Center for Lifelong Learning's Creative Writing Workshop Member Publishes First Book

International College announces that Center for Lifelong Learning Writing Workshop member Sue C. Nussbaum has published her first book, Intent to Defraud.

“The Creative Writing Workshop is a cauldron of talent where sharing, motivation, support, friendship, and trust are blended – in short – into a soup of joy,” said Al Cahen, the writing group’s facilitator. “Sue Nussbaum’s book is the first nonself-published work to emerge from the workshop. We are all very proud of her accomplishment.”

The Creative Writing Workshop group meets weekly and is designed to inspire and support people interested in all genres of writing. It is the fourth time that a CLL Writing Workshop member has published a book; however, the other three books were self-published at the author’s expense.

Intent to Defraud introduces the reader to the world of medical malpractice litigation, drug trafficking, and money laundering. It also tells a story of romance and the relationship between two brothers. The plot evolved from a real case Nussbaum encountered as a trial lawyer in New Jersey several years ago. The storyline, however, is fictionalized.

Nussbaum, a charter member of the Creative Writing Workshop, admits the book was never intended to become a book at all. During a workshop in 1999, members were given an exercise to write a compelling and descriptive chapter, and then read it aloud to the group. When Nussbaum finished reading her chapter, the other members asked for more.

“People asked me what was going to happen to the characters and prodded me to continue writing the story,” Nussbaum recalls. “One particular member, Sarah Gwynn, encouraged me to finish the book and publish it. She pushed me on both these issues every time I saw her.”

Gwynn, who resides in Massachusetts, said she encouraged Nussbaum to complete the book and publish it so people outside the group could recognize her talent.

“I really felt this was a book people would read and want to know about. It has a compelling storyline based on Sue’s legal experience, the characters come to life on the page, and it’s an attention-grabber,” Gwynn said. “Talent needs an expression, and I think this book gives Sue that expression.”

It took Nussbaum two years to complete the book. She credits the Writing Workshop and its members for getting her this far.

“I am always thoroughly impressed with the caliber of people in the group, as well as their writing. Being a member of this group gives you more than skills, it also gives you confidence and encouragement,” Nussbaum said. “The writing workshop is very inspiring. I do find that I write more -- and better -- when I attend meetings.”

In the book’s acknowledgement, Nussbaum personally thanks her fellow writers: “I would like to thank the members of my writer’s workshop, participants of the (Center for Lifelong Learning) at International College in Naples, Florida, who listened to my readings of various chapters in this book and who gave me their opinions and suggestions. I started this book as an exercise in writing an opening chapter. It was their interest in the story and their prodding that kept this book going.”

Nussbaum also personally thanks Sarah Gwynn in the acknowledgement.

Nussbaum became an attorney at the age of 45, after she returned to college to pursue a law degree. Nussbaum, a Naples resident, is a retired New Jersey trial lawyer. She left the practice in 1996. She and her husband moved to Florida in early 1997, and she began a love affair with writing and painting.

Intent to Defraud was published by Publish America and is available online via,,, and

“I feel fantastic about being a published author,” Nussbaum said, adding she is working on a second book. “I feel a great sense of accomplishment.”
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