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

Valour and Vanity is a 2014 Nominee for the Voice Arts Award!

The Society of Voice Arts & Sciences has announced the nominees for its first annual Voice Arts Awards, and I’m both honored and excited  that my performance in Valour and Vanity has been nominated! The awards recognize achievement in voice-over acting and related roles, and they were established to help raise global awareness of what it takes […]

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Bad Writing Advice explained

There’s a bunch of aphorisms about writing that started as good, pithy advice in part of someone’s lecture. Then they got pulled out of context and then misapplied. Write what you know What people think it means: People think this means that authors should stick to subjects they have personal experience with. What it actually […]

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Writing Excuses 9.44: Getting in the Writer’s Mindset with Peter Beagle

We were thrilled to have Peter Beagle join us for an episode, recorded live at Westercon 67. We talked about the writer’s mindset, and how to get into it. Peter schooled Brandon before the episode even began, and then proceeded to school all the rest of us. Peter is an absolute delight to listen to. We hope you […]

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Gender and writing for Defense Grid 2

I recently wrote for my first game, Defense Grid 2, by Hidden Path Entertainment. When I turned in the script and got notes back about structure, there was one that stood out. “Make sure not to use gendered language to refer to the player. We want to make sure that everyone feels included.” Let me just point […]

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Writing Excuses 9.43: Writing Mysteries

Live from Westercon 67 and Fantasy Con, Mette Ivie Harrison and J.R. Johannson join us to talk about writing for the mystery genre. We begin by talking about the key differences between thrillers and mysteries, and then move into how this understanding can drive our story structures. We discuss how characters with arcs and iconic characters […]

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More Journal Entries

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