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ABOUT SUSAN HENDERSON

Susan Henderson on FaceBook

SUSAN HENDERSON is Curator of NPR’s newest literary venture, “DimeStories,” produced by Jay Allison (of “This I Believe”), and is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award and grants from The Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and The Lojo Foundation. Her work has—twice—been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Publications include Zoetrope, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, South Dakota Review, The MacGuffin, Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies (nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2004), North Atlantic Review, The Green Hills Literary Lantern, Opium, Other Voices, Amazon Shorts (nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2006), The World Trade Center Memorial, The Future Dictionary of America (McSweeney’s Books, 2004), The Best American Non-Required Reading (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), Not Quite What I Was Planning (HarperPerennial, 2008), and Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years (Snowvigate Press, 2009). Her debut novel, UP FROM THE BLUE, is in its fourth printing and sparks heated debates in book clubs. She blogs at LitPark.com, and occasionally at Huffington Post and Brad Listi’s The Nervous Breakdown. Her husband is a costume designer, filmmaker, and tenured drama professor. They live in NY with their two boys.

Extended bio from the old Publishers Marketplace Page:

SUSAN HENDERSON is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award. Her debut novel, UP FROM THE BLUE, was published by HarperCollins in 2010 and has been selected as a Great Group Reads pick (by the Women’s National Book Association), an outstanding softcover release (by NPR), a Best Bets Pick (by BookReporter), Editor’s Pick (by BookMovement), Editor’s Choice (by BookBrowse), a Prime Reads pick (by HarperCollins New Zealand), a Top 10 of 2010 (by Robert Gray of Shelf Awareness), and a favorite reads feature on the Rosie O’Donnell show. Now in its fourth printing, UP FROM THE BLUE will soon be available in Norwegian and Dutch translation.

Susan blogs at LitPark and The Nervous Breakdown and volunteers for the We Are Family Foundation. Her husband is a costume designer, filmmaker, and Chair of a university drama department. They live in NY with their two boys.

On the Web:

Facebook * MySpace * Twitter * LitPark


What’s new?

I have a weekly column over at The Nervous Breakdown called The Evolution of the Book, chronicling the ups and downs of writing and selling my first novel. Whether it’s a roadmap you want to follow or not is up to you, but you may find some hope in the fact that what looks like utter failure is often closer to success than you think. So far, the pieces in this series include professional jealousy, the frustration of waiting, how a book can save a kid, places that capture us, pummeling ourselves, the arrival of a 30-year-old letter, introverts at the microphone, temporary ecstasy (the first book deal), career day, the problem of trying to write the truth, riding the rollercoaster (a story of buying my book back from one of the big-6 publishers), finding joy in the midst of anxiety and uncertainty, thoughts from both sides of the rejection letter, a community of misfits, your questions about publishing, how to find a literary agent, what happens after you sign with a literary agent, what happens after your book is sold, the truth about blurbs, the magic of writer retreats, such as Squaw Valley, and today, the mistakes that changed us.

You can also check out my conversations with Neil Gaiman about his hair (which made the L.A. Times!), Attica Locke about finding her voice, Barry Eisler, David Morrell, Gayle Lynds, and Karen Dionne about literary vs. genre fiction, Pierre Berg about surviving Auschwitz, Danielle Trussoni about selling film rights to her novel, Lac Su about his transition from gang member to fatherhood, M.J. Rose about her journey from self-publication to bestselling author, Belle Yang about her illustrated memoir that took 14 years to complete, Ann Kingman about her job as bookseller for a major publishing house, and Binnie Klein about taking up boxing at age 55. Last thing, if you want to meet the man I’ve been with for 23 years, he’s interviewed here.

And over at LitPark, we’re telling stories about what we’re launching in the new season. Come join the conversation!

Schooling:
Carnegie Mellon University (B.A.)
Vanderbilt University (M.Ed)

Work:
Upcoming: Guest, NPR’s DimeStories
Former managing editor, Night Train literary magazine.
Former writer for ABC News Multi-Media Literacy project.
Former crisis counselor at Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

Radio and podcasts:
Podcast interview:
podcast discussion between me and Paul A. Toth re: truth and memoir
(find podcast #23, Feb. 1, 2006, then click on the mp3 link)

Interview, NPR (KRCB):
Listen to my NPR (KRCB) Interview, 2004 about the unique funding strategy used at Night Train literary magazine. (WARNING: this takes a couple of minutes to download; turn the sound up while you wait.)

Story reading, NPR (KRCB):
My Christmas story “The Kid Has a Letter for Santa” was read on National Public Radio (KRCB ) on Dec. 15 as part of a holiday special.

Interviews:
Make a Scene (Jordan Rosenfeld interviews me about editors and revisions.
The Agony Column (about the sausage-making of editing and selling a book)
Write Free
Inside-Out China
Eight Diagrams
The Publishing Spot
David Niall Wilson interviews me about my writing themes, my blog, and more
Mark Pritchard interviews me for his series called What Are You Working On?
Guest Speaker at BACKSPACE.
2004 Interview with SmokeLong Quarterly with comments on Googling
Another 2004 Interview with SmokeLong Quarterly with comments on my trip to China

Some Past Readings:
NYC, TBA, for The Nervous Breakdown reading, August 2009.
NYC, Highline Ballroom, for Smith Magazine, McSweeney’s, and The Rumpus gather, 2009 – with Stephen Elliott, Amy Tan, and more.
NYC, KGB Bar, for the anthology: Best of Online Writing, The First Ten Years, 2009 – with Kim Chinquee, Anthony Tognazzini, and more.
NYC, KGB Bar, for launch of NPR’s DimeStories, 2008 – with Amy Wallen, James Spring, Eber Lambert, Ellen Meister, and more.
Cape Town, South Africa, Off-the-Wall, 2006 – with Liesl Jobson, Ken Barris, Mike Cope.
NYC, The Back Room, 2006 – with Pasha Malla, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Grant Bailie, Jim Nichols, Roy Kesey, Darlin’ Neal, Todd Zuniga, Gail Siegel, Kevin Dolgin, Claudia Smith, Lindsay Brandon Hunter.
NYC, Happy Ending bar, 2006 – with Bruce Bauman.
NYC, Happy Ending bar, 2005 – with Todd Zuniga, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Rose Gowen, Jim Ruland, John Leary, Dave Barringer.
Petaluma, CA – Zebulon’s Lounge, 2005 – with Michelle Richmond, Bruce Bauman, Dave Fromm, Jordan Rosenfeld
NYC – Galapagos Art Space, 2005 – with Felicia Sullivan and Whitney Pastorek
NYC – An Evening with Opium Magazine, 2005 – with Pasha Malla, Todd Zuniga, Mike Sacks, Pia Z. Ehrhardt
NYC – Cornelia Street Cafe, 2004 – with Todd Zuniga
Kings Park, NY, Union Square Tavern, 2004 – with John Warner, John Leary, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Jeff Landon, Terry Bain, Paul A. Toth
PHILADELPHIA – 215 Festival, 2004 – with Michelle Orange, Samantha Hunt, Todd Pruzan, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Jim Hanas, Leonard Pierce, Dan Kennedy

NIGHT TRAIN literary magazine in the NY TIMES
As managing editor of Night Train, and together with marketing manager Tom Jackson, we created a unique way to fund the magazine that received quite a lot of buzz. Here’s an excerpt from a half-page article on our work in the NY Times:

KINGS PARK CATCHES THE IMAGINATION OF A LITERARY JOURNAL
By Julia C. Mead

Literary magazines are generally known for their stunning inability to turn a profit. Often proceeding with an optimistic lack of a business plan, their editors drum up just enough financial backing to publish a few times before the journal disappears, appreciated only by a small, rarefied and fickle audience.

Then there’s Night Train, devoted to keeping alive the waning art of short-story writing through a cunning marketing technique……

My favorite books at the moment:
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love, Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son, Tim O`Brien, The Things They Carried, Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow, Jim Daniels, Detroit Tales, Homer (Fagles translation), The Iliad, and Aimee Bender, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt.

LitPark reads The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

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