“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.” -- Stephen King
Those words most definitely ring true for Tara Marta, a campus alumna now following her dream of writing professionally and getting some notoriety for it in the literary field.
Since graduating with her bachelor of arts in English from Penn State Scranton, Marta has gone on to earn a master of arts in creative writing from Wilkes University and has been published 12 times.
Recently, she had an essay featured in the anthology “I Am Strength,” a book that became a No. 1 new release in feminist theory on Amazon.com. The anthology is now available in paperback.
Marta submitted her essay, "The Dream Lives On," to Blind Faith Books when she learned they were looking for submissions from women writers for the anthology, which is a collection of essays, poems and art by and about women.
“My essay is about the challenges I've faced in a male-dominated society,” Marta explained. “It also deals with my quest for higher education as an adult learner and about the sense of duty I felt to women throughout history who were denied education based on their gender, as well as the myriad women worldwide who continue to suffer the same disadvantage. I wrote this essay because I felt it was important to remind women that although we have many rights, the fight is not over. Women will always have to work harder to get ahead.”
This summer, Marta was invited to KGB Bar in New York's Greenwich Village, to read her essay along with six other contributors to the anthology. She will do future readings at the Game Chateau in Wilkes-Barre at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Wilkes-Barre at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11, and at the Library Express in Scranton at 6 p.m. on Nov. 30.
On Nov. 10, she will achieve another milestone as a writer when the Everhart Museum in Scranton will display one of her short stories, “Forgetting to Remember,” as part of an exhibit of local writers for its Zine library.
That opportunity presented itself when Marta came across an advertisement for submissions on the museum’s website and Facebook pages.
“They were looking for local writers to showcase their work,” she said. “So I submitted my short story . . . and I was chosen to donate my story.”
Marta also was named a finalist in the Adelaide Literary Award Contest for the Best Short Story of 2018. Her short story titled “Room 103” will be published in the Adelaide Literary Award Anthology and released on Oct. 21.
At the end of October, Marta will have a short article published on the Willa Cather Foundation website honoring the 100th anniversary of Cather’s novel “My Antonia.”
In addition to short stories and essays, Marta also is interested in writing novels and is currently searching for agents for her first manuscript.
Now a professional writer, Marta credits her experience as an English major at Penn State Scranton as one of the reasons for her success.