Susan Hagen

Susan Hagen is an award-winning nonfiction writer, writing teacher, and co-author of the highly acclaimed post-9/11 book, Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion.

Susan’s writing career began in the mid-1970s as a newspaper reporter in Northern California.  Her coverage of the health care industry led to a series of positions in hospital media relations, including editor of employee publications for Kaiser Permanente, the world’s largest health maintenance organization.  She later served as editor of award-winning employee publications for McKesson Corp. in San Francisco.  Since 1988, Susan has worked as a freelance writer and has been retained as an organizational journalist by more than 100 corporations and nonprofit agencies across the country.

In 1994, Susan became a firefighter and emergency medical technician as a way of serving her community in rural Sonoma County, California.  Half the members of her first firehouse in the town of Freestone were women.  Following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, she and her colleagues were acutely aware of the absence of women in media portrayals of rescue workers at “Ground Zero.”  Susan combined her knowledge of the fire service with her experience as a writer to conceive of the idea for the book, Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion, with fellow author, Mary Carouba.

Susan has since retired after ten years in the fire service, but her experiences in public safety continue to provide a wealth of material for her creative nonfiction stories, which have appeared in a variety of literary publications.  She and her co-author, Mary Carouba, have also become popular inspirational speakers.  Audiences of all ages are intrigued and inspired by the story of the Women at Ground Zero Project, because it demonstrates how the seemingly impossible can come true when ordinary people believe in their dreams and act on them without hesitation.

Susan has been teaching writing and facilitating transformative wilderness experiences for nearly ten years.  As a writing teacher, she has helped hundreds of women give voice to the stories of their lives.  Her writing programs are deeply inspired by the vision quest, an annual journey into the wilderness that clarifies and informs her life and work.  As a result, Susan’s writing programs are experiential and intuitive, rather than academic and intellectual.  She uses a unique blend of guided imagery and nature-based practices to help set aside the thinking mind and clear a path to the deeper inner life.

Susan Hagen
Phone: 707-874-9223
P.O. Box 443
Graton, CA 95444