A new spring/summer is on the horizon, and with it comes a new podcast for Verso Studios with familiar Westport Writing Workshop leaders, Patricia Dunn and Tessa Smith McGovern.
Go Ahead, Write Something “is for writers who want motivation and the deep-down truths about getting published, and how to find joy in writing and sharing your work with the world.”
The official podcast launch begins this month with five episodes available via traditional podcast aggregators, including Dunn and Smith McGovern’s StoryFest 2023 discussion with bestselling fantasy author Naomi Novik. Go Ahead, Write Something will have monthly offerings with guests scheduled through September of this year.
Recently, Verso Studios Marketing Manager Brendan Toller caught up with Verso’s latest podcasters:
Toller: Give us some background on your own writing paths.
Dunn and Smith McGovern: We have both been writing since childhood and teaching writing for over 20 years. We are both published authors. It took a lot of hard work to get there, and it still continues to. We had to face a lot of rejections along the way, but an important thing that kept us going was working with other writers, reading their stories, hearing them speak. None of us are "just" writers. We play many roles: caretakers, parents, partners, working at other jobs to help pay the bills, but knowing we are not alone is what makes all the difference.
Tell us about your new podcast.
This podcast is for readers and aspiring writers who want to hear the voices of published authors, some of them bestsellers with multiple books, others debuting authors, talking about their work and their journeys to publication. We hope to help aspiring writers, and even established ones, through the sharing of stories by authors, to inspire them and let them know they belong to a bigger community of writers who are cheering them on.
You both teach and lead writing groups. This podcast seems like a fitting extension to reach a wider audience using Verso Studios? Talk about your experience with Verso.
It's been a dream! The state-of-the-art studio is incredible, as is the incredible sound engineer and director Travis Bell, whose expertise, guidance, and personal touch makes everything come together. Recording the podcast is the highlight of our month.
We know from experience that the path to publication is often filled with roadblocks and U-turns and there will be a lot of rejections along the way. When it comes to getting your work published, you need the BIG T. We don't just mean talent, we mean tenacity. If you hang in there, and keep going in spite of the rejection, you can get your work out there. It's not easy, what writers do. It takes an incredible amount of hard work, and even then, there are no guarantees. But we know that if you hang in there, it can happen. You don't need to do this alone.
Who are some of the guests we can expect?
We have bestselling authors like Naomi Novik, as well as first-time novelists.
Naomi Novik, Patricia Dunn, and Tessa Smith McGovern at StoryFest 2022. This conversation comprises "Go Ahead and Write Something" podcast episode two.
Why do writers need a dialogue about craft?
Writing a story, a novel, a screenplay, is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You have a lot of pieces in front of you, and you have to figure out, by trial and error, where to place them to end up with a full picture.
Making a story work is a similar process. Though we don't always have the picture on the box to show us where we are going, we do have the pieces at our disposal: the elements of craft, dialogue, plot, character, tension, drama, structure, building a scene — the list goes on. Yes, we can learn craft from books, and there are many great ones out there, but by dialoging with other writers, getting feedback and giving feedback, we can save a lot of time and spare ourselves from a good deal of frustration. Instead of knocking all the puzzle pieces onto the floor because we feel stuck, we can lean on craft and other writers to help us put together the pieces, to write the story we want to write, and hopefully others will want to read.