Portland, Maine

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Susan Conley

I teach story writing throughout Greater Portland and connect published authors with student writers.

Job Writer and Teacher / The Telling Room, USM's Stonecoast MFA Prgoram

Lives In The West End



Susan Conley’s memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune (Knopf 2011), was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine and the Daily Beast. It was an Oprah Magazine Top Ten Pick of the Month, a Slate Magazine “Book of the Week” and a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Award. It won the Maine Literary Award for Memoir.

Other work of hers has also appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe Paris Review, The Huffington Post, PloughsharesThe Harvard Review and elsewhereShe’s received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Breadloaf Writers Conference, and the Massachusetts Arts Council.

A former faculty member at Emerson College, she is currently the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at UMass Lowell and teaches at the University of Maine's Stonecoast MFA Writing Program. She is also the co-founder of The Telling Room, a nonprofit creative writing lab in Portland, where she also teaches. Her novel, Paris Was the Place, is forthcoming with Knopf in August of 2013.

Why did you choose Portland? I grew up an hour north on the Kennebec. Moved to California. Boston. Beijing. And now back to Portland because people get things done here. Have an idea? Let's make it happen.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? Too many to list.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? Local 188. Scratch Bagels into Willard Beach walk. The Telling Room's Slant nights at Space Gallery. Miyake sushi bar.

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? I like to walk in the city. Anywhere.

What's the most surprising thing about this city? There are many young people here! Who like living in the city! Who like making art! Who don't buy crap at big box stores!

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? I find it hard to pass up good gelato.

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? I always give shout outs to Longfellow Books whenever possible. It's not an under-appreciated place by locals. But visitors wouldn't always stumble upon it.

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