Susan E. Connolly is an Irish writer who works in a broad range of formats, with a focus on screenwriting. Her children’s TV Pilot Monsters Bite was the winner of the BBC’s Scriptroom 7 in 2014. Her horror feature film Human Child was one of eight entrants selected for the 2018 FrightFest New Blood Workshop with mentors Jack Tarling, Barbara Crampton, Jenn Wexler and Giles Edwards. In 2019, Susan received an Emerging Artist Bursary from Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council for the same work. Her near-future sci-fi thriller pilot Blood Trade has been optioned by Bryncoed Productions. Her teen drama pilot Complicated Grief advanced to the quarter-finals of the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2019 and was withdrawn from further consideration as it was optioned by Mainstreet Pictures. She is adapting Liz Hyder’s debut YA novel Bearmouth for the screen with Binocular Productions.
Her first novel, the children’s fantasy Damsel, was published by Mercier Press in 2009. She is the writer of Gráinne O’Malley: Queen’s Gambit, a historical comic book from Atomic Diner, chronicling the meeting between Granuaile, Ireland’s Pirate Queen, and Queen Elizabeth I of England. Susan’s short fiction has appeared in DailyScienceFiction and her non-fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, The Center For Digital Ethics and the fanzine Journey Planet.
Susan holds degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Statistics, both from University College Dublin, and in 2019 completed a PhD with the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge, where she was a student of St John’s College. She has strong opinions about the accurate portrayal of animal sidekicks in fiction. Susan is available for in-depth discussions on the biology of mythical animals, though may go into excessive detail on why gryphons are the worst-designed of all mythological creatures. At one point, she was the highest-ranked competitive debater in Ireland, so if you are pro-gryphon, be aware that you will likely lose this argument.
While at college, in addition to debating, she served as Science & Technology Editor and Comment & Opinion Editor for UCD’s award-winning student newspaper, The University Observer. She wrote incisive articles such as Where Is My Hoverboard and Where Is My Robot Butler, showing she had her priorities in order from the outset of her career. Her non-writing jobs have included office administrator, security guard, telephone survey operative, and film & television background extra.
Susan is from Ireland, near the mountains. Also near the sea. Also near the forest (Ireland is a small country).