Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Suzanne Strempek Shea

Creative Nonfiction, Fiction

Office Location

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


Stonecoast MFA Office: 207-780-4423

Academic Degrees

  • B.F.A. Maine College of Art


Suzanne Strempek Shea began writing fiction in her spare time while working as a reporter at The Springfield (Mass.) Newspapers in the early 1990s. She since has published twelve books, including novels, memoirs, biographies and an anthology. Her freelance journalism and fiction has appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Irish Times, Yankee, Golf World, Down East, The Bark, Organic Style and ESPN the Magazine. She was a regular contributor to Obit magazine. Suzanne is a member of the faculty at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program in creative writing and is writer-in-residence and director of the creative writing program at Bay Path University. Previously, she taught in the MFA program at Emerson College and in the creative writing program at the University of South Florida. She has also taught at the Curlew Writers Conferences in Howth and Dingle, Ireland. Suzanne leads the annual summer writing seminar in Dingle offered through Bay Path University’s MFA program in nonfiction. 



Areas of Scholarship

Creative nonfiction, journalism, fiction, writing in the area of physical, psychological and natural disaster trauma.

Recent Publications

Essay on Bobby Orr in "Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives," edited by Elizabeth Searle and Tamra Wilson (McFarland, 2018)

Essay "And a Free Box of 40" in "Flash Nonfiction Funny," edited by Dinty W. Moore and Tom Hazuka (Woodhall Press, 2018)

Co-edited with Elizabeth Searle Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow As the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives (McFarland, 2017)

"The Promised Land" (Yankee, September, 2016)

"Once More to the City" (Down East, March, 2016)

"This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both" (PFP, 2014)

"Make a Wish But Not for Money" (PFP, 2014)


Reading from "Flash Nonfiction Funny," AWP Tampa, 2018

Panelist on "Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma," AWP Tampa, 2018

Panelist on "Juggling from Within: The Art of Voice," AWP Washington, D.C., 2017

Panelist on "Adaptation in Three Acts," AWP Washington, D.C., 2017

"The Journey of a Freelance Piece," Writers' Day, Bay Path University, 2016 "Dogs on the Page," with Helen Peppe, Writers' Day, Bay Path University, 2015

"My Home Town," Writers' Day, Bay Path University, 2015

Panel moderator, "“Write Where You Are: Establishing Writing Workshops in Prisons, Shelters, Medical & Community Settings," at PEN New England Trauma Writing Conference,

2015 Panelist on "Writing and Trauma," AWP Los Angeles, 2016

Stonecoast Community Reading, AWP Boston, 2013

"The Nonfiction Book Proposal 101," Writers' Day, Bay Path University,

2013 Speaker at Welcome Table Press' "In Praise of the Essay: Practice and Form," Fordham University, 2011

Creative Activity

PEN New England board member, 2015 to chapter's dissolution in 2017

Founded and coordinates twice-yearly "Writers' Day" at Bay Path University, 2008 to present

Workshops and writes with trauma survivors, 2002 to present

Private literary coaching and editing services, 1996 to present

Awards and Recognition

Keynote co-speaker with Tommy Shea and recipient of honorary degree at graduate degree graduation ceremonies, Western New England College, Springfield, Mass.

2005 Keynote speaker and recipient of honorary degree at the inauguration ceremony of the Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J, University of Scranton President,

2003 New England Book Award, from New England Independent Booksellers Association,

2000 "The Sweater," a short story that ran in "Yankee" magazine, was listed in 100 Other Distinguished Short Stories in "The Best American Short Stories, 2000," edited by E.L. Doctorow and Katrina Kenison

Oscar Halecki Prize, from the Polish American Historical Association, 1996