Deborah Savage

Writer. Artist. Tutor.


I have been a self-employed writer and artist all my life. I am an award-winning author of seven published novels for young adults. My novels have been published in several languages and one was produced as an award-winning film in an international co-production.

I am also a woodcut printmaker, mural painter and illustrator. My woodcut illustrations have been published in books and as posters that have won national awards. My murals cover walls and exhibits in natural history museums.

I have also worked for more than thirty years as a teacher of English at middle and high schools as well as state and community colleges; as Artist-in-Residence and workshop presenter at schools, colleges, and professional writer's conferences; and as academic tutor in public elementary, middle and high schools.

I have moved around a lot in the last fifty years, traveling, writing, painting and teaching in other states and other countries. Now I am settled in western Massachusetts where I live in a small secluded house bordered by an old woods full of birds and wildlife.

Through a combination of chance and choice, I find myself in a slower and seemingly-smaller life than I once had, and I am learning that this demands more fortitude, wisdom and humility than my younger life of ambitions and adventures ever did.

I am beginning at last to understand the infinity of Emily Dickinson's garden and the enormity of William Blake's grain of sand.

I still offer variations of many of the services I've done for over thirty years.

As an author of books for young adults, I wrote novels, held creative writing residencies in public and private schools and colleges, and gave workshops and talks at writing conferences around the country.

As a visual artist, I designed and facilitated mural projects through organizations servicing at-risk youth, illustrated magazine covers and books, and painted murals and exhibts in natural history museums, businesses and private homes.

As a teacher, I was an adjunct instructor of English at community and state colleges, a classroom teacher of English and Art at private secondary schools, a mentor/tutor to home-schooled students in writing and art, and an academic tutor in all grade-levels in public schools.

Now, while I no longer climb on scaffolding to paint large murals on-site, I work on smaller commissions in my studio. For example, I paint smaller murals on plywood panels which are later mounted on a wall.

Although I no longer go away for a period to be an Artist-in-Residence, I offer art and writing programs locally to schools and libraries.

At present, I tutor children in the local public schools and sell antique and vintage used books from my online store.

What I primarily wish to offer through this revised website is a record of what I have done in my life in the hopes that, in some way, it may serve as an inspiration to young people who are seeking an authentic and real way to live in a world that sometimes appears overwhelmingly false and hypocritical.

In my own way, I have lived an unconventional life in this society that promotes the attainment of financial security and status as its highest value and purpose.

These were not values I ever understood or adhered to; I lived purposefully a life committed to creating my work, and I have grown to realize how unusual that was. I would be grateful if I could impart the fact that this kind of life is still possible -- perhaps even essential -- to a new generation of human beings.

From as early as I can remember, I have valued the commitment to the creative spirit in my work and to the understanding of its purpose and meaning in my life. My writing, my art, and my work with young people rose directly from values I intuitively sensed as a young child.

Over many years, as I grew to understand myself and what I needed to do in the world, I also grew to understand that the expression of our creativity -- no matter through what activity -- is our deepest human purpose.

Our narratives, our stories, small as they may seem and in whatever imperfect form we may give them, are, if genuinely and truthfully told, what we have to offer the world. Human beings were designed to do this. Our stories are what bind us together in our common humanity. An individual's creative act, in whatever manner it is done, transforms energy into the light we all need to see each other.

As a young child, I somehow understood that the abilities I was born with were truly gifts, not the result of anything I had done. It always seemed to me that what was important was to do something with those abilites, to do something as well as I could and to offer whatever I created back to the world.

As I grew into adulthood, it became more and more apparent to me that I wasn't much good at doing anything else. I wasn't a good student except in subjects I found worthwhile, I didn't like the insular world of academics, I didn't pay much attention to those hierarchies of power and authority even the most menial of employment required one to accept.

Living this way was often difficult and there were uncomfortable consequences from insisting on doing so. But I didn't much understand how to live any other way, and I learned some important truths. Among them was perhaps the most important: You can live this way no matter what kind of work you do, no matter what your circumstances and no matter how talented you are and no matter how successful you may or may not become in what you do!

It is almost a cliche to state that it's a mistake to build your sense of success on the basis of recognition, fame or fortune, and I am thankful that I was never inclined to do so.

Although my books are no longer in print, they do exist out there in the world. If you have a yen to read one, you can often find used copies for sale on Amazon, eBay or any number of used-book sites.

What I am offering now:

  • I will happily work with young people in creative writing and art programs
  • I am also happy to sell anyone who wishes one a print of my artwork
  • I will also work on commission

Contact me and I'll get back to you on any of these.

And if you have a desire to scroll through a wonderful bookstore of very affordable old and used books, please go to Workbench Books, my eBay store

I look forward to hearing from you.

- Deborah Savage, September, 2022, Greenfield, MA