COACHING/ONLINE CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
1. A few spots are available for one on one coaching. Please email me at tessasmithmcgovern @ gmail.com.
2. A free ONGOING weekly workshop online, Writing Sprints to Prompts, on Tuesdays from 12 noon – 1pm ET for the Westport Library, Westport, CT. (ZOOM LINK BELOW) This is like a write-in but with extras…think of it as my office hours where you can ask me anything about writing, publishing or marketing fiction.
We’ll chat for the first few minutes and then I’ll share some prompts and first lines which people can use, tweak or ignore. The time can be spent on new words or world-building, revising – anything at all – doesn’t even have to be creative writing. Then we’ll write for 50 minutes, and in the last 5 mins we’ll discuss writing goals and obstacles (and tips to overcome them) for the coming week, which will include submissions to journals and publishers.
Cost: FREE (sponsored by the Westport Library in CT, USA, but open to all, whatever town or country you live in.)
Below is the Zoom link. Hope to see you there!
3. The Writing Institute, Sarah Lawrence College (NY): ‘Learn How to Link Your Short Stories and Memoirs into a Collection with Tessa McGovern’ (online)
2 hour session on Wednesdays 6.30 – 8.30 PM EST
Five VIRTUAL workshop dates as follows:
Feb 1st, 2021
Workshop is limited to 15 registrants
A rising trend in publishing is novels-in-stories, otherwise known as linked short stories. If you have short stories or memoirs languishing in a drawer, consider joining this workshop to learn how to link and shape them into a collection.
What is a linked short story collection, and how do you write one? Is it the same process as novel-writing, or different? What are the writer’s choices for linking short stories? Is one choice simpler than another? Which method of linking short stories would work best for your writing?
There are many joyous and creative ways to compile a satisfying collection. In this workshop, you will learn to identify how your stories – published or unpublished, typed or handwritten – fit together and how to enhance and deepen the book’s themes.
Each class will include in-class exercises to produce new work, time to talk with the teacher about your own work, and prompts for optional at-home assignments.
You will finish these five-weeks knowing how to combine shorter works into a collection that is greater than the sum of its parts. This process can be repeated with new work as you continue to write your stories in the coming months and years. It is a way to track your own development as a writer and illuminate who you are – and who you can be – as an artist.
Individual advice will be given on submitting your finished result for publication or publishing independently. No homework or reading.
Tessa Smith McGovern is an award-winning writer whose linked short story collection, LONDON ROAD: LINKED STORIES, received a ‘Featured’ review from Kirkus, is an Amazon best-seller, and a gold medal winner in the 2012 eLit Awards. Her non-fiction book, COCKTAILS FOR BOOK LOVERS (Sourcebooks), is also an Amazon best-seller. Her many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and Equinox, a UK poetry journal archived by the English Arts Council at the Southbank Centre, London. She’s currently writing a contemporary fantasy novel inspired by British mythology and pursuing her MFA in Writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing. 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 (BGTV), an award-winning digital channel that promotes books and reading. BGTV has 6 million+ minutes viewed on YouTube and 10,000+ likes on Facebook.
4. For Middle and High School Writers: Create A Writing Portfolio for Your College Resume
A short story or essay can showcase your unique qualities, skills or interests that college admissions officers might otherwise miss. A writer who revises and publishes their work displays creativity, self-confidence, passion, and the willingness to go above and beyond in the pursuit of that passion. Colleges want students with grit who will change the world, and that’s what writers do! One on one time with the instructor will be available during each Zoom session. Publishing advice will be given as appropriate.
This workshop is a 3-week series that will meet Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30-6:00 PM beginning on Oct 6th.
This workshop will meet on the following dates: Oct. 6, Oct. 8, Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Oct. 20, & Oct. 22. Please plan to attend all workshop meetings.
Cost: FREE (sponsored by the Westport Library in CT, USA, but open to all, wherever you live.)
To see this workshop on the Westport Library page, please click HERE.
This workshop will be led by novelist and short story writer Tessa Smith McGovern who teaches at The Writing Institute, Sarah Lawrence College and is co-founder/teacher of the Fairfield County Writers’ Studio. When her two children were at Staples High School in Westport, CT, Tessa guided them in the creation of original, polished creative writing portfolios that fully expressed their personalities to help their resumes stand out. Her son recently graduated from Boston College and her daughter is currently a JD/MBA student at Boston College Law School.
KIND WORDS FROM STUDENTS
HOW TO LINK YOUR SHORT STORIES & MEMOIRS INTO A COLLECTION: “The topic of Tessa’s class had always puzzled me. I had written a series of short-but-true stories, but was entirely stuck on how to put them together. That is, until I studied with Tessa. She brought fresh energy, inspiration, and creative ideas to her workshop. The impossible no longer feels impossible, thanks to Tessa. I am 300% glad to have studied with her.” – Ellen Luborsky, Ph.D., The Writing Institute, Sarah Lawrence College, NY
“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, The Writing Institute, Sarah Lawrence College, NY
“If you are planning to write for 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.” – Jeanette Gould, The Writing Institute, Sarah Lawrence College, NY
“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, Author, How to Make a Life (Oct 2020), a novel in stories.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT TESSA’S TEACHING
When her two children were at Staples High School in Westport, CT, she guided them in the creation of original, polished creative writing portfolios that fully expressed their personalities to help their resumes stand out. Colleges want students with grit who will change the world, and that’s what writers can do. Thus, each portfolio showcased qualities such as creativity, commitment to a passion, and the willingness to go above and beyond in the pursuit of that passion. Each portfolio was published and available on their resumes as a link for college admission officers to download and review.
Her son recently graduated from Boston College (2019) and her daughter is a JD/MBA candidate at Boston College Law School.
Tessa is founder of award-winning eChook Digital Publishing which won a gold and a silver in the 2012 eLit Book Awards. She was also host/producer of BookGirlTV (BGTV) from 2014-2016 when a health issue forced a (thankfully temporary) break. BGTV interviews feature popular authors such as Dani Shapiro, Jane Green and Pulitzer prize-winner Anna Quindlen.
Tessa was born in England, moved to the United States in 1993, and published her first short story in 1996. She’s currently working on a contemporary fantasy novel with talking animals that’s inspired by British folklore. She lives in CT with her family, a black lab called Rocky, a Ragamuffin/Persian mix called Rosie (Ru-Ru), and a black and white Maine Coon called Hamish who actually can talk.
Her books include two Amazon best-sellers: the short story collection London Road: Linked Stories eChook Digital Publishing (British Short Stories category), and Cocktails for Book Lovers, Sourcebooks, Inc (Cocktails/mixed drinks category).
SHORT STORIES: CellStories.net, Connecticut Review, Crack the Spine Literary Journal, Evening Street Review, The Dirty Goat, RiverSedge, Studio One, The Distillery, BCtheMagazine, Happy, Georgia State University Review, Portland Magazine, Verdad
SHORT STORIES: First Offense, Carillon, Lucid Moon, Equinox Poetry Magazine (archived by the English Arts Council, Southbank Center, London)
2011 – Silver Medal (Editor), eLit Book Awards, ‘Memoir, Vol. 1’, eChook Digital Publishing
2011 – Gold Medal, eLit Book Awards, ‘London Road: Linked Stories, eChook Digital Publishing
2009 – Winner, Connecticut Press Club Creative Writing, ‘When Janice Bailey Walked’
2005-2008 – Honored Writer, the Annual Ultra-Short Competition of the Binnacle (University of Maine at Machias)
1996 – Honorable Mention, the Abiko Quarterly with James Joyce Studies, ‘Night of Glass’
For more information, please email tessasmithmcgovern @ gmail.com