Meet Susan

Susan Ritz grew up in Minnesota, but she left home to become a wandering scholar; she lived, studied, and worked as a social worker in Kenya, Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia in the 1970s. She worked as a human rights lobbyist in Washington, DC, during the Carter Administration before moving to Dachau, Germany, the setting for her memoir in progress, On the Edge of Dachau. For the past thirty years she has lived with her husband and three children in Montpelier, Vermont, where she has worked as a fund raiser, events coordinator, and philanthropic advisor for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, especially those promoting economic equality for women. Writing, however, has always been her passion, and after receiving an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College, she began writing for local publications, teaching creative writing to adults and high school students, and working on her first novel, A Dream to Die For.

Articles and Essays

Becca Balint Leads with Head and Heart
February 2017 | Vermont Woman
“Senator Becca Balint is in for that long haul. As a gay woman, the child of an immigrant, an educator and a columnist, and the only legislative leader from the southern tier, Balint continues to bring a fresh perspective to the committees and the legislative body as a whole. Her courage and her willingness to be vulnerable, especially when the going gets tough, make her a role model for other women leaders—those who are already serving Vermont and those who are still dreaming.”

Taking It to the Streets: Pussies on Parade: The Women’s March in Washington
February 2017 | Vermont Woman
“I made my way with thousands of others carrying some original and inventive signs like “Other women’s bodies are not our battleground!,” “Our rights are not up for grabs. Neither are we,” and “This march is not fake news!”—along with many that said “Love Trumps Hate” and “I’m with Her!” with arrows pointing in all directions”

Changing the Economic Story for Vermont Women
April 2016 | Vermont Woman
“Did you know that in Vermont that 43 percent of women who work full-time do not earn enough to cover basic living expenses as defined by Vermont’s Joint Fiscal Office? That single women with minor children are nine times more likely than women who are married to live in poverty? That the median annual Social Security income for women in their senior years is only $10,000—half that of men?”

Vermont Hospitals Begin Serving Local, Healthy Food to Patients and Visitors
2013 | Vermont’s Local Banquet
“Besides offering the benefits of health and environmentally sound practices, local foods in hospitals can also offer comfort, especially to many of Vermont’s elders. Alyssa Nathanson points out that many of the older patients at Gifford Hospital’s skilled nursing facility in Randolph used to be farmers themselves. They remember the days when eating local was the only option and they are happy to see the names of farms that have been around for generations on their daily menus.”

The Wow of Wagyu
2012 | Vermont’s Local Banquet
“The magic, Sheila explains, is in the intramuscular fat, which delivers not just superior taste and texture, but also a good dose of Omega-3 fats, the fatty acids found in salmon and nuts that are essential to brain development and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. It’s no wonder that discerning chefs and diners alike are willing to pay top dollar for the famed Wagyu (also known as Kobe) beef, which is attracting the attention of a few Vermont niche farmers like Sheila and her neighbor Mary Beth Fischer.”

Letter from Andover, Vermont
2001 | Regional Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
“Andover is one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” towns that snuggles in the rolling hills of Vermont—a place you might stumble upon if you drive the back roads between the resort areas of Manchester and Ludlow. A tiny town hall, a white steepled church, and the Over Andover used bookstore make up the village center. The surrounding countryside shows the changing face of Vermont’s rural areas.”