Sandi Sonnenfeld

Fiction Writer, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Poughkeespie, NY
New York US

Author's Bio

A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sandi Sonnenfeld holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Washington where she studied under National Book Award Winner Charles Johnson. The author of more than 30 published short stories and personal essays, Sandi's memoir, This Is How I Speak (Seattle: Impassio Press), which recounts her first year at the MFA program at the UW after surviving a terrifying sexual assault, explores what it means to both a young woman and emerging artist in America during the 1980s. Upon its publication, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association named Sandi a 2002 Celebration Author, which honors writers whose work merits special notice. This is How I Speak was also named a July/August 2002 Booksense 76 finalist. Sandi currently lives in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley and is working on an historical novel. She has taught literature, composition and creative writing classes and workshops at Marist College, Western Connecticut State University, Mount Holyoke College, Pierce College (Washington State) and Seattle Central Community College.

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

So, Dear Writer... (Cave Moon Press, 2019)
Lost and Found: Stories from New York (W. W. Norton & Company, 2009)
Family: A Celebration (Peterson's, 1995)
This is How I Speak: The Diary of a Young Woman (Impassio Press, 2002)


Sex & the City (Serpent's Tail Press, 1989)
CPU Review
, ,
Falling Star
Intellectual Refuge
Isotope: Journal of Nature and Science Writing
Jewish Literary Journal
Margin: Exploring Magic Realism
Necessary Fiction
New Works Review
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Raven Chronicles
Revolution House
Salmon Magazine
This Magazine
Voices West
Written Arts
Prizes won: 

Barbara Benson Fiction Prize, Mount Holyoke College (1985); Loren D. Milliman Writing Fellowship, University of Washington (1988); David Dornstein Young Writers Prize, Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (1993); Celebration Author, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (Fall 2002);  Dream On Scholarship for Cape Cod Story Summit (2020); Finalist, Rosebud Magazine’s X.J. Kennedy Award for Creative Nonfiction (2001), Greensboro Review Literary Awards (2001), the 39th Annual New Millennium Writing Awards for Fiction (2015), and 41st Annual New Millennium Writing Awards for Flash Fiction (2017).

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Isabelle Allende, Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Aimee Bender, Geraldine Brooks, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Fowles, Ellen Gilchrist, Maya Goldberg, Vivian Gornick, Kathryn Harrison, Charles Johnson, Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Milan Kundera, Lorrie Moore, Flannery O'Connor, Lisa See, Jane Smiley, Graham Swift, Amy Tan, Sarah Vowell
What I'm reading now: 
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, The Sellout by Paul Beatty, Your Duck is My Duck by Deborah Eisenberg, Heavy by Kiese Laymon, The Way of the Writer by Charles Johnson, American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau by Bill McKibben, Editor

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
American, Feminist, Jewish
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
New York City, NY
New York
Raised in: 
Rockville Centre, NY
New York
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Oct 25, 2021