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When Kids Have to Act Like Parents, It Affects Them for Life
The Take with Sue O'Connell
I am often a featured speaker at conferences, seminars and classes about many of the topics I report and blog on–whether that be the intersection between chronic illness and socioeconomic status, the impact of the opioid epidemic on families, the therapeutic qualities of writing, or as a journalist giving voice to what potential stories interest me to report on and blind spots in the media.
Pitch tank: Pitch our panel of journalists and see if your story sinks or swims
I offer manuscript consultation through the premiere writing school of the Boston area, Grub Street, where I am also a faculty member who teaches courses in journalism, memoir and personal essay writing. Additionally, I work as an independent contractor through word of mouth and have helped people in ordering and improving their poetry chapbooks, select what publications and journals are most suited for their themes and styles, and in refining their writing and storytelling skills. I take a strengths-based approach and adapt my coaching method to hone and strengthen the unique style and aesthetic of each individual writer and speaker I work with rather than impose my style or will on them. Students I have coached or consulted with have gone on to achieve notable successes, whether becoming a Moth champion or having their work accepted at reputable literary journals and online outlets.
When Mom Steals From Her Kid
I’m a journalist, essayist, poet and novelist (basically, a WRITER of almost all trades), as well as a public speaker, teacher/educator, writing coach and consultant. As a journalist and essayist–the primary genres I publish in–I cover a wide spectrum of topics ranging from feminism and politics to healthcare and sustainability.
I’ve written for many well-renowned media outlets including The Atlantic, Politico, The Guardian, Salon, Al-Jazeera, the Washington Post, Vice, Vox, Ozy, the New York Daily News, Science and more. My reportage for Salon has been syndicated in Alternet, as well as covered by Jezebel, Bustle and the Young Turks Network.
From 2013 until 2015, I was an award-winning reporter and columnist for the financial news website The Street, where I covered issues related to renewable energy, the impacts of climate change on agriculture, student loan debt, the gender wage gap and rising income inequality between the classes. My articles for The Street were often been the most viewed, commented and shared on the site the given week they were posted and have subsequently been featured in many other online publications, including Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider and The Fiscal Times. Many years ago, I got my feet wet as a freelancer by being a regular contributing writer for Spare Change News and the New England Press award-winning bimonthly magazine Vermont Woman.
I have a B.A. in English and journalism and a Master’s degree in natural resources management and policy. I often combine my two degrees by reporting on environmental issues as a journalist and offering editorial consulting to environmental nonprofits, including
past clients such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, Valor Water Analytics and the Green Education Foundation. I am also completing a memoir, The Drug Addict’s Daughter, excerpts of which have been published in Salon, Narrative.ly, The Manifest-Station and The Fix.
I am currently a regular blogger with Health Union, where I chronicle my daily life with chronic illness and share the latest medical research related to my diagnoses. I also occasionally blog for Harvard Health Publications (a division of Harvard Medical School) and am a regular contributing reporter and columnist for DIG Boston, through the Boston Institute of Nonprofit Journalism, or BINJ. I was a ghostwriter of a health column on Huffington Post for Good Days–a nonprofit that offers financial assistance for those with chronic illness who need help paying their medical bills–from August 2017 through February 2018. I am a faculty member at Grub Street, where I mainly teach classes in creative nonfiction–including memoir, personal essay and literary journalism. In addition to my work at Grub Street, I also offer one-on-one writing coaching and manuscript consultation for aspiring writers.
Born and raised in Brooklyn by my blue collar Irish Catholic family, I now call the Boston area home. When I’m not writing, I spend my free time reading, painting, cooking (& eating) vegetarian dishes, enjoying music, watching movies, discussing politics, volunteering, and hiking up mountains and around the woods of New England.