Denise Shekerjian is the author of two works of nonfiction including Uncommon Genius, which is a narrative look at how great ideas are born. (Viking, 1990, Penguin, ’91, ’01). Based on interviews with forty winners of the MacArthur Prize or so-called “genius award,” she pieced together a picture of the creative process in action.  Her two-year blog was a continuation of her inquiry into the mechanics of the artistic process, especially as related to the written arts.  It was featured on Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop section on writing and cited in her award of an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Vermont, 2012.

Her essays and short stories have earned two Pushcart Prize nominations and have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Crab Orchard Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Chariton Review, Puerto del Sol, The Distillery, Inkwell, The Baltimore Review, Confluence, The North Dakota QuarterlyLalitamba Mandarim, Primer Stories, The Rumpusand other literary journals. She was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in letters from the University of Vermont in 2013.

Previous to her writing life, the author pursued a career in law.  With a J.D. and an LL.M, she worked first in human rights and then as a trial attorney – federal court, highly profiled cases, criminal defense. Competent Counsel, a nonfiction look at working with lawyers, drew from these years (Dodd, Mead, 1985). Wild Beating Hearts, a first novel that spans forty years and tells the story of the Armenian genocide in alternating first-person voices, is in manuscript.

She is a past member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Authors Guild, and several bar associations. She is also an active member of her community and played a founding role in the creation of the Charlotte Library as well as Generator, Burlington’s downtown maker space.



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