Tag Archives: TWLOHA

TWLOHA Launches “Music Is a Safe Place” Campaign

TWLOHA_logoTo Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) recently announced their “Music Is a Safe Place” campaign, launched in light of the recent tragedy at La Bataclan in Paris, as well as the attacks in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria.

Its central theme – “Music is a Safe Place” – comes from the original TWLOHA story, written nearly ten years ago. Shirts featuring the statement are on sale now, and for each shirt sold TWLOHA will be donating $7 to Preemptive Love Coalition to help fund the furthering of mental health care in Iraq.

According to Jeremy Courtney, founder of Preemptive Love Coalition, “Mental health care is a seriously under-explored and under-capitalized component of stemming the outflow of refugees from this Syria/Iraq conflict. If we want to help refugees, we have to invest in mental health care.” For more information, or to purchase a “Music Is A Safe Place” t-shirt, please visit: twloha.com.
May we be the generation that chooses love not only when it is convenient, not simply based on color or border or flag. May we be the generation that believes every life matters. Every single person. Every single place.”
           – TWLOHA founder, Jamie Tworkwoski
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Jamie Tworkowski: ‘If You Feel Too Much’ (REVIEW)

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Book Cover ‘If You Feel Too Much’ by Jamie Tworkowski, image courtesy of Tarcher/Penguin Publishing (2015)

Jamie Tworkowski surprised people when he was hired as a sales rep for Hurley at just 22. He surprised people when he gave that up to start a nonprofit at 26. It would seem he has continually surprised people throughout his life. Following his life over the last decade, Tworkowski speaks with honesty, admittedly wearing his heart on his sleeve as he documents career changes, moving, and his relationships, both romantic and platonic. This vulnerability shows through on every page of his new book, If You Feel Too Much, due out May 26th, 2015.

The scary part is, having heard him speak many a time, I can practically hear his voice in my head; that’s how he writes–the way that he speaks. I can hear the softness of his voice, encouraging a mass of people; telling them that it’s okay to ask for help, and inviting them to fight for their dreams, welcoming them to midnight. Reading this collection of musings, of stories, and blog entries, and of the feelings that keep Tworkowski awake at night, shape “the book before the one that people were expecting.”

The joy of If You Feel Too Much is not only seeing that there are people out there whose brains process things the way yours do, but it’s in the look at the man behind the curtain; at the way his brain works and how his story, interlaced with those of the people around him, has lead him to where he is today.

My only disappointment with the book is that it seems to be more of a collection of Tworkowski’s blog posts, which, although well-written, have already technically been published. However, it is the interjections of private stories and essays that make you want to read those blog posts in print. They’re what guide the story, leading you through the last decade or so flawlessly.It’s strange to go back into someone else’s memories and wonder, “What was I doing then?” or even to read memories of the same night in the same place from a different vantage point.

To say that If You Feel Too Much is insightful would be an understatement. Not only does the book tell a story (in fact, it tells many), but it opens a dialogue. Through self-reflection and pensive, restless nights, Tworkowski welcomes readers the way Anis Mojgani welcomes the audience at Heavy & Light, inviting them to walk through his story with him, to take a stroll through his mind and his life and see the things that make him a person, battling his own struggles and celebrating his triumphs just like everybody else.

This book, or collection of “sprints,” as Jamie refers to them, has a humanity. It isn’t scripted. It isn’t propaganda to make you believe in his cause. It is the story and the feelings of a man who has become a voice for people that have long since been encouraged to stay quiet.

It is more than the movement, more than the fortunes in his life, or the misfortunes.

It is more than a shot at “relating to your audience.”

Jamie Tworkowski - image courtesy of TWLOHA

Jamie Tworkowski – image courtesy of TWLOHA

If You Feel Too Much is a collection of stories and musings that remind us that it’s okay to not always be okay. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to ask for help or to take a moment to catch our breath.

Unlike many books of this nature, it doesn’t take on a self-absorbed tone. In fact, the book seems to showcase just how interlaced our lives are with others, even when we feel most isolated, presenting Tworkowski’s constant message: “People need other people.”

I will never really know how Jamie Tworkowski does it; how he connects with people and gets up on stage or sits down at the computer and knows exactly what to say to make people feel something. But I do know that this man and his voice will stand out amongst the crowd when we think about the people who made an impact on this generation.

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Tarcher/Penguin To Publish TWLOHA’s Jamie Tworkowski’s Debut Book

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Tarcher/Penguin publishers have announced the release of To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) founder Jamie Tworkowski’s debut book, If You Feel Too Much: Thought on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For, which will be available on May 19th, 2015.  As part of their ongoing Tarcher Cares initiative, for every book presold, Tarcher/Penguin will be donating one dollar to TWLOHA. Below, read Tworkowski’s statement and the letter informing him of his publishing acceptance.

“To be releasing my first book with this legendary New York publisher is a dream come true. i think the title is a phrase that applies to so many people – i know it applies to me. i hope this book can be a source of encouragement, something that helps folks feel less alone. More than anything, i hope this book leads to people getting help and even choosing to stay alive.”

– TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski

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“IF YOU FEEL TOO MUCH” can be preordered wherever books are sold, including AmazonBarnes & NobleApple, and your local independent bookseller.

Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA began in 2006 as Tworkowski’s attempt to help a friend and tell a story. Since then, Tworkowski’s TWLOHA blogs have become a source of hope and encouragement for thousands, and he speaks frequently at universities, concerts and conferences. 2015 looks to be the organization’s biggest year yet with the Sony Pictures release of To Write Love on Her Arms film starring Kat Dennings, Chad Michael Murray, Rupert Friend, and Corbin Bleu, available March 3, 2015 on DVD & Digital HD.
For more information on To Write Love on Her Arms, please visit: www.twloha.com
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Official Trailer for TWLOHA’s Movie

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Back at the beginning of November, following years of anticipating (and growing impatience), To Write Love On Her Arms announced the release of the TWLOHA movie, previously announced as Renee, for March of 2015. The news arrived in the form of a letter from Sony Pictures’ Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, Dan Primozic; Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of TWLOHA, posted it online, opening the floodgates for millions of fans/supporters who were quick to declare their joy (you can view it below).

 

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Finally, as a late Christmas present (maybe a Boxing Day gift?), the official trailer for the film, starring Kat Dennings (Two Broke Girls) and Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), has been released. There is no official release date as of yet, although the month of March is still in the mix. Below, you can view the trailer…and let Planet Stereo know how excited you are for the release of the film!

 

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REVIEW: Gates – ‘Bloom & Breathe’

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Bloom & Breathe starts off with the cinematic, grandiose building anthem, “Everything That Has Ever Been.” If there has ever been the perfect music for an epiphany within a film, this is probably it. From the soft, reverberating guitar, to the explosion of sound, I was entranced. Gates capture your attention from the get-go with this stunning instrumental that carries on perfectly into “Bloom,” with all of its stunning guitar work featured beautifully (see also, “Again At The Beginning”).  The vocals are soft to start, with an almost whisper-like quality, before igniting into more of an exclamatory statement throughout the chorus. The contrast between the vocals and instrumental throughout the track add a depth to each line that adds pure power to the song, reminiscent of the songs from the emo/rock days that we all play on repeat so often, which is a tone that remains quite consistent throughout (“Not My Blood,” “Born Dead”).

“Persist In Delusion” showcases incredible vocal work and musicality that amps up Bloom & Breathe. This may be my favorite track on the album, just for it’s subtle style and power, although it does have a bit of competition with “Not My Blood,” which is in part because of my love for group vocals. There is a humanity in each line; it’s the kind of song I can easily imagine a crowd singing along to at a show, as lights flicker back and forth, with someone feeling an exhilarating moment of clarity for the first time. The same could be said for “Light The First Page,” which sounds like an epic interlude, one of two (“Nothing You’ll Miss”). With raw emotion, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this track.

“The Thing That Would Save You” is probably the most emotional track on the album, or at least, I find it to be. Lyrically, it would appear to approach a topic that is very prominent in the media currently: depression and suicide. There is a raw plea evident throughout the track that will break your heart just to hear it, and the internal shredding will continue with “Marrow” and “Low.” It might be the stunning acoustics on one, the sadness on the other, or even just the purity of the each, but Gates will rip out your heart, stick a bandaid on it, and hand it back to you.

A hefty majority of the songs on Bloom & Breathe read like poetry, but “At Last The Loneliest Of Them” may have the strongest poetic tone, especially when added with such a tantalizingly steady instrumental, even as the song begins to build.

“Everything That Will Always Be” finishes off the album, bookending it perfectly with the initial, “Everything That Has Ever Been.” Another flawless instrumental that is every bit as soulful as it is cinematic, which just goes to show, sometimes, you don’t need words to say everything you want to.

Throughout Bloom & Breathe, I find myself forgetting that this is Gates’ debut full-length. The album demonstrates a sophistication that many seasoned artists miss the mark on, album after album. Kevin Dye’s lyrics are written with something that requires much more than talent; it’s true dedication to your craft, although that should come as no surprise, as that is obvious for each member of Gates, track after track. As far as a debut goes, this is everything a band should strive for and more. Listeners should expect great things from this band.

 

For more on Gates, please click HERE.

You can purchase Bloom & Breathe (out October 21st) HERE.

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LIVE REVIEW: TWLOHA Hope Revolution Tour

EVENT: TWLOHA Hope Revolution Tour

LOCATION: House Of Blues Orlando

DATE: September 23rd, 2014

 

Despite the show being in the sunshine state, September 23rd was anything but sunny. It rained pretty much all day, leaving many of us who arrived early absolutely drenched.

I think this may have been the one night at the House Of Blues where everyone was actually glad to be killed by the extra body heat from absolute strangers and stage lights.

There is nothing I love more than watching that stage curtain stitched from a hundred different fabrics slide out of the way to present either a band I love, or a band I’ve never heard of, but am very excited to hear perform. The Hope Revolution Tour was no different.

The night kicked off with Everybody Run, a four piece from Atlanta. Not only did the whole crowd appear to be having a good time, but so did the band. For the first time in a long time, a show was put on that was not made to look fun for entertainment purposes; the band was actually having fun, and brought the crowd into it. There is something to be said for stage-presence, and Everybody Run definitely have it.

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When Senick first appeared on stage, the room fell quite. Their set began with two guitars and two men singing. Then, like an electric current ripped through the stage, the full band appeared. Despite only forming in July of 2014, the newcomers made quite the impression on concert-goers, who seemed to get more amped as the show went on. The five-piece interacted with the crowd brilliantly, further increasing the buzz in the air as the two headliners drew nearer.

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The Ongoing Concept took over the stage with high energy, and a vocalist that looked very much like Freddy Mercury…and knew it. Out of all the bands I have seen perform live, this group may jump around the most. Like a gymnastics routine, there was flipping and jumping and, yes, even running. [E/N: My inner personal trainer would have loved to give them all heart rate monitors just to see how many calories they burn in a set.]

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Prior to Hawthorne Heights stepping out on stage, Chad Moses of To Write Love On Her Arms came out and reminded everyone about the purpose behind Hope and Revolution. The atmosphere was near-perfect; a feeling of understanding and awareness seemed to bring everyone’s focus back for just a moment.

Finally, it was time for the headlining acts. Hawthorne Heights performed The Silence In Black and White in its entirety, as it turned ten years old earlier this year. To see the band perform the full album was incredible. Not only do they bring new feeling to it, but there is still a power there that shapes rooms; in that entire room, I didn’t see one person who didn’t sing along to every word. To see a band with that much of an influence is awe-inspiring.

The night finished off with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, who put on an incredible set. Old and new favorites were performed, and each band member appeared to give their all on stage. However, it was in between each song that allowed the most interaction. From speaking out about things that happened while on a label to the meaning behind songs, RJA had the crowd entranced.

Overall, the show proved to be a fine example of piecing together a solid line-up. The bands all seemed to work well together, and complimented each other, even in their different styles, leaving concert-goers impressed and entertained.

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You can check out the full group of photos HERE.

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TWLOHA: ‘No One Else Can Play Your Part’ Campaign

2256To Write Love on Her Arms, an incredible non-profit movement, will be joining organizations like the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization to honor 2014’s National Suicide Prevention Week (NSPW) September 8-14 and World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on September 10.

This year, the theme is: “One World Connected.” TWLOHA’s message is, “No One Else Can Play Your Part.” TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski tells us, “We chose these words because we believe them to be true. We want people to believe that their life matters, and their story is significant. More than anything, we want people to know that it’s okay to be honest, and it’s okay to ask for help. The highlight of our work is when people say things like, ‘I’m still alive because of TWLOHA.” Or “I got help because of you guys.'”

More than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Two-thirds of those living with depression never get help, and untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide. In America, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24. This is why each year, in an effort to change these numbers, organizations come together to focus on suicide prevention. Tworkowski states, “We’re hoping you might join us in bringing this message to people everywhere. Whether you have 10 friends or 10,000 followers, we all have some kind of influence. Our hope is that this campaign – these words, this design – might lead to life-changing conversations. The TWLOHA story has been one of people connecting with hope and help by talking about things that aren’t usually talked about. Too many people feel alone. Too many people feel invisible. “No One Else Can Play Your Part” is meant to tell people that they matter, that they’re not alone, that there is still some time to be surprised.”

For NSPW and WSPD, there are many ways you can help spread TWLOHA’s message in your communities and online. First, you can pick up a World Suicide Prevention Daypack. Each pack includes a t-shirt, bracelet, poster print, and a pack of (15) info cards. These materials feature the “No One Else Can Play Your Part” design printed in orange, which is the color often associated with suicide prevention. All of these items are meant to equip you to talk about suicide prevention in your community. Use them as conversation starters, encouraging reminders, and informative tools to share with others. Join the conversation and post photos using #NoOneElse14.

By donating to TWLOHA, supporters are also investing in suicide prevention. From now until the end of NSPW, every dollar raised through our NSPW 2014 StayClassy page will go directly to funding treatment and recovery. As a way of saying thanks, the top individual fundraiser will win a unique TWLOHA experience. To learn more about the campaign and how to help, please visit:

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. Since its start in 2006, TWLOHA has donated over $1.2 million directly into treatment and recovery and responded to more than 175,000 emails from over 100 countries.

For more information on To Write Love on Her Arms, please visit: www.twloha.com

To get involved in National Suicide Prevention Week, please visit: http://twloha.com/blog/no-one-else.

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TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS and CBS’s The Insider Correspondent Keltie Knight Team Up To Host Wizeo Chat Fundraiser

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Non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms and CBS’s The Insider Correspondent Keltie Knight have teamed up to host a Wizeo Chat fundraiser. The chat, which will take place on June 11th at 8pm EST, comes in the wake of last week’s tragic shooting in Isla Vista, CA. For a contribution of the participants’ choosing (starting at $3), anyone can gain access to the interactive video group dialogue, and one lucky fan will win a one-on-one video chat with Knight. Interested participants can sign up here: https://www.wizeo.me/#!profile/27. For more information on TWLOHA, please visit: http://twloha.com/. For more information on Keltie Knight, please visit: http://www.keltieknight.com

 

On the upcoming fundraiser and in response to the tragedy, Knight tells us, “As a correspondent for The Insider, I get to report on some of the most fabulous and glamorous events in Hollywood, but I also have to report on the shockingly sad stories, too. My heart aches for the students and families touched by the UCSB tragedy, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month. I decided to team up with my friends at To Write Love on Her Arms to raise money for their programs and to help everyone feel a little less alone, and remind them that there is always someone who cares and that their story IS important no matter who they are and what they are dealing with.”

TWLOHA was awarded a $1 million grant at the first American Giving Awards presented by Chase Bank on NBC. This generous award was used to fund the nationwide HEAVY AND LIGHT tour in 2013.

 

To learn more about To Write Love on Her Arms, please visit: www.twloha.com. 

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TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS Collaborates With Singer/Songwriter Christina Perri On Exclusive New Shirt Release

As many of you know, Planet Stereo shows love for a lot of artists and a handful of foundations. From the very beginning, To Write Love On Her Arms has been a foundation that has been at the top of the list for this site, and Christina Perri is held in just as high an esteem. 

THe non-profit organization has collaborated with singer/songwriter Christina Perri to release a brand new TWLOHA t-shirt, which is now available for purchase. The front of the shirt reads, “Hold On I Am Still Alive” with “This is not the end of me, this is the beginning” behind it – lyrics from Christina’s song, “I Believe,” the final track on her incredible new album Head Or Heart.

 

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After writing “I Believe” with TWLOHA in mind, she first performed it at TWLOHA’s HEAVY AND LIGHT. On the song’s inspiration, Perri tells us: “People ask me all the time what I would say to the younger version of myself if I had the chance. I tell them: every single affirmation in ‘I Believe.’ I was inspired to write this song for TWLOHA’s HEAVY AND LIGHT concert. I wanted to write something special just for that audience, but after that evening and how it made me feel, I decided to put it on my album and give this song to the world.” Lyrics to the song in its entirety are printed inside of each shirt. To purchase, please visit: http://store.twloha.com/.

Personally, I think these shirts are gorgeous. Like every shirt TWLOHA puts out, they should be worn with pride, and there is no doubt that this one will be.

 

To learn more about To Write Love on Her Arms, please visit: www.twloha.com

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: TWLOHA Heavy & Light 2013

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you will know by now that I am a huge supporter of To Write Love On Her Arms. It’s such a wonderful movement and it’s so great to see attention being brought to issues like self-harm and addiction. One of the events I look forward to most is Heavy and Light. As the headline says, it truly is “An evening of songs, conversation, and hope.”

I attended the Orlando date this year (February 18th, 2013) and, once again, was in awe. The music is always amazing, and the conversation sends chills up your spine. This year, a focus was placed on the loss of co-founder David McKenna, who died on December 14, 2012 in a car-accident. Both Jamie Tworkowski and Renee Yohe spoke of the loss on stage, which left many people with tears streaming. The event then moved forward with their message of hope and pushing through the difficult events in life.

Renee Yohe (a.k.a. Bearcat) performed to a crowd of delighted listeners. With an instantly classic voice and the beautiful melodies that accompanied her, one could not help but be entranced by her stage-presence.

With performances by Anthony Raneri (Bayside), Jon Foreman and Fiction Family, Will Anderson (Parachute), and Now, Now, the evening was everything I expected and more. Anthony Raneri is truly an amazing performer; my only wish is that I could hear him cover Death Cab For Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” over and over again. When he later reappeared on stage to join Jon Foreman for “Only Hope,” they both commanded the attention of the entire venue.

The same could be said for Will Anderson, who had many excited girls screaming into my ears, all desperately trying to catch his eye. As every performer did, Anderson communicated with the audience, engaging them, and wowing them as he sang. Now, Now were beautifully real. Between songs, they spoke about being under the weather (though you’d never have known) and joked with one another about needing to stay hydrated. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right, because their set was superb.

They were energetic; their songs were different and catchy and overall, fantastic. When Jon Foreman and Fiction Family were on stage together, a whole new energy seemed to come about. There suddenly seemed to be more foot stomping, more clapping; it was an experience, to say the least, including celebrating Sean Watkins birthday on stage. I thought I’d seen just about everything until I saw Jon Foreman handing out lamps for their set at the end. “Here, take a lamp,” he said, grinning. “I’ve never done that before.” And we’ve never seen anything so wonderfully amusing!

Of course, who could forget spoken-word poet Anis Mojgani? Again, he amazed the audience, to the point that one girl even passed out! Jokes aside, Anis has a way about him that draws you into the poems he reads, making you feel every word. A Heavy and Light without him would be oddly empty.

Well done to all the artists and the entire organization of To Write Love On Her Arms for another successful Heavy and Light. If you’d like to know more about TWLOHA or Heavy and Light, please go to twloha.com

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