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Press Release, September 2010


Turning the Page on Book Readings

One author’s attempt to redefine traditional book readings and stand out

Jennifer Tress has just completed her first book of (mostly) humorous, true life stories and is commemorating this event with a “launch” party on October 6, 2010 at Policy in D.C.  The thing is…she hasn’t sold her book.

Up until recently, Ms. Tress was the Senior Vice President for Public Sector Operations at a Washington, D.C., based consulting firm, a busy job that required at least 60-hour weeks. Like many, the pragmatic path took a backseat to her passion. Three years ago, she conceptualized her collection of creative nonfiction short stories and began to write. She joined writing groups and received great feedback. She took classes and honed her craft. People started responding and soon she was publishing her stories and pop culture commentaries in anthologies and magazines. But she wanted to finish the book and publish it as a complete collection.

“I decided to take a leap,” she says. In June 2010, Ms. Tress left her full-time job and became a freelance writer and consultant. And then the idea for the book party took seed.

“The next step – for me, at least – is to seek out literary agents. And from everything I’ve read and have been told, besides demonstrating talent, it’s a plus if you know how to market yourself.” She goes on, “so I thought…what better way to exhibit that than have a show?” The “show” is not a traditional book release event where authors sit on stage and read their pieces to the crowd, usually in a bookstore. As Ms. Tress envisions it, it is a multi-media event with music and video and comedians performing pieces from her life. The show will be recorded, uploaded to her website, and subsequent queries to agents will direct them to video clips and other relevant information.

“My goal is showcase the work, for sure. But it’s also a way to work within the storytelling movement and push the concept of readings as an entertainment option,” Ms. Tress relays.

Ms. Tress’ model is David Sedaris, a self-taught humorist who found he had stories to tell, and could tell them well. Like Sedaris, she derives humor from personal experiences that are unique to her, but have strong universal appeal. And the market continues to be strong for memoir, or creative non-fiction.

The show, starting at 7:30 p.m., will include 3 readings from the book and will transition immediately to an after party with DJ vAnniety kills, a club favorite in the D.C. area. Policy DC is located at 1904 14th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009-4431. For information on tickets, contact:

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  • Kathleen S.

    Congratulations Jen!! This is so exciting! I wish I could go to your party! All the best for the new book!

  • Jess Goobic

    Hi Jen- I just wanted to tell you how cool the event was Wednesday night! My husband and I had a great time and laughed our a$#@! off. It was clearly a well put-together event and a really nice atmosphere. Your readings were great- I was very impressed by how ‘alive’ you made all of the stories and just how engaging it was- the evening literally flew by! I can’t wait for your book!