Suzanne Strempek Shea


We are pleased to highlight an influential female author each month.

Suzanne Strempek Shea 


Suzanne Strempek Shea’s twelve books include novels, memoirs, two biographies and an anthology.

Her novels are Selling the Lite of Heaven, Hoopi Shoopi Donna, Lily of the Valley, Around Again, and Becoming Finola, all published by Washington Square Press, and Make a Wish But Not for Money, published by PFP.

Her memoirs are  Songs From a Lead-lined Room: Notes – High and Low – From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation; Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama and Other Page-Turning Adventures From a Year in a Bookstore; and Sundays in America: A Yearlong Road Trip in Search of Christian Faith, all published by Beacon Press.

Suzanne’s other nonfiction books are:

140 Years of Providential Care: The Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Massachusetts, which weaves the order’s history with interviews, written with her husband, Tom Shea, and with author/historian Michele P. Barker.

This is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both (PFP), the story of Irishwoman Mags Riordan, founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in the African nation of Malawi.

The essay collection 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), co-edited with Elizabeth Searle.

Winner of the 2000 New England Book Award, which recognizes a literary body of work’s contribution to the region, Suzanne began writing fiction in her spare time while working as reporter for the Springfield (Massachusetts) Newspapers and The Providence Journal.

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 in Longmeadow, Mass. She has taught in the MFA program at Emerson College and in the creative writing program at the University of South Florida. She also has taught in Ireland, at Annie Deppe and Ted Deppe’s Curlew Writers Conferences in Howth and Dingle, and in Dingle via the Stonecoast Ireland residency. She leads the annual summer writing seminar in Dingle offered through Bay Path University’s MFA program in nonfiction.

Suzanne lives in Western Massachusetts with author/teacher Tommy Shea and their dog, Otis. 

 Content used with express permission of Suzanne Strempek Shea 2019.

A number of the founding members of Feathered Ink can claim to be among the many Suzanne has mentored into a fun, passionate, and compassionate life of writing. Her website  calls out four elements: Writing, Art, Animals, Earth.

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