Hello! I’m Penny Zang.

I am an English professor, mom, and a lifelong writer and reader. My debut novel, Doll Parts, a novel of suspense, friendship, and Sylvia Plath, is forthcoming from Sourcebooks in Summer 2025.

To be more specific, I graduated from Notre Dame of Maryland University with a B.A in English and West Virginia University with my M.F.A in Creative Writing (Fiction). My work has appeared in publications such as the Potomac Review, Pank, Iron Horse Literary Review, Baltimore City Paper, and New Ohio Review. When I'm not writing, I am hanging out with my husband, son, and too many cats. I currently live in South Carolina and teach English at a two-year college. I am represented by Danielle Egan-Miller at Browne & Miller.

And also: I like cats, creepy books and movies, dive bars, quirky, off-kilter humor, glitter, and poetry. Expect to hear me mention friendship, Sylvia Plath, and ghosts on the regular.

You can also find me on social media (please find me!):

What is Mourning Pages?

Mourning Pages is a newsletter about writing in the midst of grief. Joy and loss, academia, motherhood, publishing—all mixed together to show the cross sections between writing and mourning.

Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way, recommends writing daily Morning Pages. I married that idea of writing with my grief experience to form Mourning Pages.

Start here to get acquainted:

You’re invited! Join Mourning Pages and stay up-to-date.

You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox. I like to read on the app, as well.

All subscribers can access the following:

  • New posts including resources, short essays, and interviews all about writing, creativity and loss.

  • Monthly recommendations for books, podcasts, and podcasts related to Mourning Pages.

  • Full archive of free posts.

Paid subscribers also receive:

  • A monthly post with tips and resources about writing while _______ (fill in the blank: writing while parenting, writing while grieving, writing while working a full-time job, etc.)

  • Participation in Comments (On Substack, the Comments Section is actually a joyful place, a growing, thriving community)

  • Behind-the-scenes updates and offers (delivered to you before anyone else)

  • Full archive of all posts. Every single one of them.

Paid subscriptions offer a way for you and others who appreciate my work to support the effort it takes to produce it—for which I am deeply grateful.

I look forward to seeing you in the Comments section and talking more about our creative lives (and everything that circles around us).

*Image from Cheeky Ingelosi.

Subscribe to Mourning Pages

Mourning Pages is a newsletter about writing in the midst of grief. Joy and loss, academia, motherhood, publishing—all mixed together to show how writing and creativity can fit into anyone's life.


Writer from Baltimore, M.F.A in Creative Writing (Fiction). English professor in SC and book nerd. Work in Pank, Louisville Review, New Ohio Review, and others. Debut novel: Doll Parts, forthcoming from Sourcebooks, 2025.