Sue is the award-winning author of three memoirs, a poetry collection, and a craft book on writing. She teaches writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, a low-residency program. She is also a professional speaker.
Sue's essay, "The Safe Side," won The Blue Mesa Review essay prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. For direct link, scroll down on the right under "Quick Links."
Sue's essay, "Death Comes for the Poet," has been published in Superstition Review. For direct link, scroll down on the right under "Quick Links."
Sue's essay, "A Whole Lotta (Middle-Aged) Love," has been published on The Rumpus. Here is a link: http://therumpus.net/2015/11/whole-lotta-middle-aged-love/. (For a direct URL see "Quick Links" below right.)
Sue is the Pearl S. Buck Visiting Writer at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, November, 2015.
“The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew” is a finalist in “Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award” in the category of the essay. For more information: https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/books/the-pat-boone-fan-club/
John Warner mentions The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew” in the Chicago Tribune (1/20/15) in his article “The Biblioracle: Savor your reading.” He writes: “Sheila looks to be on a steady diet of books you find prominently displayed at the front of the store. There's nothing wrong with this; nevertheless, I want to recommend something Sheila would never come across otherwise: Sue William Silverman's lively memoir as essays, The Pat Boone Fan Club.
The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew was listed as one of "25 Great Books You Might Have Missed in 2014" by flavorwire.com -- as #2. To purchase, please click on book jacket image on left. For more information, click on book title, on right. At the heart of this journey are three separate encounters with 1960s pop-music icon, turned Christian activist, Pat Boone, who plays a pivotal role in my desire to belong to the dominant culture.
Kirkus Review included The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew in a list of 10 books it says deserves wider media attention. In an article entitled “10 Most Overlooked Books in 2014,” it says, “If you’d like to discover an excellent writer you may not have heard much about, check out this list.” http://tinyurl.com/o8g8yct
“Silverman’s language is, by turns, blunt, wrenching, sophisticated, lyrical, tender, hilarious. She writes with wicked dark humor, splendid intelligence, wry wit, and honest confrontation. There’s no other book quite like it.”—Lee Martin, author of From Our House
Kirkus Review: “'The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew' is a series of riveting essays about growing up Jewish in a Gentile world by the accomplished memoirist Silverman.... A masterly stylist continues her uncompromising examination of the inner life.”
The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew
Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction, was also made into a Lifetime Television Original Movie.
Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award in creative nonfiction
Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir is for beginning and experienced writers alike, and is a road map for writing life stories. It is a step-by-step guide to shaping memory into art, to turning imagery into metaphor – all the elements needed to craft raw experience into a fully formed story. Poets & Writers named Fearless Confessions one of the "essential books for writers."
Hieroglyphics in Neon is a collection of poetry, published by Orchises Press.
I speak on such topics as sexual addiction, child abuse prevention, spirituality, and family dynamics. I deliver presentations at colleges and universities, professional conferences, and social service organizations. I also speak about the importance of writing your life story.
I have appeared on many national radio and television programs such as The View, Anderson Cooper-360, CNN-Headline News, the Discovery Channel, a John Stossel Special on ABC-TV, the Montel Williams Show, the Ricki Lake Show, the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. She was also featured in an episode of "The Secret Lives of Women" on WE-TV.
I teach writing at the low-residency MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
"Beautiful, rocketing prose." ~~The Tallahassee Democrat
"Compelling.... Silverman explores the psychology of addiction on a deeply personal level. Candid, emotionally raw...never sugarcoated...deeply moving." ~~Booklist
"Fearless Confessions is such a dynamic guide to memoir writing it has inspired me to completely refine and retool the memoir I’m working on. Sue William Silverman, a faculty advisor at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, is an amazing master of the language. Her prose is as enjoyable as it is instructive. This should be an essential textbook of any creative writing course. She gives examples of memoir pieces and analyzes each one, showing how they work, why they’re powerful, and even why some fail to impress." ~~ 15-Minutes Magazine
"Ms. Silverman held her audience enthralled by her evocative speech and by her sensitive answers to questions. One of the most difficult tasks in a reading of such a memoir is to project the feeling of an abused and terrorized child to an audience. Ms. Silverman achieves her goal with skill and warmth." ~~Brendan F. Gilbane, Dean, CGS, Boston University
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM SUE
One book. Two books. Three. Why have I written three memoirs?
Even though each of my memoirs stands alone in and of itself, still, there are connections that make them almost a trilogy as I move from terror (incest), to edgy danger (addiction), to a deepening search for identity (both ironic and spiritual). On this path, there is also a movement from darkness to light -- from danger to humor – or, at least in this new book, The Pat Boone Fan Club, black humor! As these narratives flow one into the other, my life clarifies. I emerge from the journey more whole, more “me,” more aware, and less conflicted.
With Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir, I share my experiences learning how to write, with the hope it'll help and encourage you to tell your story, too.
For more information about my books, click on the titles on the right-hand column.