Critically acclaimed & award-winning author, Szeman began as a poet, then began writing novels & short fiction, as well as creative writing books.
Szeman has Ph.D.'s in Creative Writing and in World Literature; her dissertation, Survivor: One Who Survives,was a collection of original poetry, all of which was accepted or published by university & literary journals before her dissertation defense. While in graduate school, her poetry was awarded numerous prizes, including The Elliston Poetry Prize (several times) & The Isabel and Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship.
Her first novel, The Kommandant's Mistress,on the Holocaust from multiple points of view and perspectives, was chosen as one of The New York Times Book Review's "Top 100 Books of the Year" (1993). It was also awarded the University of Rochester's prestigious Kafka Prize "for the best book of prose fiction by an American woman" (1994), and Central State University's (OH) Talmadge McKinney Research Award (1994). The revised, expanded, 20th anniversary edition was published in 2012, and contains discussion questions, along with "The Kommandant", the original story and poem Szeman wrote which formed the basis of the novel.
Her second novel, Only with the Heart, about the devastating effects of Alzheimer's on a family and about the moral implications and consequences of assisted suicide, is on the recommended reading lists of Alzheimer's Associations nationwide.
The titular story in her award-winning collection of short stories, Naked, with Glasses, won Third Prize in Story Magazine's "Seven Deadly Sins Contest", and the manuscript won UKA [United Kingdom Authors] Press' 2007 Annual International Competition.
Her two poetry collections, Love in the Time of Dinosaursand Where Lightning Strikes: Poems of the Holocaust, both containing award-winning poems, include poetry from her dissertation. Both volumes were unanimously accepted for publication by all outside readers for UKA [United Kingdom Authors] Press (2004).
Her classic creative writing book, Mastering Point of View, was originally intended for university and college classes, but went mainstream within a month of its publication by Story Press (2001). It is being republished as Mastering Point of View: Using POV & Fiction Elements to Create Conflict, Develop Characters, Revise Your Work, & Improve Your Craft. The revised, expanded, and updated; 12th anniversary edition will include authors who were not published in 2001, Indie & ebook authors; as well as creative writing instructions, examples, and exercises for other fiction elements such as Urgency, Creating Realistic Characters, Writing Natural Dialogue, How to Write Erotic or Violent Scenes, etc., all of which were edited from the first published book.
Szeman is currently completing her latest novel, revising another novel & her memoir (about growing up with a mother who practiced Munchausen's by Proxy), and is about to publish several creative writing exercise books.