Résumé & Easy Links to Writing Clips
Ph.D., Creative Writing, Binghamton University.
Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley.
B.A., French Literature, cum laude, with high distinction in major. University of
California, San Diego.
Université de Poitiers, France. Coursework.
WORK EXPERIENCE, APPOINTMENTS HELD
Editorial Director and co-founder, Broad Street Magazine, August 2012 – present
Associate Professor, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Modern Narrative, Virginia Commonwealth
Assistant Professor, Creative Writing and English, Multicultural Literature, California Polytechnic State
Freelance book doctor, developmental and line editor, copyeditor, etc.
References available upon request; begin with
Mermaid Moon, Candlewick Press, March 2020. British and Australian editions from Walker Books.
The Kingdom of Little Wounds. Candlewick Press, October 2013. Paperback 2016 (cross-marketed for adults and teens).
British and Australian editions, Walker Books, Fall 2014.
• A dark fairy tale set in the Scandinavian Renaissance. Winner of several notable awards and honors, most especially:
•Michael L. Printz silver medal Honor, American Library Association, 2014
•Boston Globe Best YAs of 2013 (one of 10):
Breath and Bones. Unbridled Books, spring 2005. Paperback, spring 2006.
A tubercular artist’s model travels from Denmark to the American Wild West, seeking a lost love and leaving a trail of destruction.
Mirabilis. BlueHen / Penguin Putnam, June 2001.
A young wet nurse in fourteenth-century France saves a besieged town from famine but is unable to rescue her employer and lover, a woman accused of witchcraft. Published in four countries.
Articles about Living with Disabilities
“How I Learned to Soften My Pain and Give Vulvodynia a Break.” In Folks, January 2021. While my gynecologists dismissed my experience, I spent years looking for relief from my constant irritation and pain.
“Dollhouse Artisans Restore Health One Tiny Room at a Time.” In Folks, November 27, 2020. Crafting, particularly miniatures, helps hobbyists and master artists cope with a variety of health issues: https://folks.pillpack.com/dollhouse-artisans-refurbish-their-health-one-tiny-object-at-a-time/.
“A Mermaid Saved My Brain.” Memoir: After a traumatic brain injury, a fairy tale I told myself in the dark helped lead me back into the world. Folks, 9 September 2020. https://folks.pillpack.com/a-mermaid-saved-my-brain/.
Selected Essays and Articles
“Know Your Romantic Man.” A light look at love with members of the Romantic Movement. Enchanted Living, winter 2020. Print.
“A Celebration of the Modern Mermaid.” On what mermaids mean for our current moment in feminist culture. Enchanted Living, March 2020, in print and online. https://enchantedlivingmagazine.com/a-celebration-of-the-modern-mermaid/.
“Four Reasons to Spend Time with ‘Bad’ Books.” Thousand-word guest post on Jane
Friedman’s writing and editing blog, 3 March 2020. https://www.janefriedman.com/4-reasons-to-spend-time-with-bad-books/.
“My Life in Pantyhose” reprint in anthology From “My Life in Pantyhose” to “My
Life in Spandex”: Writers on the Job Redux. Eds. Walter Cummins and Thomas E.
Kennedy. Anthology. Serving House Press, Fall 2017.
“My Life in Pantyhose.” Writers on the Job, November 2016. Online.
http://writersonthejob.webdelsol.com/pantyhose.html. (11,000 words).
“Watch Mattel Market Their Dream Girl—and a Gun for the Boys.” Broad Street online, fall 2016. http://broadstreetonline.org/2016/10/flashback-video-watch-mattel-market-their-original-dream-girl-and-a-gun-for-the-boys-2/. Online.
“Making Friends with Midge: Your BFF and Barbie’s.” Broad Street, 1.1, summer 2013. Female friendship in America as articulated through doll play with Barbie’s oft-forgotten goofy best friend. Pushcart Prize Special mention, volume XXXIX (2014).
Selected Articles and Encyclopedia Entries
“Clean Porn: The Visual Aesthetics of Hygiene, Hot Sex, and Hair Removal.” In Mardia Bishop and Ann Hall, eds. Pop(Porn): The Proliferation of Pornography in Popular Culture. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood Publishers, 2007. 137-154. https://medium.com/@cokal/clean-porn-the-visual-aesthetics-of-hygiene-hot-sex-and-hair-removal-ac188fc9161d.
“American Beauty,” “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “Waxing,” “Tyra Banks,” “Cher.” Six new reference articles in St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Sara and Tom Pendergast, eds. Michigan: St. James Press, 2012.
Revised entry on “Barbie” for another author.
“Mary Poppins,” “Supermodels,” “Zoos,” “Abortion,” “Naomi Campbell,” “Kate Moss.” Six reference articles in St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Sara and Tom Pendergast, eds. Michigan: St. James Press, 2000.
All entries updated by me for new edition, 2012.
Selected Stories (Fiction)
“We Become Nothing.” The Saturday Evening Post, December 4, 2020.
“Rob the Bank, Butter the Kitchen.” Pacifica Literary Review, Fall 2020.
“A Spoon Will Catch the Dark Girls’ Pain.” Gemini Magazine. Annual Short Fiction Prize winner.
http://www.gemini-magazine.com/cokalspoon.html. (About the invention of the speculum by J. Marian Sims and his experiments on enslaved women.)
** Site under re-construction.
“Fourteen Shakes the Baby.” Cincinnati Review 13.1, June 2016: 183-195. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Print.
“A Collection of Rarities and Originals.” Quarterly West, Winter/spring 2011.
“The Bed of Imaginary Loves.” The Journal 32.2 (fiction contest winner). Fall 2008: 91-112.
“Underneath It All, There’s Carpeting.” On family and The Price Is Right. Los Angeles Review, Fall 2007. https://www.susanncokal.net/underneath-it-all-theres-carpeting-.
“Shooting Snakes.” Prairie Schooner (winter 2005): 135-152.
Includes 36 written for The New York Times Book Review, covering authors such as Jeanette Winterson, Emma Donoghue, and Audrey Niffenegger.
Please see full CV for complete list.
Barron’s Educational Publishing, untitled collection of myths: evaluated manuscript for historical accuracy, diversity, and literary structure. June 2012.
Barron’s Educational Publishing, untitled collection of fairy tales: evaluated manuscript for historical accuracy and literary structure. January 2012.
Expert Witness: Richmond District Attorney, expert on pedophilia in literature and First Amendment values, case name to remain confidential. October 2005.
SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS
Annual Short Fiction Prize Winner, Gemini Magazine. August 2019, for “A Spoon Will Catch the Dark Girls’ Pain.” http://www.gemini-magazine.com/cokalspoon.html. Also nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Women in the Arts honoree 2017, Style Weekly, Richmond, VA: “recognizing dynamic women artists who show vision and dedication to their craft and women who move the arts forward in Richmond and beyond […[ women who are forward-thinking leaders in the fine and performing arts and who make a positive impact on Richmond’s cultural community.”
Pushcart Prize special mention, volume XXXIX (2015), for “Making Friends with Midge” (nonfiction creative essay and cultural criticism published in Broad Street Magazine 1.1, fall 2013).
Michael L. Printz silver medal, American Library Association: The Kingdom of Little Wounds. Spring 2014. This and the Newbery Award are the two highest and most prestigious honors awarded for work that appeals to the teen market.
Blue Ribbon honor, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 2015. One of ten blue ribbons for the category, which recognizes the best among thousands of recently published books appealing to younger readers. The Kingdom of Little Wounds. http://bccb.lis.illinois.edu/BlueRibbons/blue14.html
Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, Young Adult category (one of 10 chosen out of 4,500 eligible), 2013.
American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, The Kingdom of Little Wounds, 2014.
ALAN Pick, NCTE (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents from the National Council of Teachers of English), The Kingdom of Little Wounds. ALAN promotes communication and cooperation among all individuals who have a special interest in adolescent literature. 2013.
Teresa Pollak Award for Excellence in the Arts (Word category). Richmond, Virginia, 2008.
Fiction prize, The Journal (Ohio State University), fall 2008. Best story of the year.
Get a Quote
This is a Paragraph. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start editing the content.