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

A sliding scale writing workshop

So, I remember what it was like when $250 for a workshop wasn’t possible. I just didn’t have the money. Part of the reason I offer workshops online is that there are a lot of people for whom taking  time off work, or away from the family isn’t possible. But that doesn’t stop the desire […]

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I’m teaching a short story intensive from August 29-31.

REGISTRATION OPENS on Sunday, April 27th at noon Central. Think you never have time to write? Think again. I wrote my first Hugo-nominated short story “Evil Robot Monkey” in ninety minutes. If you have ninety minutes, you can have a story — all it takes is understanding how to make every word work double-time. In this workshop, […]

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Thoughts on Hugos and voting for the love

I had this moment when I realized that the Kvothe erotica fanfiction that I wrote for the WorldBuilders fundraiser was totally eligible for the Hugos. Totally. Further, I realized that if I pointed that out to Patrick Rothfuss’s fans, there was actually a darn good chance it could make the ballot just because of the way the […]

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The Japanese cover for Shades of Milk and Honey

I had a wonderful series of emails with my Japanese translator, Fumiyo Harashima, who wanted to make certain that she got all the period details right in the text. I love this sort of thing. We actually wound up doing a small alteration in the text to make it play better for a Japanese audience. […]

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“The Lady Astronaut of Mars” has been nominated for a Hugo!

As I write this, I know that I’m going to have to sit on this news for another week. Here’s the thing about the Hugos, for me. I’m a huge stinking fan. The works nominated have shaped my reading tastes and habits since I was a teen. To make the ballot is… it’s a huge honor. Also, totally a […]

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