Michele Merens

In my career, I have moved between writing plays and fiction consistently; you might have seen my name in either or both capacities. I publish under the names Michele Merens and Michele Ellis. In performance credits, after winning a grant from the Puffin Foundation (2008) , my full length play, The Lion’s Den, received its debut performance at the Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Medical Center in September 2008.  A DVD copy of this production is archived in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, WI. A 10-minute version of this same piece was read at the 2006 Great Plains Theatre Conference, Omaha, NE in 2006.  Other theatre readings include: Four Corners, Six Sides at the Chicago Dramatists in 2004 and Geraldine at the Vortex Theatre, Manhattan, NY 2009.

In publication, my short stories and plays have been published in Plum Hamptons (Issue I) Lilith, Thema, Crawdad, Third Wednesday, Inkwell, Verse Wisconsin (online) magazines; in the anthologies Puzzles of Faith and Patterns of Doubt (Editions Bibliotekos 2013); Stage This: Vol 3; Stage This: Volume 3: Short Plays and Monologues (Fn Productions, 2009); In Our Own Words: Volume 8 (MWP Publishing, 2010), Mothers & Daughters: Mid-Life Catharsis (ICWP, 2009).  A 10-minute play, Four Corners Six Sides, also received publication in Crawdad (2007).

In competition, my full-length play, my full-length play, "Collateral Needs Tending" (formerly "Inside Out") was a semifinalist in the 2011 Firehouse New American Play Festival Competition. Eshon Ayin, was awarded semi-finalist status in The Princess Grace Foundation Playwrighting Competition (2008); my 10-minute play, THISCLOSE, received semi-finalist mention in the Lake Shore Players Festival (2007).  My full length play, A Meeting in Marburg, was named a semi-finalist in the Mildred and Alfred Panowski Playwriting Competition (2003). My novel, Against That Day was named semi-finalist in the 2010 Dana Awards (Novel entry: first 50 pages category).

I have also been named a “Golden Dozen” award recipient for my column writing by the International Society of Weekly News Editors (ISWNE 2001) and Senior Scholar in Creative Writing, Barnard College. I am a member of the Dramatist’s Guild.

Currently, I live with my husband and child in Milwaukee, WI. My husband, Ben Merens, was the lead actor (and musical composer) in the DVD version and debut performance of The Lion’s Den in 2008 and I am deeply indebted to him for the talented work he undertook in this regard.

List of Works

Works Status


Against That Day currently seeking representation
semifinalist: 2010 Dana Awards: Novel
(first 50 pages); Honorable Mention (Novel Excerpt) 2010 Joanne Catherine Scott Prize PEN Nob Hill Competition

Short Stories

"Hilde's Son, The Rabbi" Puzzles of Faith and Patterns of Doubt (Editions Bibliotekos 2013)
"When That Most Glamorous Hydra In A Wig Shows Up At Your Door" Plum Hamptons magazine (summer 2011)
“All Those Angels’ Wings, Beating Round” THEMA literary magazine (summer 2010)
“Sentries” In Our Own Words: Vol. 8
  (MWP Publications, 2010)
“Thanksgiving” Lilith magazine (fall 2009)
“The Art of Scavenging” Crawdad literary magazine (2007)
"Baby Steps" Third Wednesday Journal (summer 2010)

Creative Nonfiction

"When Everything Mine Should Have Been Yours" Honorable Mention (Essay), 2011 Tara L. Masih Intercultural Essay Prize Pen Nob Hill Competition
"Digging" Inkwell magazine (2011)

Full-Length Plays

"Tumbling Through" Published Verse Wisconsin, Vol. 112 Online, fall 2013
"Collateral Needs Tending"
("Inside Out" )
semifinalist in the 2011 Firehouse New American Play Festival
“The Lion’s Den” winner Puffin Grant 2008
produced at the Zablocki Veteran’s
Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI 
Sept. 2008
DVD archived at Wisconsin Veteran’s
Museum, Madison, WI
DVDs available for $10 plus shipping,
contact Michele Merens at
“Eshon Ayin: (The Little Man In the Eye)” semifinalist: Princess Grace Playwriting Awards 2008
“A Meeting At Marburg” semifinalist: Mildred and Alfred Panowski Playwriting Awards 2003

Ten-Minute Plays

“POW” available for readings, production
“The Lion’s Den” (10-minute version) read Great Plains Theatre Conference Omaha, NE 2006
“The Right Side of Shame” available for readings, production
“THISCLOSE” available for readings, productions, semifinalist Lake Shore Players Playwriting Competition 2007
Four Corners, Six Sides” available for readings, productions, published Crawdad literary magazine 2006 Reading Chicago Dramatists, Chicago, 2004


“Geraldine” published Stage This:Vol 3: Monologues
And Short Plays (FN Productions, 2009) reading, Vortex Theatre, Manhattan, 2009
“What I Need To Make The Holidays Bright” published Mothers & Daughters: Mid-Life Catharsis(International Centre for Women Playwrights: 2009)


2012: Op-ed columnist "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"
2001: “Golden Dozen” recipient from International Society of Weekly News Editors (ISWNE) for column on security monitors in high schools written for "North Shore Herald" (north suburban edition, metro Milwaukee)
Some freelance writing for "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and "The Shepherd Express", Milwaukee WI


Barnard Senior Scholar in Creative Writing  


B.A. Senior Scholar, Barnard College, New York, NY . M.S.J. Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Evanston, IL


Dramatist’s Guild (ongoing)