Portfolio Samples

 Tayé Foster Bradshaw

2007-2014 Writing Samples Across Multiple Web  Sites, Publications, Blogs, and/or Content Sources

Writer’s Portfolio and Selections from The Helium Network, now a part of RR Donnelly (Original member since 2007)

Helium.com (at the time) was a new, innovative, and opptimistic content site for writers by writers.  What drew me to the internet as a medium for my writing was the anonymous peer reviews, the variety of writing topics that allowed me to develop my voice across articles, the anonymous ratings, the “star” reviews, and often #1 spot I held for articles I wrote.  It allowed then unpublished writers to build a portfolio, reach a broad audience, and build a following in the still-developing social media world.  This was at the time before Facebook was open to anyone not in academia, long before Google+, Pinterest, or even Blogger.  For the two years I was active on the site as an original member, site steward, and compensated writer, I gained a greater understanding for writing in a virtual space, developing an idea with self-imposed word limits, and connecting to a reader.  The following links are some of the articles, with the top one being my profile with all the published articles available for review.

Selections from  Blogs, Book Reviews, and Creative Writing (2007-2014)

After writing with Helium for a year, gaining recognition and high reviews, I, like all writers, knew there was some value in what we emerged from our fingers on the keys.  One of the things that Blogger offered me that Helium did not was an opportunity to build a separate portfolio for my interest areas and own my domains.  Tayé Foster Bradshaw’s bookshelf was the last to be developed.

Tayé Foster Bradshaw Bookshelf. http://www.tayefosterbradshawbookshelf.com (1/3/2009-present: 57 book reviews, 9,025, page views)

Pink Latte Publishing. http://www.pinklattepublishing.com (11/11/08-present: 82 creative pieces, 7,033 page views)

The Musings of a Latte Queen: Narratives of Everyday Life. http://www.themusingsofalattequeen.com (11/28/07-present: 508 posts, 19,513 pageviews)

Other Internet Publications, Podcasts, PSAs, and Writings (2012-2014)

In 2012,  I met Arianna Huffington at a West County political women’s event in the spring after my 2012 run for the Kirkwood School Board.  We chatted after the luncheon and she gave me her personal card, contacts, and invited me to be a blogger on the Huffington Post.  I had been an active member of the Post and commentator, primarily on topics related to politics, the arts, education, and black culture.

Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taye-foster-bradshaw

In 2013, The Ethical Society invited me to deliver their platform address in February 2013, as part of their Black History Month focus on social justice and equality.  The topic was pre-chosen, the private prison system, as well as directions to not make religious references. The compensated invitation allowed me to again stretch my craft by thoroughly researching a somewhat unfamiliar topic and preparing an address that would reach a primarily upper class, well educated, mostly Caucasian audience in West County, Missouri.

I was presented and featured using my “real” name.: “I Dwell In Possibility: Only As I Am Free.” Platform Address.  http://ethicalstl.org/blogs/podcasts/podcast-i-dwell-in-possibility-only-as-i-am-free-by-antona-brent-smith/

In 2014, Robin Theiss has embraced my writing and signed me as one of the reviewers for her bookstore, STL Books, located in downtown Kirkwood.  Her thorough knowledge of the arts and publishing, as well as her work with published authors, is invaluable to me as I continue to invest my time in the craft I love.  She is critical in her eye and honest in her critique, praised my writing and while the compensation is not the equivalent of a full-time job, it is a recognition of the unique perspective I bring to the literature I review for her primarily female, mostly Caucasian, educated, middle-to-upper middle income customer base.  My genres are primarily black female literary works by known and unknown authors, historical fiction with particular interest in works chronicling the black female experience in America and the West Indies, and limited YA/young adult volumes reviewed jointly with my daughter.

Current projects include working with an illustrator for two children’s pieces, revamping a collaboration with a local photographer to embed the poem more into the piece that inspired it, and humanities writings through continuing education courses I am undertaking through Coursera.  Focusing primarily on the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences, these courses are workshopped in preparation for an historical fiction writing I want to undertake loosely based on the heavily Catholic, pre-Civil Rights 1944-1946 Era in St. Louis, Missouri and my late mother’s quest for higher education. The MOOC concept has also allowed me to extend my education beyond my Masters of Business Administration in Marketing into the thoughtful, challenging, and inquisitive learning that is offered in the College of Arts and Sciences by institutions such as University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of Virginia, and Wesleyan. While not seeking a “statement of accomplishment,” there are some courses that time only permits me to workshop, while there are others that absorb good amounts of my attention to write all the papers required for that distinction.  I recently workshopped “How to Change the World,” taught by Professor Michael Roth, the President of Wesleyan and am currently writing for “History of the Slave South,” taught by Professor Stephanie McCurry of the University of Pennsylvania.



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