Fiction Writing for Digital Publication

October 8 – November 5, 2015, Thursdays, 12 – 2pm (5 weeks)

Sales of ebooks are projected to quadruple by 2018*. But is writing an ebook different from writing for print? What are the hottest trends? Which books and short stories are most popular, and why? How can writers learn from those books in a way that enhances their own original work? Which is best, traditional, Indie or self publishing? And is Amazon the only worthwhile platform, or are there others?

What role does character development play? If memorable stories are usually simple tales about complex characters, how can writers create complex characters? Learn how in this class, and join a supportive writing community that welcomes writers of all levels.

We will explore these questions and more as we study the latest digital literary and genre best-sellers. Each class will include the following: instruction on a point of craft (hooking the reader, writing vivid prose, dialogue, narrative pacing, and showing versus telling) as illustrated by today’s top authors, in-class exercises to begin new work, prompts for optional at-home assignments, feedback on 5 pages of your work each week, and a one hour one-on-one meeting with the instructor.




Using Video and Audio to Promote Your Work

Saturday, October 10th, 2015, 12 – 3pm (one day intensive)

If the world’s attention is now focused on small screens, then books and writing must be on small screens too! How can writers promote their work using video? How do we create videos people will share? At what point in the process does a writer need a book trailer, and what goes into making a cost-effective trailer that makes readers click to learn more? Where and how should the videos be uploaded, and if a writer is camera-shy, what other options are there?

We will address these questions and more using the latest successful examples, and each person will leave class with a simple, effective plan of action.


Tessa Smith McGovern is an award-winning short-story writer whose many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. Her linked short story collection, LONDON ROAD: LINKED STORIES, is an Amazon best-seller and gold medal winner in the 2012 eLit Awards. Her non-fiction book, COCKTAILS FOR BOOK LOVERS (Sourcebooks), is also an Amazon best-seller. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing, publisher of short-story collections and memoirs on iPhone, iPad, Android, Nook and Kindle. eChook won a silver medal in the 2012 eLit Awards and its stories have been read by thousands of readers in 100+ countries.

Tessa is also host, writer and producer of BookGirlTV, an award-winning digital channel that promotes books and reading on all digital platforms and smart TVs. BookGirlTV has over 6 million minutes viewed on YouTube, 600 subscribers, and is partnered with Disney’s MakerGen Studios. An app called ‘BookGirlTV BUZZ’ is available on Android and iOS.

eChook and BookGirlTV have 166 million impressions on Facebook, 10,000-plus Facebook likes and 2,000-plus Twitter followers.


“Tessa was a remarkable teacher, not just of writing in the digital age, but of the art and craft of writing in general. Her vision was timeless and inspired, and her course was truly life changing for me.” – Jeanne Chinard

“If you are planning to write for the digital media, you must meet Tessa Smith McGovern…Her knowledge of the internet, the publishing world, and the steps to successful digital publishing is current and extensive. She has valuable insight into the psychology of writing and writers. In her classes at Sarah Lawrence College, she can be charming and encouraging, while holding a writer’s feet to the fire.” – Jeanette Gould

“Tessa Smith McGovern’s class ‘Writing for Digital Media’ is one of the best writing classes I have ever taken. In addition to teaching us step by step how to blog and tweet and link our pieces to Facebook so we could truly begin to build a platform for publishing, Tessa’s advice and critique of our writing was unfailingly helpful and supportive. Tessa individualized our assignments so that each student made progress in her work. I cannot recommend this class highly enough.” – Florence Reiss Kraut

3 Responses to “FALL 2015 The Writing Institute Sarah Lawrence College NY”

  1. Tessa 15 June 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi Carole,

    Will do. Writing instruction is also available in our newsletter, LITERARY DELIGHTS and in Story Studio (sign up on the homepage- top right). We hope you enjoy!


  2. Jeanette Gould 15 March 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Good Morning Tess and Student Friends,
    I have hurt an ankle, and need to rest it a few days. I will use the time here at my computer to do some practice on Twitter and Facebook, and to expand last week’s timed writing. Hmmmm…the one where I go ballistic at some poor churchwoman! Does it need expanding or Have I done enough damage already??!! I hope there is a way to access the contents of today’s class. This past week, I did put in at least two hours daily on writing, though some of it relates to newsletter writing for a Sustainable Living committee, a plea to a friend for help setting up a website, and other similar tasks. I did explore e-Chook more thoroughly, and I did complete two short pieces of the memoir, and have edited them. What is emerging is that my keenest interest, and the subject which grabs me most strongly, is the communication skills I learned in CA with Marshall Rosenberg. Learned is a relative word, as the writing has shown me, and I have quite a ways to go to perfect the the skills I tout so often!! Both the completed pieces relate to conversations/interactions gone awry through lack of basic respectful communication, skillful listening, and refrain from blame and judgment. Looking forward to seeing “y’all” next week.

  3. Tessa 15 March 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi Jeanette,

    Nice to see you here! So sorry to hear about your ankle. I hope it feels better soon. And yes, the podcast of today’s will be on the website by Friday at 3pm latest. Great progress last week, and I have the work you emailed to return to you. If you can, it’d be great if you’d like to post your work on this page in the Reply box so everyone can read it, along with my comments.

    I would like to read more about the church woman. That piece offers the reader insight into nature – the way we sometimes react when there are other issues at hand. Write as much as you can for a full first draft.

    You teach Marshall Rosenberg’s skills, I know, and you may want to consider tweeting some of his tips. You can link to a page on his website so there won’t be an issue with copyright. Let us know how your explorations today go, okay? You’re making great progress.


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