Stephanie Shafran lives and writes in Western MA and enjoys her active membership in both Straw Dog Writers Guild and Florence Poets Society. Her poetry and prose have appeared in a variety of anthologies, such as Jewish Mothers Tell Their Stories, Heart by Heart: Mothers and Daughters Listening to Each Other, The Woman I’ve Become, Detours II: Fiction of Travel by Land, Air, Sea & Mind, Compass Roads: Poems About the Pioneer Valley, Ophelia’s Mom: Loving and Letting Go of Your Adolescent Daughter, and Counselors Finding Their Way. Her poetry is included in several themed poetry collections by June Cotner. Journals containing her work include: Earth’s Daughters, Whirlwind Review, Slant, and Silkworm. Her poem Pears received an honorable mention in the category of non-rhyming poems in the Writers’ Digest writing competition in 2001.
In 1995, a few years after she began writing poetry in a women’s writing workshop facilitated by the founder of Amherst Writers & Artists, Pat Schneider, Stephanie submitted a poem to a contest for the very first time. Even when she received word that her poem Death in the Family had won first place in the National Writers Association Poetry Contest, with a cash prize in the amount of $100, Stephanie was still not comfortable calling herself a writer.
Twenty-three years later in the spring of 2018, Stephanie was selected for a donor-funded 6-day writing retreat at Patricia Lee Lewis’s Patchwork Farm. All day and into the evening during that time span, she dedicated hours of uninterrupted concentration on her writing – revising poems and flash fiction pieces, reconfiguring a memoir outline, reading a handful of books concerning the writing process, for example. By the end of this retreat, Stephanie at long last proclaimed herself a full-fledged writer.
Since then, her poem “After ‘Since Unfinished’ by Richard Blanco” won 3rd place in the Robert P. Collén Poetry Competition last year. And recently Stephanie’s flash fiction story At the Lawyer’s Office was chosen as a semi-finalist in the River Styx Microfiction Contest of 2020.
Stephanie published her first chapbook, Awakening, this spring during the first weeks of the world-wide Coronavirus pandemic. It contains a collection of poems written over a span of almost three decades.