Visits / Signings

In addition to giving bookstore signings and book club talks, I offer writing workshops and class visits for all levels–from elementary school to college students and adults.

While I’ve taught writing and oral communications at Roanoke College and University of Virginia, I love working with younger children and teens as well. In fact, I organized and led the WordSparks Writing Camp (combing hands-on art with creative writing exercises) for elementary school children and teens last summer at the Salem Museum. I have also offered Emily Dickinson & Me classes as a Poet-in-the-Schools at elementary schools for the Virginia Reads program.

Working with a budding writer at WordSparks Camp

Working with a budding writer

I am able to discuss Standards of Learning topics about writing and oral communications (plot, characterization, story arc, revision techniques, poetic devices, presentation techniques, developing a thesis, etc.) — or lead a Q&A style discussion of life as a writer.

In addition to writing young adult literature (Dream Boy, with Madelyn Rosenberg, July 2014), I am the author of two award-winning books of poetry for adults (A Theory of Everything and If You Return Home with Food) and co-author of a local history (A Town by the Name of Salem). With my husband, I am writing a series of children’s early reader ebooks (Why Are Turtles So Crazy Awesome? and Why Is Ben Franklin So Crazy Awesome?, forthcoming). I work as a creative coach and freelance writer as well.

I love nothing more than sharing my enthusiasm for creative writing with others. To schedule a book club meeting, signing or school visit, please use the tab at top to contact me.

** I’m happy to set up visits via Skype for classes outside my region of Virginia.

WordSparks students preparing for their Green Man play

Preparing for their Green Man play at WordSparks Camp

"I Am" poem from WordSparks Camp workshop

“I Am” — a poem by 8 year old Laura at WordSparks Camp

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What people say about working with Mary on their writing

“It was a ridiculous amount of fun.”

“It helped me grow as a person.”

“She really cares. She made me feel welcomed and gave me the confidence to write.”

“I thought that I wouldn’t like poetry very much, and now I love it!”

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