Desoto County News

Writing for Fun and Profit Free Workshop

“Writing for Fun and Profit” is a free workshop for all aspiring writers sponsored by the Mississippi Writers Guild through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Arts Council.  Writers Guild State President Susan Marquez will conduct the workshop at the B. J. Chain Library at 6619 Hwy. 305 N. in Olive Branch, on Saturday, May 4 from 1-3 p.m. Attendees are asked to call the library at 662-895-5900 to register in advance.  

For more information, contact Northwest Mississippi Writers Guild Director Patricia Carter at

Susan Marquez is a professional writer living in Madison, Mississippi. She specializes in feature writing, and has had over 3,000 articles published in newspapers, magazines, business journals, and trade publications since 2001. 

“I have always been curious,” she says. “I enjoy learning the story of a person, place, or event. Story is everything to me.”  While she writes for both local and nationally-distributed publications, the stories of her own home state of Mississippi interest her the most. 

“We have a wealth of great stories in our state. I am fascinated by the innovations, creativity, and celebration of life found here.” She is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and has attended several of the organization’s symposiums. She is also a member of the Association of Food Journalists.  

Her love of writing has led Marquez to become the president of the Mississippi Writers Guild, a statewide organization with 13 chapters.  She has also worked in advertising and marketing as the marketing director for the Northpark Mall in Ridgeland for 10 years.  She was an advertising copywriter and broadcast producer at Gordon Marks Advertising in Jackson, and she has worked for two NBC affiliates as a copywriter/producer. She served on the board of the Jackson Advertising Federation for 12 years, including serving as the organization’s president. She served on the National Advertising Federation’s Public Service Committee, and was awarded the Jackson Advertising Federation’s highest honor, the Silver Medal Award, in 1997.

Marquez served as the first president of the Madison Square Center for the Arts Board of Directors, and coordinated a massive restoration project to their building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She learned about historic preservation through her meetings with Elbert Hilliard, who was director of the Mississippi Archives and History, and the late architect Michael Barranco. Since that time, she has written numerous articles about historic places in Mississippi and has attended many events presented by the Mississippi Historic Preservation Trust.

Community involvement is important to her as she has served on the Board of Directors of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association. She received the President’s Award from the Madison County Chamber of Commerce in 1998 for her outstanding service as Chair of the Youth Leadership Madison County Program. She also received the Outstanding Service Award from the University of Mississippi Alumni Association in 2009. Marquez has also participated in both Leadership Madison County (a year-long leadership program) and the inaugural Phi Theta Kappa professional leadership program.

She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1980 with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Radio-TV-Film, and she completed the Business Advantage for Professionals certification program through Millsaps College. 

She and her husband Larry live in Madison but spend a good bit of time in their 106-year-old shotgun-style home in historic uptown New Orleans. “I can work from anywhere,” she says. “ I just need a cell phone and a laptop.”