loves this music.

What makes you feel like that? Who makes you feel like that? Write for ten minutes to this prompt:

I first knew I loved him/her/it when…

And for a little Valentine’s Day fun, here’s a brief video entitled ‘Valentine’s in the Digital Age’. Enjoy!

Valentine’s in the Digital Age: wtnh.com

Are women writers scared of new technologies? Come on girls, say it ain’t so!

Posted on 20. Sep, 2015 by in Blog, Press/Events

Monyka Berrocosa of BlogTalkRadio completely surprised me when she said that, often, she finds women – particularly mothers – are scared of new technologies and that they may hold back, not execute their ideas, rather than experiment and fail. Does this describe you? If it does, it’s time for some new thinking. Here are three tips from my class (Writing for Digital Media) at Sarah Lawrence College:

1. Click and see what happens – the internet is constantly changing; websites get updated, new and better ones are launched. It simply isn’t possible to learn first and execute second. You learn by doing.

2. No-one will give you permission – and you don’t need it! What do YOU want to find on the internet? What’s the most fantastic thing you can think of? Start it now.

3. Make it fun! Every time Leslie and I do something new on the computer, once we’ve edited once, twice, three times and think we’re finally ready to hit send, she looks at me and says, “Shall we go?” and I say, “Click away!” and she clicks the mouse and we laugh our heads off. Silly but true.

On our interview at mycity4herradio, Monyka asked questions about writing and publishing I haven’t been asked before (despite dozens of interviews over the last 18 months! Great job, Monyka!), so for more tips and advice, you might like to listen to the interview, available in eChook’s Story Studio now. To visit Monyka at mycity4herradio, please click here.

Coming Soon: Interviews with best-selling author Jane Green, award-winning YA author Barbara Dee, novelist Sandi Kahn Shelton, Dr. Rachelle Katz and more…

Posted on 07. Dec, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

We’re excited to announce the January 2013 launch of our rebranded Book Girl video series and monthly Book Club. Join us for cocktail and Book Club fun biweekly on Thursdays at 7pm on YouTube at BookGirlTV!

Introducing BookGirlTV!

Posted on 27. Oct, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

We’re delighted to announce that our web series, ‘Liquid Lunch for Book-Lovers’ is being re-branded as BookGirlTV and that a national launch of the show will begin in January 2013. We also have a tie-in book in the works. Exciting times!

Here’s our first re-branded episode – enjoy!

Watch Nina and BookGirl Tessa Smith McGovern make a delicious, original cocktail as Nina reveals how she wrote her highly acclaimed memoir, ‘Tolstoy and the Purple Chair’, named an Outstanding Debut Novel of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and given a starred review. Nina is the brains behind readallday.org, a book review website, and a blogger for the Huffington Post.

Tessa Smith McGovern is an award-winning writer, teacher at Sarah Lawrence College and founder of eChook Digital Publishing.

Part 2 of this exclusive interview will be available soon.

Enjoy delectable cocktails and insightful interviews with today’s top authors! To be notified when new BookGirl interviews become available, please go to YouTube and subscribe to BookGirlTV.

VIDEO: Westport Country Playhouse Literary Salon

Posted on 18. Jun, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

In the first of the Westport Country Playhouse’s new Literary Salon Series ‘Books Worth Talking About!’, I interviewed Nina Sankovitch, author of the memoir Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: A Year of Magical Reading about the use of memoir writing as a healing tool.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair was named an Outstanding Debut Novel of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and given a starred review. And Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us, Bombay Time, and The Weight of Heaven, said “Nina Sankovitch has crafted a dazzling memoir that reminds us of the most primal function of literature–to heal, to nurture and to connect us to our truest selves.”

New in 2012, the Playhouse’s Literary Salon series will include a pre-show salon with featured authors and lively discussion followed by a performance of a Playhouse production. This series will provide an opportunity to interact with prominent authors and explore ideas and themes which will enrich the theater-going experience.

The idea is the brain-child of Westport book publicist Meryl Moss and Playhouse managing director Michael Ross. For the past 19 years, Moss has run Meryl L. Moss Media Relations Inc. in Westport. Her roster includes many New York Times best-selling authors.

The salons are open to anyone with a ticket for the performance that follows and, in celebration of the Playhouse’ Literary Salon Series, here are some fascinating facts about the origin of the literary salon:

Literary salons in seventeenth-century France‘, the literary salon originated in France and whilst their salons were not without precedent – there were salons in sixteenth-century Italy – no other country had produced a tradition of such gatherings.

The salon tradition began in 1610 when the Italian-born marquise de Ramboulliet decided the French court was not sophisticated enough, so she created an alternate court in her townhouse near the Louvre.

While the tradition was alive, the word salon did not refer to the actual meetings, it referred only to the formal room in which the gatherings were held. During those early decades, however, the assemblies took place in more intimate settings. The marquise received her guests in an inner sanctum which could only be reached by going through the formal salons. The inner sanctum was the marquise’s bed chamber, known as la chambre bleu. There, she seated all her guests in the space between the bed and the wall while she remained in bed.

Salons flourished in France for nearly two centuries and, during that time, remained under the control of women. Salon literary criticism reflected that fact. Its volumes paid tribute to women’s writing with a seriousness that subsequently vanished from criticism and has only reappeared in recent decades.

The French revolution in 1789 brought the salon tradition to an abrupt halt, although it did re-surface in the nineteenth century.

Of course, there were salons in other European nations, most famously Virginia Woolf’s salon in her home in Bloomsbury, London in the early 1900’s, but these were preceded by an era of British salons from 1750 – 1790.

Those earlier salons, held by women known as the Bluestocking circle, were often hosted by Elizabeth Montagu, Elizabeth Vesey and Frances Boscawen. Informed by French refugees and communications from France, these literate and often eccentric women viewed themselves as important intellectual sources and they banished activities such as playing cards in favor of intellectual exchange.

To learn more about the Westport Country Playhouse literary salons or to RSVP for one –Books Worth Talking About! through the Playhouse Box Office at 203.227.4177

Please continue to check the Playhouse website for more Books Worth Talking About events!

Woohoo! Celebrating Our Authors’ Gold & Silver Medals in This Year’s eLit Awards

Posted on 25. Apr, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events, Submissions

We are so proud and delighted to announce that our second collection ‘Memoir, Vol.1’ has won the Silver Medal in this year’s eLit Awards in the Anthology category. Congratulations to all our authors: Jennifer Armstrong, David Barry, Carol Boas, Ina Chadwick, Gabi Coatsworth, Rebecca Dimyan, Eileen Elkinson, Leslie Chess Feller, Jimin Han, Aileen Hewitt, Nikki Loftin, Helen Rafferty and Tricia Tierney!

And ‘London Road: Linked Stories’ by Tessa Smith McGovern, our first collection, won the Gold Medal from this year’s eLit Awards in the Short Story Collection category. Thanks so much to the folks at eLit and to all our readers – over five and a half thousand downloads across iTunes, Android, eBooks, Nook and Kindle in the last year!


LONDON ROAD: LINKED STORIES. $.99 on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, Kindle and online e-book.

MEMOIR, VOL. 1. $.99 on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, Kindle and online e-book.

SHORT STORIES, VOL. 1. $.99 on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, Kindle and online.

To submit your work, please visit our Submissions page. To receive free instruction, cutting edge news and tools you can use to write, build a platform and publish, sign up for the blog on our home page.

Friday 3/30 4.45pm EST Free Teleseminar and Audio Download: ‘Digital Age Secrets to Write, Publish, and Promote your Memoir’ March 30, 2012 4:45pm EST

Posted on 29. Mar, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

Get your questions ready!

NAMW is holding a free, all-day teleconference (which they’ve kindly asked me to be part of on March 30 at 4.45pm EST) and you can sign up to receive an audio download for the whole day’s presenters (other presenters are Smashwords founder Mark Coker,Dan Blank, Lynn Serafinn, Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers). That’s a lot of learning!

Here’s some of the description, and a link to more info and for sign-up:

MEMOIR WRITING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

The Year of the Memoir is 2012! Memoir writers have more tools than ever available for writing and publishing a memoir. But writers have many questions in this digital explosion…

We are happy to have as our guest Tessa Smith McGovern, an expert in epublishing with a special focus on memoirs.

Digital Age Secrets to Write, Publish, and Promote your Memoir

4:45pm EST/3:45pm CST/2:45pm MST/1:45pm PST

Everyone can get published. There is a system, a series of steps to follow, that writers have been using for generations and that you can follow too. There’s no quick fix, no magic bullet, but instead a reliable, life-affirming series of activities that will get you where you want to go. These days, all writers need to build a platform of readers, which means (at some point) creating your own website or blog, and posting excerpts of your work.

At eChook, we teach writers how to use the technical tools available to create their unique platform and reach larger audiences. All this can be done quickly and learned easily.

During the Telesummit, you will learn:

* The system that until now only been available to writers signed by agents and legacy publishers

* Why memoir is often the easiest genre to get published

* How to make your memoir stand out from the crowd

* Technical apps and digital chapbooks

* Contests that move your career forward

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. The stories, memoirs, fiction, and essays have been read by thousands of readers in 100 countries. eChook has over 24 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers. She teaches ‘Writing for Digital Media’ online and at Sarah Lawrence College.

You can sign up here: http://www.namw.org. They will send you the telephone number to call, and you can either participate or just listen.

Looking forward to it!

Tessa

Save the Date: Teleseminar on ‘Digital Age Secrets to Write, Publish, and Promote your Memoir’ March 30, 2012 4:45pm EST/3:45pm CST/2:45pm MST/1:45 pm PST

Posted on 19. Mar, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

The National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) is an amazing resource for writers of memoir. Founded by Linda Joy Myers, who’s clearly a human dynamo, the website is chock-full of free information.

Here’s a bit about Linda: She’s the author of ‘The Power of Memoir – How to Write Your Healing Story’ (Jossey-Bass, 2010), ‘Becoming Whole – Writing your Healing Story’ (Silvercat Publications, 2003), and the award-winning memoir, ‘Don’t Call Me Mother: Breaking the Chain of Mother-Daughter Abandonment’ (Two Bridges Press, 2005). She’s taught memoir writing for 15 years, and has been a therapist in Berkeley, CA for the last 32 years. She teaches and offers memoir coaching, editing and manuscript evaluation, and is a mentor to many memoir writers. You can visit her (delightful) blog at http://memoriesandmemoirs.com.

NAMW is holding a free, all-day teleconference (which they’ve kindly asked me to be part of on March 30 at 4.45pm EST) and you can sign up to receive an audio download for the whole day’s presenters (other presenters are Mark Coker (Smashwords founder),Dan Blank, Lynn Serafinn, Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Meyers). That’s a lot of learning!

Here’s some of the description, and a link to more info and for sign-up:

MEMOIR WRITING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

The Year of the Memoir is 2012! Memoir writers have more tools than ever available for writing and publishing a memoir. But writers have many questions in this digital explosion…

We are happy to have as our guest Tessa Smith McGovern, an expert in epublishing with a special focus on memoirs.

Digital Age Secrets to Write, Publish, and Promote your Memoir

4:45pm EST/3:45pm CST/2:45pm MST/1:45pm PST

Everyone can get published. There is a system, a series of steps to follow, that writers have been using for generations and that you can follow too. There’s no quick fix, no magic bullet, but instead a reliable, life-affirming series of activities that will get you where you want to go. These days, all writers need to build a platform of readers, which means (at some point) creating your own website or blog, and posting excerpts of your work.

At eChook, we teach writers how to use the technical tools available to create their unique platform and reach larger audiences. All this can be done quickly and learned easily.

During the Telesummit, you will learn:

* The system that until now only been available to writers signed by agents and legacy publishers

* Why memoir is often the easiest genre to get published

* How to make your memoir stand out from the crowd

* Technical apps and digital chapbooks

* Contests that move your career forward

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. The stories, memoirs, fiction, and essays have been read by thousands of readers in 100 countries. eChook has over 24 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers. She teaches ‘Writing for Digital Media’ online and at Sarah Lawrence College.

You can sign up here: http://www.namw.org

Looking forward to it!

Tessa

NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: Sarah Lawrence College Writing Class – for the First Time Ever

Posted on 17. Feb, 2012 by in Blog, Press/Events

In response to student request, Tessa Smith McGovern’s class ‘Writing for Digital Media’, held at the Sarah Lawrence College campus in Bronxville, NY is now also available online. SIGN UP OPEN NOW.

WRITING FOR DIGITAL MEDIA: STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
Thursday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
March 1st – May 10th
11 Sessions, $575
SIGN UP HERE

Suitable for writers of long or short form, fiction, non-fiction or poetry, beginners to advanced.

The options for writers today can be overwhelming, but there is a system, a series of steps to follow to get published and build your platform, that writers have been using for generations and that you can follow too. There’s no quick fix, no magic bullet, but instead a reliable, life-affirming series of activities that will get you where you want to go.

In this class we will explore how writers can navigate the maze of digital media, focus on their strengths and build their platform in a way that meets their goals. These days, all writers need to build a platform of readers, which means (at some point) creating your own website or blog, and posting excerpts of your work. We’ll consider blogs versus websites, learn how each writer can get published, make the best use of social media and develop and execute their own, long-term Facebook and Twitter strategies.

You will learn:

* The system that until now only been available to writers signed by agents and legacy publishers – as it exists now in the digital age
* Which genre is often the easiest to get published
* How to make your work stand out from the crowd
* Technical apps and digital chapbooks
* Contests that move your career forward

To get the words flowing, we’ll read classic stories that still work in today’s digital world, and do some writing exercises of our own.

There are no prerequisites for this class, but writers should have some knowledge of, and be willing to explore, social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Please be prepared to produce new writing, and offer and receive productive critiques.

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. eChook has thousands of readers in 100+ countries, 26 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers.

Also, sign up for eChook’s newsletter ‘LITERARY DELIGHTS’ – enjoy a classic short story and a writing tip that illuminates technique as employed by the author as well as news and calls for submissions. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.

Free Talk: How to Get Published Sat 4th Feb 12 – 2pm Fairfield Library

Posted on 03. Feb, 2012 by in Press/Events

Are you befuddled by all the options there are for writers in today’s digital world? Well, the good news is, it’s easier than ever to get published. There is a system, a series of steps to follow, that writers have been using for generations and that you can follow, too.

There’s no magic bullet, no quick fix, but instead a reliable, life-affirming series of activities that will get you where you want to go. In the first hour, you will learn:

* The system that, until now, has only been available to writers signed by agents and legacy publishers

* Which genre is often the easiest to get published

* How to make your work stand out from the crowd

At the end, there will be time for questions so you can get specific answers tailored to your needs.

About the Teacher:

Tessa Smith McGovern is a short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, which publishes short-story collections on multiple platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Nook, and Kindle, as well as original Web-based stories at echook.com. The stories, memoirs, fiction, and essays have been read by thousands of readers in 100+ countries. eChook has over 24 million impressions on Facebook and 1,100+ Twitter followers.

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