Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
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1963:
Assigned a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay, Susanna, a seventh-grade transfer student, is mystified, because at her old school she never had to write an essay.

1968: Awarded the junior class prize for excellence in writing.

1969–1972: As a Georgetown University undergraduate majoring in Arabic and unofficially minoring in political activism, contributes book and other reviews to the college newspaper, the Hoya.

1972–1974: After transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, writes weekly column for first the Daily Pennsylvanian's 34th Street magazine, then for the Penn Voice.

1975: Keeps daily journal during three-month hitchhike around Great Britain and Ireland.

1978: Review of Mary Daly's Gyn/Ecology: The Meta-ethics of Radical Feminism is published in off our backs, after which she begins to consider herself a writer and to focus on writing for an audience.

1978–mid 1990s: Many reviews, essays, interviews, and poems published in many feminist and gay publications, including off our backs, Lesbian Contradiction, Lesbian Ethics, Sinister Wisdom, Trivia, Lambda Book Report, and Calyx.

1981–1985: As book buyer for Lammas Bookstore, Washington, D.C., edits (and writes most of) the Lammas Little Review, a quarterly book review newsletter.

1984–1996: Writes the fantasy/science fiction column for the bimonthly trade journal Feminist Bookstore News.

1985–1987: Assistant director, Feminist Women's Writing Workshops, Ithaca, N.Y.

1985–1994: As a volunteer at Wintertide Coffeehouse, organizes regular readings by local poets and writers; a highlight is the SRO Banned Books reading in January 1994.

1988–1993: Contributes regular theater reviews and other features to the Martha's Vineyard Times.

1989: Self-publishes Leaving the Island, a poetry chapbook.

1989–1991: Edits three original anthologies of fantasy/science fiction by women, all published by Crossing Press: Memories and Visions (1989), The Women Who Walk Through Fire (1990), and Tales of Magic Realism by Women (1991).

1991–1993: Features editor, Martha's Vineyard Times.

1993: First one-act play, Persephone's Mother, is a winner at the Nantucket Short Play Competition; it is produced in 1994 as part of the Spring Short Play Festival at the Vineyard Playhouse.

1994: Chaired jury for James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award; presented award at Potlatch 4, Oakland, Calif., February 1995.

1994–1998: Several short stories published in various anthologies, notably "Deer Out of Season" (in Lavender Mansions: 40 Contemporary Lesbian and Gay Short Stories, ed. Irene Zahava, Westview Press), which became the backstory for her first novel, The Mud of the Place.

1997: Honored as special guest at WisCon 21, Madison, Wis., for her contributions to women's fantasy/science fiction.

1997: Persephone's Mother and Prayers for the Dead, one-act plays, produced as part of Threshold Theatre's short play festival, Boston.

1998: A Midsummer Night's Alternative, a one-act play, staged at WisCon 22.

1998–2002: Writes her first novel, The Mud of the Place.

2003: Serves as juror for Gaylactic Spectrum Award, novel division.

2003: Resumes reviewing: two reviews published in the Women's Review of Books.

2004: Retina of right eye detaches not once but twice, requiring two surgeries and increased workload to pay for same; the silk purse created from this experience is the essay "My Terrorist Eye: Risk, the Unexpected, and the War on Terror."

2005: Launches website and begins blogging.

2006: Review of Julie Phillips's James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon featured on cover of Women's Review of Books.

2007: "Showing at Makonikey," an excerpt from The Mud of the Place, featured at the Boston Fiction Festival and in B-Far, the Boston Fiction Annual Review.

2008, May: "A Midsummer Night's Alternative" staged at the Vineyard Playhouse, Vineyard Haven, Mass.

2008, December: The Mud of the Place published by Speed-of-C Productions.

2009: Essay "And Will Rise" accepted for publication in Trivia: Voices of Feminism, issue 10. Review of Farah Mendlesohn's anthology On Joanna Russ accepted for publication in the January-February 2010 Women's Review of Books. Op-eds published in the Vineyard Gazette and the Cape Cod Times (online). Begins work on To Be Rather Than to Seem: A Writer's Education, a personal/political memoir.

2010: Invited to be a contributing columnist to the Women's Review of Books blog.

to be continued . . .

 

click on the images for a larger view and expanded description

Red Cross Training Staff, 1978
Red Cross Training Staff, 1978
East Chop Light
East Chop Light
Tesah Toyota, 1988-2003
Tesah Toyota, 1988-2003
Writer at Work #1
Writer at Work #1
From the Boathouse Balcony
From the Boathouse Balcony
Reading at New Words
Reading at New Words
Circle on the Lawn
Circle on the Lawn
Peace Demo
Peace Demo
Reading at Lammas
Reading at Lammas
Rehearsing
Rehearsing
Family at Big Sandy
Family at Big Sandy
Gay Pride Day, D.C., Early 1980s
Gay Pride Day, D.C., Early 1980s
Anniversary at Lammas Bookstore
Anniversary at Lammas Bookstore
50th Birthday Girl
50th Birthday Girl
Last Day at the M.V. Times
Last Day at the M.V. Times
The Writer as Alien
The Writer as Alien
Three Little (Chamber)maids
Three Little (Chamber)maids
Lammas at Lammas
Lammas at Lammas
Tiptree Award Presentation
Tiptree Award Presentation
Walking Through Fire
Walking Through Fire
Celebrating the League's 75th
Celebrating the League's 75th
The Real Mrs. Winthrop
The Real Mrs. Winthrop
Vampire Readers
Vampire Readers
Tunbridge Fairgrounds
Tunbridge Fairgrounds
Writer at Work #2
Writer at Work #2

 

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