teaching

TEACHING

Suzanne McConnell teaches writing and literature at Hunter College and is the Scholar/Facilitator for the Literature and Medicine program at the VA of New Jersey, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. A veteran teacher and coach, she has taught at six universities, in an after school program for children, an Upward Bound program for teen-agers, at a spa, an arts facility, a hospital, and in private workshops.

PHILOSOPHY

I know, first of all, the craft of fiction writing can be taught. It is as magical as other kinds of learning, but not more so. I believe in teaching conscientiously, responsively, with compassion and honesty. In practice this means I give in-depth feedback (a written page on each story plus discussion) as honestly and sensitively as I can, and I direct students in a workshop to respond similarly towards others’ work as well as their own.

WHAT STUDENTS SAY

    • “Suzanne’s a genius at getting the best out of all of us. Her classes are the reason I managed to finish a book.”
      Anita Naughton, writer, Tea & Sympathy
    • “It’s rare to find a gifted writer-teacher who cares intensely about the person and the work.”- Noah Levin, painter/textile designer
    • “McConnell knows both how to help fire up the artist and discipline the writer.” – Jay Greenfield, lawyer
    • “A workshop atmosphere that really works.”
      Risa Denenberg, medical writer, practioner
  • “Suzanne’s workshop is the most instructive I’ve ever attended.” –Laren Stover, writer, Pluto, Animal Lover

COURSES

  • Literature Seminars For Health Care Professionals
  • Fiction Workshops
  • “Free Your Writer’s Voice” is a short, intensive, introductory workshop designed to help participants trust the flow of their writing voices while learning basic techniques of fiction. It can be presented in one or two days, or over a period of several days.
  • “Support Your Writer’s Voice” is an individually oriented writing workshop aimed at helping writers continue to develop.
  • “Literature of the Sixties” – Hunter College Literature Class – How do the sixties affect us now? This course will provide a context for students to examine its legacy. Focusing on the decade’s major social upheavals – the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and the Counterculture – the course will include all literary genres and consider other arts. Documentaries, film, music and supplementary readings will be available. Visiting writer Norris Mailer will attend. Authors will include Joseph Heller, Edward Albee, Edward Wallent, James Baldwin, Ken Kesey, Martin Luther King, Jr., Eudora Welty, Kurt Vonnegut, Denise Levertov, Julio Cortazar, Grace Paley, Richard Brautigan, Baba Ram Dass, Tom Wolfe, Tim O’Brien and others.