Hi there! I’m Marisa (rhymes with Lisa). I write fiction and nonfiction from my home in the middle of nowhere, New York with my loving husband and the cutest Doxie mixes ever, Terry and Lucy. (But I do my best writing on ferry boats and train rides.)
I am at work completing my first book—YAY!—a memoir entitled Everything You Can't Control. Read more and check out an excerpt on the Writing page of this site.
A former middle school teacher, I now work as a peer recovery specialist at a local nonprofit where I support individuals improving their mental health and wellness. My passion for mental health advocacy and past experiences with discrimination inspire me to speak openly about my disabilities.
My idea of fun includes playing board games, kayaking, reading, dancing awkwardly and singing badly to loud music, or painting my next masterpiece. I value travel as a form of education and love learning languages, exploring new places, and meeting people.
You can find me on Instagram @marisarussellowrites and rarely on Twitter @russellowrites. (I gave into peer pressure.)
I graduated with a bachelor’s in Spanish language and literature from Haverford College and a master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Teachers College, Columbia University. I’ve taken writing courses from Catapult and elsewhere.
If you’d like to request me as a speaker, you can do so through The Stability Network, where I present about my own mental health struggles to empower others and inspire hope, or by contacting me directly. I've also volunteered as a speaker for AFSP and for NAMI, the largest mental health organization in the U.S., and have consulted for the Mount Sinai Suicide Research and Prevention Lab.