About

Now approaching its eighth season, NPT’s Emmy Award-winning A Word on Words features accessible interviews with authors and poets about their latest books. Launched in 2015 with New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison and essayist Mary Laura Philpott as co-hosts, the series was designed to be accessible and engaging for a new generation of readers. This season Jeremy Finley, investigative reporter and author, joins J.T. Ellison for more discussions with authors about their work, their process, and what they are reading for inspiration. A Word on Word episodes appear on-air and online. Watch the episodes anytime here. 

This latest incarnation of A Word on Words was inspired by A Word on Words with John Seigenthaler, the long-running literary program created by Nashville Public Television that was hosted by the remarkable journalist John Seigenthaler for more than 40 years. View archival episodes at the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Generous support for A Word on Words is provided by
Judy and Steve Turner.


A Word on Words Hosts

J.T. Ellison

J.T. Ellison A Word on Words Host NPT

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 25 novels, and the EMMY® award winning co-host of the literary TV show A Word on Words. She also writes urban fantasy under the pen name Joss Walker.

With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, been optioned for television, and has been published in 28 countries.

J.T. lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens, where she is hard at work on her next novel.


Jeremy Finley

Jeremy Finley’s debut novel, The Darkest Time of Night, was called one of the best books of the summer of 2018 by People Magazine, a “must-read” by the New York Post, and was named to the Lariat List as one of the year’s outstanding works of fiction. As the chief investigative reporter at WSMV-TV, he’s received more than twenty regional Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards, a national Edward R. Murrow award, a national Headliner award, and is also the two-time recipient of the IRE award, a top national honor given out by Investigative Reporters and Editors.


He lives in Nashville, Tenn., with his wife and daughters, where he is working on his third novel.


Alka Joshi

NPT's A Word on Words host Alka Joshi

Former Host | Season 7

Alka Joshi was born in India and raised in the U.S. since the age of nine. She has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.F.A. from California College of Arts. At age 62, Joshi published her debut novel, The Henna Artist, which immediately became a New York Times bestseller, a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick, was Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, was translated into 23 languages, and is being developed into an episodic series by Netflix. The sequel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, is also being translated into multiple languages and will be followed by a third book in the trilogy in 2023.


Mary Laura Philpott

Mary Laura Philpott A Word on Words Host NPT

Former Host | Seasons 1 – 6

Mary Laura Philpott is the author of the memoir-in-essays I Miss You When I Blink and an essayist who has written for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Lit Hub, The Paris Review Daily, and O, the Oprah Magazine. She is also the author and illustrator of the book Penguins with People Problems; the founding editor of Musing, the online magazine of Nashville’s independent bookstore, Parnassus Books; and a traveling speaker and moderator on all things literary. She lives in Nashville with her family.


Nashville Public Television

Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area.

NPT’s three broadcast channels are NPT, the main channel; secondary channel NPT2; and NPT3, a 24/7 PBS Kids channel. NPT is also available to anyone in the world through its array of NPT digital services, including wnpt.org, YouTube channels and the PBS video app.

NPT provides, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.

WNPT, Nashville’s independent nonprofit PBS station, is operated by licensee Nashville Public Television, Inc.

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