Harvard’s Writing and Publishing Course: A Book Takes Form

Julie Silver, M.D., the inspiring director of Harvard Medical School’s compelling conference on Publishing Books, Memoirs and other Creative Nonfiction, encourages participants with their writing efforts and guides them down the path to becoming published authors. Networking opportunities with agents, publishers, editors, and fellow writers abound at this annual conference.

My first time attending the three-day Harvard publishing course, I sat listening, absorbing, percolating. A book I wanted to write was beginning to take shape in my mind, although initially I knew little of the process. For six months I did nothing except mull over all the new information I had been subliminally processing.

Lisa Tener portrait
Lisa Tener

One rainy afternoon I decided to sign up for Lisa Tener’s writing course. We met at the conference and I thought being accountable to Lisa and the internet based group would help me stay focused. The course was designed for students to create a first rough draft by the end of six weeks.

Those six weeks flew by and I ended up with little more than scattered note cards and random pages of incoherence. Nevertheless I had begun my journey. I jumped into the murky waters of writing and while I hated the frustration of writing, I loved the magic when I succeeded in expressing my thoughts in a meaningful way.

Another conference and several months later an outline emerged from the scribbles. I kept on writing, as advised at the conference, without much concern for editorial help. “Write fast. Edit slow.” These words keep running through my mind.

Jeanne Fredericks, literary agent

In time I got some editorial help and began to cultivate my style and voice, which I continue to do. My proposal took shape. About nine months later, I landed a first rate literary agent. Jeanne Fredericks of Jeanne Fredericks Literary Agency has been my guiding light ever since. She encouraged me to become a thought leader in my field and to develop a social media presence.

Writing books today encompasses much more than being the author of a book. It is about being able to communicate to readers in a variety of media outlets.

As I navigate through this compelling writing voyage, I find myself experiencing surprising opportunities.

Lisa with DrRKG
Regina Brooks, literary agent, writing coach Lisa Tener and Dr. Randy Kamen

I recently completed yet another Harvard writing and publishing course. Thanks to Dr. Julie Silver, director extraordinaire, for this most extraordinary conference that truly helps people bring their books to life.


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