Campus English alumna and author Tara Marta now promoting writers on YouTube

Scranton alumna Tara Marta, far left poses with guests on her new YouTube channel, professors Phil Mosley and Beatriz Rivera Barnes

Penn State Scranton alumna Tara Marta, far left, poses with Penn State Scranton Associate Professor of Spanish Beatriz Rivera-Barnes and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature Philip Mosley at a recent local author event. Both Rivera-Barnes and Mosley are guests on her new YouTube channel, "Tea with Tara: Conversations About Writing."

Credit: Penn State

Penn State Scranton alumna Tara Lynn Marta, author of "Dreaming Through the Eyes of God" (2021) and "Look Back to Yesterday" (2020) was inspired to create a YouTube channel titled "Tea with Tara: Conversations About Writing," which was born out of her love for writing.

“I have always enjoyed watching documentaries on famous writers, Marta said. “The journey of any writer is a fascinating story, whether they're famous or not. We all have a personal narrative that put us on this path, and I wanted a place where writers could talk about that.”

When asked about what she hopes others will gain from her new channel, Marta said, “I hope that if anyone watches "Tea with Tara: Conversations About Writing," they will come away with a sense of what it means to be a writer. Some people are under the impression that once you write something that gets published, you automatically gain the success of Stephen King or James Patterson. But it's a long, arduous journey, and fame should not be the goal. All the writers that I interview have been published, but none of us are rich and famous. Yet we keep writing. Why? That's what people will find out when they watch the series. And writing is not for the fainthearted. There is a lot of rejection. What do you with that? Some people might feel like throwing in the towel. Quitting is much easier than being told your work is terrible. You need a backbone in this field and a lot of audacity.”

Although she has no long-term goals at the moment for her YouTube channel, her motive is to allow writers to talk openly and honestly about what it is that makes writing such an exciting field. “And we do this through an informal conversation, just two writers figuring out what compels us to write” said Marta. Additionally, Marta stated, “My channel is more or less for anyone aspiring to be a writer. I don't really have an amount of viewers in mind at this point. I'm just happy if one or two people watch. OK, maybe 10 or 20.”

When Marta began her education at Penn State Scranton in 2013, she admits she knew nothing. However, the campus’ English faculty were instrumental in answering her questions about how to make it as a writer and took time out of their busy schedules to guide her onto the right trajectory. “The first time I sat in Mr. Perrone's creative writing class, he told us that we'd be sharing our work every week in front of the class, and over a microphone, no less. I thought I would die. But that's part of a writer's job -- to share their work in front of an audience,” Marta said. “And then I had to do the Senior Seminar, which was another stepping stone for me. I don't think I would have gone on to graduate school without my English professors pushing me to go beyond my comfort zone.”

Philip Mosley, distinguished professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at Penn State Scranton and a recent guest on Marta's YouTube channel, praised her approach to her studies as a student and now as a professional writer. “Bringing along her varied personal experiences, Tara entered the Scranton campus English major as an adult student with a sense of no time to lose. Applying herself enthusiastically and conscientiously, she took literature and writing courses with me. It became clear that here was an individual eager to commit herself to the life of the written word, which she continues to do in several imaginative ways.” Click here to view Mosley’s conversation on "Tea with Tara: Conversations About Writing."

In addition to Mosley, Marta also interviewed Penn State Scranton’s Associate Professor of Spanish Beatriz Rivera-Barnes. “I met Tara quite a few years ago when I had her for Spanish. At the time, she was working on her B.A. in English. Back then she already showed signs of great enthusiasm and energy and has continued to do so ever since. I am always wondering what Tara's next project will be and I am very happy to be part of this latest one,” Rivera-Barnes said. To watch her interview, click here.   

Marta’s advice to any Penn State student hoping to become a writer is to “ask questions of your professors and listen to their answers. Also, read as much as you can. Most importantly, never give up; you may encounter a naysayer or two along the way, but follow your heart!”

Interested in doing an interview with Marta? Her email is: [email protected]. Marta’s interview with Mosley on "Tea with Tara: Conversations About Writing" channel can be found here. A complete list of her recent interviews on her YouTube channel is available here  People can also follow Marta on Facebook: Tara Lynn Marta, Author; and Twitter @TaraLynnMarta.