Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Susan Conley

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

Office Location

Stonecoast MFA Office: 98 Bedford Street, Portland, ME 04103


Stonecoast MFA Office: 207-780-4423

Academic Degrees

  • MFA, San Diego State University
  • BA, Middlebury College


Susan is the author of five critically acclaimed books, including her newest, best-selling novel Landslide, named a New York Times Book Review "Editor’s Choice," a TODAY Show “Summer Read,” and a "Best Book" by Good Morning America, The New York Post, Medium, Bustle, Biblio Lifestyle and others. Her previous, best-selling novel, Elsey Come Home, was a "Best Book" at Oprah MagazineMarie Claire, Pop Sugar, Huffington Post, Southern Living, Fodors and others, and was also an "Editor’s Choice” pick at Amazon. Her writing has appeared in magazines and journals including The New York Times MagazineThe Paris ReviewLithub, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Harvard Review. She’s been awarded multiple fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, as well as fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, The Maine Arts Commission, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. She's won the Maine Book Award and the Maine Award for Publishing Excellence and has been a featured Tedx Speaker, where her talk the "Power of Story," has been viewed widely. She’s taught at colleges and international art-residencies including Emerson College, Colby College, The University of Massachusetts, as the Jack Kerouac Visiting Fellow, The Haystack School, The Spannochia Foundation, La Napoule Foundation, and The Beijing Hutong. She lives in Portland, Maine, where she is the co-founder and prior executive director of the Telling Room, a youth creative writing lab that believes in the power of story to change lives and communities.

Areas of Scholarship

Literary fiction; Autofiction; Personal, Lyric, and Hybrid essays; Memoir; Multi-media collaborations

Recent Publications

Landslide, a novel (Knopf 2021)

Elsey Come Home, a novel (Knopf 2019)

Stop Here This is the Place, a poetry/photography collaboration (Downeast Books 2016)

Paris Was the Place, a novel (Knopf 2013)

The Foremost Good Fortune, a memoir (Knopf 2010)

Book Excerpts in The New York Times Magazine, Oprah Magazine, The Daily Beast, She Writes, and Maine Magazine

Creative Activity

I am currently working on a new novel about women’s friendship and sex and male power and betrayal.

Awards and Recognition

Two MacDowell Colony Fellowships

Bread Loaf Writers Conference Fellowship

Massachusetts Arts Council Fellowship

Jack Kerouac Visiting Writer Fellowship, UMASS Lowell

Maine Arts Commission Literary Fellowship

Elle Magazine Readers Prize Selection

Maine Literary Award for Publishing Excellence

Maine Literary Award Winner for Memoir

Portland Press Herald’s “Women to Watch in Maine”