In Memory of Susan Williamson
Posted: November 6, 2013
Susan Williamson, an alumna of the English Department’s graduate writing program, which was the precursor to today’s New Writers Project, passed away last month at the age of 55. After graduating from UT, Susan went on to work as a writer and editor and as a volunteer with various student groups in town including the Travis Heights Young Writers Workshop. Because of her vocation as a writer, her love of literature, and her affiliation with the graduate program, Susan’s family has graciously requested that any donations in her memory go to the New Writers Project.
Susan earned a master’s degree from the University of Texas as a student in the English Department’s creative writing program. (In 2011, this program began awarding MFAs and gained a new name, The New Writers Project.) Susan wrote short stories during her time as a graduate student and continued to write them throughout her life.
After graduating, Susan helped to create and edit the award-winning journal American Short Fiction alongside UT professor emerita Laura Furman. This magazine quickly became a respected publication, earning a nomination for a National Magazine Award within two years of its first appearance. Later, Susan became the editor for Texas Architect, the magazine of the Texas Society of Architects. She also worked as a freelance writer and editor for years.
Susan was a prominent figure in the Austin community, applying her many skills to various volunteer projects. She worked as the organizer for the Travis Heights Young Writers Workshop for many years. She also served as a team manager for Destination Imagination, leading her group all the way to the global competition. Additionally, Susan managed the Capital City Marching Band Festival for two years.
Susan remained close with many of the faculty in the English Department and the New Writers Project throughout her life, and spread her passion for helping young writers across Austin. Any donations to the New Writers Project in Susan’s name will help these young writers pay for their education and basic needs so that they may focus on their writing. This dedication of funds in Susan’s name speaks to both how important the program was to her and how much she gave to the program, both in her time at the university and in her legacy of support to emerging writers and other young people in the community.
There will be a memorial service for Susan on November 17 from 2-6 P.M. at the Zilker Park Clubhouse.
To make a donation to help young writers in memory of Susan Williamson:
The New Writers Project
Susan Williamson c/o Ms. Cecilia Smith-Morris
The Department of English
University of Texas at Austin
204 W 21st Street
Austin, TX 78712