Title: Retired teacher turns writer
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: Seymour Herald
Although wrestling with health issues retired school teacher, Martha Rose Woodward, turned her lifetime hobby of writing into a part-time career.
"It was on a fluke that I responded to a small ad for a part-time writer/reporter for a local, weekly newspaper," said Woodward.. "That decision has dramatically changed my life. I have found that I have an audience for my work. It is extremely rewarding to be able to express creative ideas while also getting paid "
While learning the new craft of journalism, Woodward soon developed a reputation as a skilled writer known for her depth of knowledge in historic research. The hours she spent at the local libraries and the East Tennessee History Center helped her to publish two non-fiction books: Knoxville's Sunsphere in September 2007 and Knoxville's 1982 World's Fair. in February 2009. Her first novel, Even Wounded Birds Fly, debuted in April 2009.
"While doing work on the Sunsphere book I met many, very kind people who were willing to share details with me. The publication of that book brought me my first professional contract as Arcadia Publishers from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina had been searching for a writer to create a book about the 1982 World's Fair. A friend of the editor told her about my Sunsphere book which he found on Amazon.com.. The editor contacted me and accepted my proposal. The "Images of America" style book has done very well in sales," she said.
"People have fond memories of the 1982 World's Fair. It was an amazing event and is something our area can look back to with pride."
Woodward currently works as a part-time free lance writer. The Knoxville Journal Newspaper publishes three to four of her articles per week. She has also sold stories to the Knox Focus Newspaper and the Seymour Herald Newspaper.
"I did not begin my career as a writer until two years ago at age 57," explained Woodward. "Since that time, I have written and published 300 articles in newspapers, as well as writing five books--three of which have been published. My fourth book, a true crime story, will debut within the next month."
Woodward joined the Knoxville Writers' Guild in April of 2008 and was most recently voted as Education Committee Chairman.
"I am responsible for setting up workshops for Spring, Summer, and Fall," she explained. "I recruit presenters, develop the schedules, and work with other members of the Guild to promote the events. Part of the mission of the Guild is to promote the process of writing in the Knoxville area. We have meetings each First Thursday of the month. Our yearly membership fee is $25 or $10 for students. I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many talented and gifted writers and received help with my own needs."
Woodward can also be found on her blog at www.marthasunsphere.blogspot.com.