Breathe. Write. Breathe. - 18 Energizing practices to spark your writing and free your voice by Lisa Tener

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Breathe. Write. Breathe.

18 Energizing Practices to Spark Your Writing & Free Your Voice

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend Harvard Medical School’s Publishing Course

I recently received the brochure for the 2009 course, Publishing Books, Memoirs and Other Creative Nonfiction, which is offered March 26-28 at Boston’s Fairmont Copley Hotel. Several of my writing coaching clients have told me they’ll be there. Will you?

Even if you’re not a medical professional or health writer, I can think of a whole bunch of reasons for you to come:

1. It’s one of the most comprehensive courses on how to become a published author, including information on how to build your platform (and if you don’t know what a platform is, you really need to attend!).

2. You get to meet top literary agents in person with the opportunity to sit down and talk with them. They’ll tell you if they’re interested in your book and, many times, they’ll provide an author with ideas that would make the book more appealing to readers, agents and publishers–taking your book idea from interesting to marketable.

3. You can get expert feedback on your writing and your book concept during the Writer’s Workshop (you can request to work with your favorite writing coach if you want).

4. You can learn how to get into “The Zone” whenever you sit down to write (in the workshop taught by your favorite writing coach on Thursday and Friday).

5. You’ll learn from bestselling authors including, Herbert Benson.

6. You’ll hear cutting edge information from professionals in all walks of publishing: agents, authors, publishers, publicists, writing coaches and editors.

7. Copley Square (Hey, I went to MIT, so a trip to Boston is always a draw for me).

8. Shameless Pitches: Yet another opportunity to grab an agent or publisher’s attention.

9. You’ll learn secrets of compelling writing.

10Dr. Julie Silver, the course director, over-delivers (Many people take the course year one, put it into action and attend the following year to pitch to agents and publishers, and also to learn more–each year offers new gems).

I’ve often heard aspiring writers complain about how hard it is to get published. Those people just aren’t doing the right things to get published. Attending this course is the perfect antidote. Not only do you learn exactly what to do, but you make those contacts that are necessary to get published.  I know many people who attended the course and got an agent or publisher for their book within a year or so.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jeanne Fredericks says

    The caliber of participants and faculty at the Harvard CME class is superb so I always look forward to attending so I can meet potential authors and learn from other publishing professionals. I think that the course can motivate participants and help them transform good book proposals into ones that are ready to sell. I highly recommend this course to medical professionals who aspire to write books that sell well.

  2. Ellen Weber Libby says

    Having heard my colleague rave for two years about the Harvard Medical School Publishing Course, I decided to join her. I’m so glad I did. It changed my life. My desire to write a book was long standing, but I didn’t think I could do it. The task seemed too overwhelming. I had some ideas but didn’t have the foggiest idea where to begin.

    As soon as I stepped into the ballroom at the Copley Plaza, I was motivated by the excitement and positive energy. Before I knew it, I was in line, signing up for a Shameless Pitch. Having signed up to pitch a book, I had to come up with a topic – quick! I’d been thinking about writing a book about favorite children, the advantages and disadvantages of that position. I decided to go with it. The next morning I woke up and knew what I wanted to say in my pitch. I started writing that morning and haven’t stopped.

    People who I met at the workshop have supported and encouraged me. They taught me that writing isn’t the isolated activity I thought it was. First there is the Harvard Hussies – four aspiring writers who came together during a break and left Boston committed to encouraging each other. A sign of membership, a coaster from the Copley with a black lab featured, sits proudly on my desk. It holds my mug, my security object, which I can’t write without! Second, there is Regina Brooks who believed in my idea and guided me in writing a proposal. She heard the book I wanted to write and found a publisher excited about publishing it. Third, there is Lisa Tener who has helped me express my thoughts, influenced by 30 years of clinical practice, in rea language – no pscyho-babble in this book! And, of course, my friend Eileen who lovingly pushed me to go with her to Boston and regularly pushes me to write one more page when I don’t think I have it in me.

    My book, The Favorite Child,is being published by Prometheus. It is scheduled to be in bookstores January 2010. Look for it! I promise it will be a great read because writing it has been so thrilling.

  3. Pat Hastings says

    Hi Lisa, this sounds like a great weekend. Can you give more information about getting a brochure and price. I have enjoyed receiving your blogs and the information you are giving us. I was told to wait until I’ve sold 1500-2000 books before I looked for a literary agent. Do you agree with that?

    Good luck to you Ellen and I look forward to your book coming out. What a thrill to hold that first book in our hands. I also was filled with fear and it took me 7 years to write and get my book published. Simply a WOman of Faith was self-published a year ago and it’s been an unbelievable journey and doors continue to open up for me with speaking, leading retreats, etc. Having a book is a great tool for other things to happen. Maybe I will see you at the conference in March. Have a great day and thanks again Lisa for all the great information you are giving us. Happy Holidays, Pat

  4. lisatener says

    Hi Pat,
    Just click on the link at the top in blue for the brochure for the course (PDF file).
    I think generally more than 2,000 would be ideal. I’ve heard different magic numbers: 2,500, 5,000 or even 10,000 or more, but it depends on the book.
    Publishers will want you to demonstrate that there are still people in your market you haven’t reached who would buy the book when they re-publish.
    Given that you are writing a very marketable follow-up book, I think it would be much easier to do a thorough job of selling your self published book, Simply a Woman of Faith, then query agents and publishers for your second book. Then, once the sequel does well, it could make it easy to traditionally publish the first book.

  5. Jill Grimes, MD says

    I’m doing “the happy dance” as I hold my newly published book, Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs, in my hands! Dr. Silver’s course was absolutely instrumental in bringing this dream to reality. I attended the course March of 2007, and made contacts AT THAT MEETING which led to a signed contract with Johns Hopkins University press by August 2007, and a book that has just been released in November 2008. My life is now consumed with reporter correspondence and radio shows as I take it to the next level (book promotion). If you have a solid idea or have actually written a manuscript, stop sitting around and go to this conference! If you’re willing to focus your energy on your writing, then this course is worth every penny. The publishing world is vastly different from our comfortable medical bubble, and you NEED the info. this course provides to navigate it successfully. Best wishes to all willing to take on this challenge!

  6. Dan Tomasulo says

    At the age of forty nine I went back to school for an MFA in writing Had I taken the Harvard course first, I might not have needed to.

    Simply put the course is a three day extravaganza you won’t want to miss. By day two I was cutting back on my liquids to make sure I didn’t have to take any bathroom breaks.

    They bring in the best people on the planet to give you the real scoop on agents, contests, magazines, publicists, book doctors, and, of course, the craft of writing. Sign up for one of the writing workshops, prepare a story to pitch, jump in with both feet (actually both hands) and get inspired.

    As luck would have it my memoir sold the week after the workshop and it was published last year. Everything everything they told me would happen with my agent, my publisher, the money , the contract, the publicity, happened. If you are like me you have a busy practice and yet still want to practice your craft. This course was a complete introduction to a writer’s life. No one know better how to deliver the goods to such a select audience.

    Your book might not sell the week after you take the course, but when it does you’ll be very glad you invested in yourself by taking Publishing Books, Memoirs and Other Creative Non Fiction this Spring.

    Daniel J. Tomasulo, Ph.D., MFA is a licensed psychologist specializing in group psychotherapy and psychodrama, and author of the new book, Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist’s Memoir. Visit for more information.

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