I owe a great deal to the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature for fostering a community where creativity and risk-taking are encouraged, and where my writing has found a place to flourish. 

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When I first attended the Writing the Midwest Symposium in 2002, I experienced, quite simply, a feast of words as both scholars and creatives shared work and engaged in inevitable discussions about writing and living in the Midwest.

I have twice received SSML’s Paul Somer’s Prize for Creative Prose for fiction (“Raised in a Corn Palace”) and creative non-fiction (“Fella With an Umbrella: Finding Joy on the Autism Spectrum.”) Both pieces were subsequently published in MidAmerica.

The symposiums and connections that have grown out of them have become a sustaining force in my creative life and community. I would not be the writer I am without SSML, and I am honored to have served on SSML’s Executive Advisory Committee and as SSML President.

Covid-19 kept us from meeting in 2020 and 2021, but we are still active and making plans to return to East Lansing in 2022.

We are always looking for new voices and new members, so check us out on Facebook and make plans to join us for the next symposium!