About Echo | EchoGarrett.com
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About Echo

Meet Echo

Yes, Echo is my real name. No, my parents weren’t hippies. My late father, Bob Montgomery, started out as one half of a teenage duo called Buddy and Bob in Lubbock, Texas. I was born the year after his best friend Buddy Holly died, and Dad named me after Buddy’s old girlfriend, Echo. My dad wrote songs, produced music and founded his hit record factory House of Gold Music on Music Row in Nashville. I grew up knowing that you could make a good living from words, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past three decades.

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When sending queries to editors in New York City from our newlywed nest on Chicken Road in Lebanon, Tennessee, proved less than successful, my husband Kevin Garrett and I loaded up a truck and moved to the Big Apple. I figured the best way to break into the magazine business was to become an editor. I worked at McCall’s and Venture (a business magazine that competed with Inc.) before going freelance in 1988.

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Since then I’ve written for more than 100 media outlets including: Delta Sky, Private Clubs, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Parade, SuccessInc., Virtuoso Life, Hemispheres, and Atlanta Magazine. A former contributing writer to Money, Business Week, Management Review, Investor’s Business Daily, New You http://www.newyou.com/ and The Atlanta Business Chronicle, I’ve been interviewed on Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, NY-1 and have done more than 100 radio interviews supporting book projects and magazine articles. I was a founding editor of biztravel.com and served as editor-in-chief of Atlanta Woman magazine.

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My piece “Nashville Now” for Private Clubs was the 2016 Winner of North American Travel Journalists Association Gold for Print-Lifestyle. In 2014 I won the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) Outstanding Article Award, First Place-Lifestyle for “Philadelphia’s Artistic Freedom” in “Arrive.” In 2013 my story “Desert Renewal” in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution won the ASJA’s Outstanding Article Award, First Place- First-Person. My first issue as Editor-in-Chief of Atlanta Woman took the Gold for Best Single Issue out of 300+ entrants and my story “Why Our Special Needs Kids Are Falling Through the Cracks” took the Bronze for Best Feature at the 2005 GAMMA awards sponsored by the Magazine Association of the Southeast.

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Named 2013 Georgia Author of the Year by the Georgia chapter of National League of American Pen Women, I’ve written 14 nonfiction books including “My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change,” which was originally self-published and then acquired by a Random House imprint. In 2013 the book garnered American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA)’s prestigious Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing that Makes a Difference (awarded every three years). In 2011 it also won ASJA’s Outstanding Book of the Year in Young Adult category and international design Merit award from HOW Magazine; the Benjamin Franklin Book Award Silver Medal in both Self Help and Juvenile/Young Adult Nonfiction categories from the Independent Book Publishers Association; and an IPPY Gold Medal from Independent Publishers Book Awards for Most Outstanding Design out of 4,000 entries from 14 countries. “My Orange Duffel Bag” was also named a National Indie Excellence Book Awards Winner in these two categories: New Non-Fiction and Young Adult Non-Fiction.

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In 2010, I co-founded the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative (ODBI), a 501c3 nonprofit, to do life plan coaching and provide ongoing advocacy for young people ages 14-24 who are homeless, high poverty or aging out of foster care. In 2014 our evidence-based program became the youngest nonprofit to be an honoree of Emory University’s Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Community Service Award. I frequently speak about how storytelling and advocacy can make a difference in a young person’s life.

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I co-authored “Why Don’t They Just Get a Job?: One Couple’s Mission to End Poverty in Their Community”  about a non-profit called Cincinnati Works. The book won the 2011 IPPY Silver Award in the social issues category, and since the book was released, more than 20 communities have adopted Cincinnati Works’ award-winning model for helping people in poverty find and retain jobs.

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By the end of 2017 I expect to have three new books out that I’ve co-authored: Zone 14: The Winning Game Plan for Coaches, Parents & Educators Guiding Youth to Thrive by Ruben Perczek; Step Out, Step Up: The 7 Steps to Resilience — Lessons from a Lifetime of Transitions and Military Service by Mark Green; and Optimal YOU: Discover the secrets of decoding what your body is revealing about the triad of health – your structure, your unique body chemistry and your emotions by Carl T. Amodio, D.C., DIBAK.

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I love writing stories that matter and inspire. I cover social issues; health and wellness; business (especially profiles of entrepreneurs); the environment; home design and gardening; travel (luxury, romance, family, eco-friendly and soft adventure); food, wine and music. My husband Kevin, a professional advertising and editorial photographer, artist and writer, and I live in Marietta, Georgia, with our dog Berry and our cat Lily. We love to listen to music, work in our organic garden and go on long hikes. One of my passions is cooking, and I’ve promised our friends that I will get around to writing my cookbook memoir soon. Our son Caleb is a fly-fishing guide in Missoula, Montana, and Washington. Our son Connor lives in Marina del Ray, California, where he is the CEO of StudyHubb.com, the founder of MillennialBeat.com, the author of 30 Days of Discipline and Dedication: A Guide to Radical Change, a novelist and poet. Connor and I are partnering on a new travel site geared toward Millennials.

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