About Mary

Kowal1Hugo-award winning author, Mary Robinette Kowal is a novelist and professional puppeteer. Her debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor 2010) was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel. In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, while three of her short fiction works have been nominated for the Hugo Award: “Evil Robot Monkey” in 2009 and “For Want of a Nail” in 2011, which won the Hugo for short story that year. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies, as well as in her collection Scenting the Dark and Other Stories from Subterranean Press.

Kowal is also an award-winning puppeteer. With over twenty years of experience, she has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve.

When she isn’t writing or puppeteering, Kowal brings her speech and theater background to her work as a voice actor. As the voice behind several audio books and short stories, she has recorded fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi.

Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Sometimes she even writes on them.

Recent Journal Entries

Debut Author lessons: Sensitivity readers and why I pulled a project.

This entry is part 21 of 21 in the series Debut Author Lessons

There are some things you need to understand about yourself and about how community works, before you approach a reader and truly, before you even start the project in which you plan to represent a marginalized community. It’s good, and important, to want to represent people who are outside your experience, but it’s hard work. […]

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My Favorite Bit: Renee Patrick talks about DESIGN FOR DYING

Renee Patrick is joining us today with their novel Design for Dying. Here’s the publisher’s description: Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl . . . until she discovers she’s a suspect in the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing […]

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Want to take a writing workshop? In the Caribbean? With me?

So, last year, the Writing Excuses gang put together this writing workshop and we held it on a cruise ship. Why? Because it turns out that when we were pricing venues this was the best deal. No, seriously. We’d been doing them at my parents’ house and people were staying at a Best Western a […]

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My Favorite Bit: Deborah Biancotti talks about WAKING IN WINTER

Deborah Biancotti is joining us today to talk about her novella Waking in Winter. Here’s the publisher’s description: On a far, frozen desert world, Muir the pilot discovers an ancient artefact in the ice. She sees a mermaid at first, but later comes to wonder if it is Ningyo, a fish god from her homeland in […]

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Submission opportunity: FutureScapes Writing Contest

I’m judging the FutureScapes Writing contest, which has a goal that I’m really excited about.  It’s the idea that art can change the world, and so it invites submissions for stories with the goal of changing the future. “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”          -Oscar Wilde Looking at […]

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More Journal Entries