About Suzette

Suzette Martinez Standring

Suzette summed up in 110 words:

SUZETTE MARTINEZ STANDRING writes The Bright Side column for The Patriot Ledger (MA). She's been a columnist for 23+ years (1999-present) and nationally syndicated for 13 years. Her award winning books, The Art of Opinion Writing (2014) and The Art of Column Writing (2008) are used in journalism courses such as Johns Hopkins University and are published in China. Suzette is a past president of The National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Since 2010, she is the host and producer of Its All Write With Suzette, a cable TV show about writing. Email suzmar@comcast.net

But if you want to linger longer…

SUZETTE MARTINEZ STANDRING was born and raised in San Francisco. In 1996 she relocated to the East Coast - Connecticut, New Jersey, and now in Massachusetts - and her writing life began.

Suzette with daughter Star, and granddaughters Lulu and Bella

Suzette with daughter Star, and granddaughters Lulu and Bella in 2010.

Serendipity! An adult-ed course in journalism led to a reporter’s job at The Hunterdon County Democrat (NJ) where she was assigned to cover the County Board. (What? No. The county fair, maybe!)

Baptism by fire in the newsroom: write tight, be accurate, interview the unwilling, and write under deadline. As an antidote to news, she penned a humor column that proved popular.

She moved to Massachusetts in 2000 where her columns were published both locally and nationally in the genres of humor, lifestyle, opinion, shopping, and spirituality/religion.

Early in her column writing career, she applied what she learned from award winning columnists she met through The National Society of Newspaper Columnists  She served on the NSNC board, and later, as President (2004-2006).

In 2017-2021, she served as Executive Director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists after years of being a volunteer board member and officer.  Organizational management hearkens back to when she directed The Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California, a legal organization of 1,500 attorneys in her former life in San Francisco. From the ADC, she received The President's Award for service in the legal field, the only non-lawyer ever to receive the award.

She authored The Art of Column Writing (2008) and The Art of Opinion Writing (2014). Both award winning guidebooks are used in national journalism courses, such as Johns Hopkins University. (Not bad for a gal who never went to college. )

Suzette has a talent and passion for teaching. The mechanics of writing are easy to learn or to fix, but you have to be born with the heart of a writer.  Suzette excels in helping others overcome insecurity, fear, uncertainty, and writer's block.  She especially loves aspiring writers who are terrified and insecure.  We can do this!


Suzette with First Place in the New England Book Festival, 1/2015


2021 - The Legacy Award from The National Society of Newspaper Columnists
2017 - The Will Rogers Humanitarian Award from The National Society of Newspaper Columnists
2016 - Nominated for "National Woman of the Year" by the Milton Woman's Club (MA).
2016 - "Toastmaster of the Year" by Toastmasters Quincy 675 Club (Quincy, MA)
"Arts and Community Together Award" from the Milton Arts Center
2015 - First Place, The Art of Opinion Writing, 2014 How-To Category, The New England Book Festival
2015 - Story Slam, Second Place, “Carjacking,” Milton Public Library
2015 - Toastmasters, Second Place, Table Topics, International Speech and Table Topics Contest, Area 64 Finals, Massachusetts.
2013 - First Place for On-Line, Blog, and Multimedia (under 100,000 monthly visitors), The National Society of Newspaper Columnists annual contest.
2010 - First Place, Unpublished Essay, “The Height of Power: Petite Women Speak of Stature,” The Royal Palm Literary Awards, Florida Writers Association
2008 - First Place, Education: The Art of Column Writing, Royal Palm Literary Awards, Florida Writers Association
2008 - Honorable Mention, The Art of Column Writing, Writing Category, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards
2002 - Milton (MA) Times, Best Columnist
1998 - Hunterdon County (NJ) Agriculture Award (for news coverage on the deer overpopulation problem while a reporter at The Hunterdon County Democrat)
1995 - President’s Award, Association of Defense Counsel for Northern California (for service to the legal profession).

 Speaking & Conference Presentations:

  • The School of American Thanatology
  • Stanford University, Continuing Education Studies
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Indiana University
  • Boston University
  • Boston College
  • Northeastern University
  • Emerson College
  • DePaul University
  •  Eastern Nazarene College
  • Grub Street, Inc. (Boston)
  • The National Society of Newspaper Columnists
  • The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop
  •  San Francisco Writers Conference
  • The Scholastic Press Association
  • Boston Private Industry Council
  • Jewish Genealogical Society of Boston
  • The New England Newspaper and Press Association
  • Bath Path College Writers Day
  • The Cape Cod Writers Association
  • The Florida Writers Association
  • The Will Rogers Writers Workshop
  • Leading Age Conference
  • The Forbes House Museum
  • Bennett University, India
  • UMass Worcester, Graduate School of Nursing
  • Massasoit Community College (MA)
  • Bunker Hill Community College (MA)
  • Curry College (MA)
  • Quincy College (MA)
  • “The Hive” at Brown University (RI)
  • Fisher College
  • The Fuller Village Senior Residences (MA)
  • Unquity House Senior Residences (MA)
  • The Milton Council on Aging (MA)
  • The Milton (MA) Public Library
  • The Newton (MA) Public Library
  • The Providence (RI) Public Library
  • Buttonwood Books (Cohasset, MA)
  • Eight Cousins Bookstore (Falmouth, MA)
  • Milton Adult Education
  • The Canton Catholic Women’s Club
  • The Milton Woman’s Club
  • Rotary Clubs

Offices Held, Volunteerism, Memberships

2022 - President, Toastmasters Quincy 675 Club
2022 - Treasurer, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
2021 - Director Emeritus, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
2021: Selection Committee for Milton Public Library, Writer-in-Residence
2020: Member, National Speakers Association, and National Speakers Association, New England
2017-2020:  Executive Director, National Society of Newspaper Columnists (www.columnists.com)
2016-2019: Milton Woman's Club: Secretary, Chair of Charitable Grants Committee, Board Member, Volunteer
2015-2019: Toastmasters Quincy 675 Club (Quincy, MA): Secretary, VP of Public Relations
2002-2010: Milton Public Library: Volunteer, Public Relations, Programming, Fundraisers
2011: Consultant, Memoir book project, We Remember When, for Fuller Village Senior Residents, Milton, MA
2000-present - National Society of Newspaper Columnists: officer, board member, programming committees, volunteer chair: San Francisco, Tucson, Boston, and Hartford conferences
2013 - Milton Rotary Club: Public Relations Officer, volunteer
2004-2006President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC)
1985 - 1995 - Executive Director, The Association of Defense Counsel for Northern California