Ellen Cassedy
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Ellen Cassedy's Page

Profile Information

Who I am:
Author of "We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust" (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), winner of the 2013 National Book Prize from Grub Street, the 2013 Towson Prize for Literature, the 2012 Silver Medal for History awarded by the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and the 2013 Prakhin International Literary Foundation Award.

I am a frequent speaker about Jewish and Lithuanian issues. I'm a Yiddish translator.

I'm a former columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the author of two books for working women. My articles have appeared in Hadassah, The Jewish Daily Forward, the Huffington Post, Haaretz, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Lilith, Bridges, Utne Reader, Polin, and Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies.
Connect with me online! My site, blog, or Twitter handle are:
Books I've written, anthologies I've contributed to, and any scripts or plays I've authored:
"We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust" (U. of Nebraska Press, 2012); Yiddish translations in "Beautiful as the Moon, Radiant as the Stars (Warner Books, 2003); play "Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn," adapted into a film of the same name, 2008.
Media outlets that I currently write for:
www.vilnews.com -- international 'zine about Lithuania.
My writing is:
Nonfiction, Memoir, Plays, Journalism, Blog Posts
Services I offer to other writers:
Sign up for my mailing list on www.ellencassedy.com and I will send you my "10 Tips for Memoir Writers", including a list of my favorite memoirs.
I found out about She Writes from:
Sarah Glazer

Ellen Cassedy's Blog

[TIPS OF THE TRADE]: Writing the Intimate

Posted on June 16, 2015 at 6:30pm 6 Comments

“I can’t remember.”

“I don’t know.”



[TIPS OF THE TRADE] What makes you smile -- and why it matters

Posted on May 20, 2015 at 6:00am 13 Comments

It all began with a clarinet.

I played the clarinet when I was a girl, but after the audition for college orchestra went badly, I put the instrument away in a closet (a series of closets, actually), and didn’t touch it again for three decades.…


[TIPS OF THE TRADE:] Finding Flow

Posted on April 10, 2015 at 1:24pm 5 Comments

Garry Trudeau, the originator of the Doonesbury cartoon, is a brilliant creative force.  But when…


[TIPS OF THE TRADE]: Lessons from an Overcoat: Reuse, Recycle

Posted on March 16, 2015 at 11:00am 2 Comments

A Yiddish folksong I love gave me the theme for today’s post. (If you like, you can listen along as you…


Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 5:19pm on January 26, 2016, Lois K. Herr said…

Thank you for friending me!  Glad to connect.  My first book - Women, Power, and AT&T: Winning Rights in the Workplace - is out of print.  I'm trying to get it republished this time by Xlibris but having a bit of a fight with them over what they call "Content Evaluation." First publisher was Northeastern University Press.  Self published my second book:  "Dear Coach: Letters Home from WW II."  This third one is my first venture beyond the bounds of documented nonfiction!

The comments here were in 2012  - assume you are still reading them.

At 6:36am on May 8, 2012, Judith van Praag said…

Ellen, Love your comment, absolutely, positive push. I've used the momentum to pick a chapter from my book, edited the text for publication as a story on Family Matters in Glimmertrain Magazine. Got it ready one, two, three, in a few hours before leaving on a celebratory trip. Sent it off with my husband's blessings. My request for 20th wedding anniversary was that he'd record his songs on a CD, his for me: To send out a story from my manuscript to a literary magazine. I delivered in time, he a few days late. Creativity soars. Good to find your comment after the fact, makes me feel extra good :-)

At 2:01pm on April 25, 2012, Judith van Praag said…

Hi Ellen,

My apologies for my late response to your response. I haven't been at SheWrites for a while.
I recognize what you say about research, there's always more material surfacing, especially as time goes by.

Just a few weeks ago I learned that another branch of my mother's family has started researching their family history, using photos and research material I shared last year with a cousin I discovered Online.
But I haven't finished my book, I thought, and now they're going to finish theirs. Even if the one they're working on is in the first place a photo album with added stories, it stings.
I'm the one who's been reluctant. And I know why, it's MY mother's branch of the family that has been guarding a painful secret, not theirs. So I'm trying to be brave enough to finish. For it's sharing the truth that's scary. As it is for many memoir writers.
I noticed how many interesting comments you got on your post. It looks like we have a lot to share. Thanks for starting that :-) Going to read up on all that now.
Best, Judith

At 7:40pm on April 16, 2012, maggie brooke said…

hey, ellen. i'm working on a novel (started out as a novella) about  an 'ordinary' woman who wakes up one day with the stigmata. as books do, it is still writing itself at the moment and i can see i'm going to have a huge job of cleaning and sorting once this first draught gets finished. the hard work is still to come...

At 8:44am on April 16, 2012, Beth Lane said…

I'm working on my first fiction novel, using information I unearthed in the research for  a historical true crime book, Lies Told Under Oath, that I just published.  Am also in the process of writing 'gift' stories that are snippets of memoir for my children as gifts on birthdays and holidays.  Their Dad died when they were children, so this is a way for them to understand who he was - at least a bit.

At 10:45am on April 10, 2012, B. Lynn Goodwin said…

Ellen, your title interests me. I'd need to read the book before I know whether it would work better for an interview or a review. Can you e-mail me at Lgood67334@comcast.net with your elevator pitch or very short summary. I'll write back with my address.




Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

At 4:43am on April 10, 2012, Julija Sukys said…

HI Ellen!

I really look forward to meeting you again. It will be fun to collaborate. 


At 8:50pm on April 9, 2012, Jan Nerenberg said…

Working on a myth about standing stones I visited in England for a class in 2008.  I was doing undergrad work, finished my MFA, and now am heading to Wales to research and write a novel based on the Rollright Stones.  I'm doing it for my PhD project at Aberystwyth University.  Just got accepted into their CW program.  Exciting times.  Again thanks for you insights.  They were quite helpful and your language only proves that memoir does not have to be dry.

At 7:10pm on April 9, 2012, Terri McIntyre said…

Thanks, Ellen, for friending me and for sharing your writing experience on SheWrites. Very helpful and extremely interesting. I've been working on my memoirs as a gift to my children and grandchildren. When I read your excerpt and saw how you pulled the reader immediately into a memorable scene, I thought okay, I think I did that part right in my story. Your narrative flows smoothly. Mine? I jump back and forth in time. Going to work on that!

At 6:08pm on April 9, 2012, Darlene Foster said…

Thanks for connecting with me Ellen.  I am working on the third book in my children's travel/adventure series.  One of the members of my critique group is working on a memoir and I sent her this useful information. 



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