Susan Berardi moved from Boston to St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and three sons, ages 22, 20 and 17, and has lived in the Midwest for over ten years. Her oldest son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age 12, and her middle son was diagnosed with autism at age 6. Her writing focuses on children and adults dealing with physical and neurodevelopmental disabilities, as well as the parents who love unconditionally, but aren’t afraid to channel their inner Mama and Papa Bear when they smell trouble brewing.
Susan has had an editorial published in The New York Times, and her writing has been featured on several television and radio programs, and in print, including KTVI-FOX Channel 2 and KSDK-NBC Channel 5 St. Louis; Hope Saves the Day (an Autism Radio international podcast); Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation; Radio Arts Foundation, Show Me St. Louis, and Jewish Light Magazine. Her short story, “Autism Speaks,” was published in 2018 in Watershed Review and in Ireland’s Galway Review. She was twice a quarter-finalist in National Screencraft’s Short Story Competition and was shortlisted for Tulip Tree Publishing’s “Stories That Need to be Told.” Her personal essay, “The Chosen Ones,” was a top-five finalist in Slice Literary Journal’s Bridging the Gap Contest in Brooklyn, NY. Two of her plays featured a child actor with autism and ran to sold-out audiences at the Gaslight Theater in St. Louis. A third play was featured at the Missouri History Museum.
In 2017, she gave the commencement address for the University of Illinois Department of Communication, where she received her Master of Arts. Next year she will graduate with an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University in Portland, Oregon.