Susan Muaddi Darraj is an award-winning writer of books for adults and children. She won an American Book Award, two Arab American Book Awards, and a Maryland State Arts Council Independent Artists Award. In 2018, she was named a 2018 USA Artists Ford Fellow. Her books include her linked short story collection, A Curious Land, as well as the Farah Rocks children’s book series. She lives in Baltimore.
Susan Muaddi Darraj is an award-winning writer of books for adults and children. She won an American Book Award, two Arab American Book Awards, and a Maryland State Arts Council Independent Artists Award. In 2018, she was named a 2018 USA Artists Ford Fellow.
Susan Muaddi Darraj’s short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named the winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, judged by Jaime Manrique. It also won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award. Her previous short story collection, The Inheritance of Exile, was published in 2007 by University of Notre Dame Press. For children, she has written numerous YA biographies, as well as the Farah Rocks chapter book series, the first to feature an Arab American protagonist.
Susan lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and teaches English and creative writing at Harford Community College and the Johns Hopkins University.
Susan Muaddi Darraj’s short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named the winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, judged by Jaime Manrique. The book was published in December 2015 by the University of Massachusetts Press. It also won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award. Her previous short story
In 2019, she launched the viral #TweetYourThobe social media campaign to promote Palestinian culture. Later that year, she was named winner of the Rose Nader Award, by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), an award given by the Nader family to a person who “demonstrates an unwavering dedication and commitment to values of equality and justice.”
In January 2020, Capstone Books launched her debut children’s chapter book series, Farah Rocks, about a smart, brave Palestinian American girl named Farah Hajjar.
She edited Scheherazade’s Legacy: Arab and Arab American Women on Writing , which was published in 2004 by Praeger Publishers. With Waïl Hassan, she co-edited a volume for the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature Series on Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz. She has also contributed book chapters to several anthologies and collections, including Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction and Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. Her other books include young adult biographies of Indira Gandhi, Amy Tan, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among others, for Chelsea House Publishers.
Susan is an editor at Barrelhouse Magazine and former editor-in-chief of The Baltimore Review. Her fiction has appeared in New York Stories, The Orchid Literary Review, Mizna, Sukoon, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Banipal, and elsewhere. Her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Little Patuxent Review, The Baltimore City Paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Al-Jadid, Baltimore Magazine, Pages Magazine, Sojourner, Calyx, Urbanite, and other forums.
A co-founder (along with the editors of The Potomac Review and Barrelhouse) of the annual conference, Conversations & Connections: Practical Advice on Getting Published , Susan speaks often at conferences on topics ranging from Arab-American literature to creative writing to pedagogy.
She has been an invited speaker at the University of Hartford, the Community College of Baltimore County, the University of Maryland, Rutgers University, the University of Baltmore, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, the University of Miami, Stanford University, and other institutions.
A participating author with the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program, Susan has also served as a member of the selection committee for the One Maryland One Book (OMOB) program of the Maryland Humanities Council, and she frequently serves as a judge for writing contests and as a panelist on state and national grant programs in the creative arts. In 2019, she became a participant in the #KidsNeedMentors initiative, pairing her with local schools as a visiting author.
She can be found on Twitter/Instagram at @SusanDarraj. You can also visit her Amazon Author Page and her Goodreads page.
Susan is a member of the following organizations:
- Radius of Arab-American Writers (RAWI)
- Association of Writers and Writing Progams (AWP)
- National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)
- Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
- Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)