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About Susan Messer Grand River and Joy Additional writings Links Contact Susan Messer Susan Messer's Blog

~ Grand River and Joy
~ Work available online
~ Other places where my work has appeared
~ Interviews and podcasts
~ Performance piece about literary rejection
~ Others who have supported or awarded my work
~ Some current and former clients
~ Other favorites

Information about my novel Grand River and Joy
University of Michigan Press

Work available online

When I won second place in the 2011 Glimmer Train Fiction open, for my short story “Angstschweiss” (to be published in 2012), the editors asked me to submit a short essay on craft for their monthly bulletin.
Glimmer Train Fiction, 2011

"On the Promenade Deck," published in Superstition Review: The Online Literary Magazine at Arizona State University. This is my homage to Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain.
Superstition Review
, Spring 2010 Issue 5

“Dearest Tabitha,” published in Lost. This is the essay about that broken pot in the upper-right-hand corner of my home page. Before being published in Lost, the essay won second place in the prose series of the Guild Literary Complex.
Lost Magazine Issue 28

“Torah Studies,” published in Killing the Buddha. This essay won second place in the Center for Yiddish Culture’s writing competition.
Killing the Buddha

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Other places where my work has appeared

Another Chicago Magazine
Chicago Public Radio
Chicago Reader
Colorado Review
Creative Nonfiction
Fourth Genre
Glimmer Train
North American Review
River Oak Review

Interviews and podcasts

Interview on Detroit Today, WDET-FM

“Prosody” with Ellen Wadey
Podcast  of episode

University of Michigan Press Author Podcast Series

The Books for Walls Project
(Even the dog submitted a question.)

Rejection RhumbaPerformance piece about literary rejection

Rejection Rhumba
My cohorts and I presented this work at the open mic at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub.


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Others who have supported or awarded my work

Bill Rauhauser
A master photographer who has been documenting beautiful Detroit for decades. The cover photo on Grand River and Joy comes courtesy of Bill.

AwardCenter for Yiddish Culture
Sponsor of an annual writing competition that I won several years ago with my essay “Torah Studies.”

Cindy Trim
Finally, a photographer I feel comfortable with. She took many of the photos that appear on this website. Email her at or call 312.806.3221.

Colleen Mohyde
My agent at Doe Coover Agency.

Elizabeth Colburn
Makeup artist.

Etta Worthington
This is the person who got me started as a writer.

Guild Literary Complex
They “look at literary culture and ask ‘what’s missing?’”
My essay, “Dearest Tabitha,” won second place
in their prose series.

Hannah Jennings Design
The designer of this website.
The boiler and steam professionals who kept me entertained while helping me with research for the boiler chapter in my novel.

Illinois Arts Council
Provides financial and technical assistance to artists (including me, twice), arts organizations, and other community organizations that present arts programming.

Janet Desaulniers
An American author and teacher. She was my first writing teacher.

Karma Foundation
Funds the Moment magazine prize for short fiction

Laura Kasischke
An American novelist and poet.

Literary Rejections on Display
The proprietor of this wonderful website published an interview with me about overcoming rejection.

Masha Hamilton
A novelist, writing instructor, and world traveler.

Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
Come to the open mic; second Monday of every month.

Oak Park Public Library

Pie bakingPatry Francis
A novelist, blogger, and friend. Every summer, we bake blueberry pies for our muses.

Poznak Law Firm
For all your legal needs

An artists’ colony in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Roberta Cantow
A filmmaker and digital storyteller.

Rosellen Brown
An American author.

Russ Gibb
Former owner of the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, located near Grand River and Joy Road.

Susan O’Doherty
A writer and clinical psychologist who specializes in helping clients discover and develop their creative gifts.

Sweetwater Fiction Series
Published by University of Michigan Press.

University of Michigan
The university chose Grand River and Joy as the 2010 summer book for incoming freshmen.

University of Michigan Press
The publisher of my novel.

Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs
The largest labor archive in North America. This is where I did archival research for my novel.

S. L. Wisenberg
A/k/a Cancer Bitch and one of my former writing teachers. She taught me about creative nonfiction.

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Some current and former clients
I work full time as a self-employed editor.

American Bar Foundation
MacArthur Foundation
Project Exploration
University of Chicago Press
Urban Gateways

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Other favorites

"Your average literate litter lady"
The Wednesday Journal article about my weekly practice of litter collection.

EnviorsaxThe Book Table
My local independent book store.

The handiest, most attractive reusable bags imaginable. These bags appear as backgrounds and borders on the pages of my website.

Grace Paley
American short story writer, poet, and political activist.

Hové Parfumeur
This is where I get Vetiver, my favorite scent.

Susan Messer kissing Winston Churchill's noseVetiver
My favorite scent.


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