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Author Meredith Sue Willis was born in Clarksburg on May 31, 1946, and was raised in Shinnston, where her father, Glenn Willis, and her mother, Lucille Meredith Willis, were both educators. After graduating from Shinnston High School, she attended Bucknell University for two years. She dropped out to become a VISTA volunteer, later graduating from Barnard College. After a year as a recreation therapist in New York’s Bellevue Hospital, she earned an MFA degree from Columbia and began to work as an artist-in-residence in New York public schools and in New Jersey. She was also appointed adjunct assistant professor of creative writing at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Willis authored three books on the teaching of writing—_Personal Fiction Writing_ (1984), Blazing Pencils (1990), and Deep Revision (1993)—widely used by teachers around the country, as well as a book for writers, Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel (2010).

She has written four children’s books, The Secret Super Powers of Marco (1994), Marco’s Monster (1996), Billie of Fish House Lane (2006), and Meli’s Way (2015). Her adult fiction, which is mainly set in West Virginia, includes A Space Apart (1979), Higher Ground (1981), Only Great Changes (1985), Quilt Pieces (1991), In The Mountains of America (1994), Trespassers (1997), Oradell at Sea (2002) Dwight’s House and Other Stories (2004), The City Built of Starships (2005), Out of the Mountains (2010), Love Palace (2014), and Their Houses (2018). She also has published four collections of short stories.

This Article was written by Merle Moore

Last Revised on September 01, 2023

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Willis, Meredith Sue. Interview by author. 9/29/1998.

Cite This Article

Moore, Merle "Meredith Sue Willis." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 01 September 2023. Web. 18 May 2024.


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