The VCFA years:
While at VCFA, Mary completed a Picture Book Intensive semester led by author Kathi Appelt. Culminating projects included Mary’s critical thesis “Lighting the Way: Picture Books about Tough Times and Resilience” and a panel presentation entitled “Let’s Pretend: Depictions of Pretend Play in Picture Books.” Mary’s poetry collection Trucks, Boots, and Bells: Firehouse Poems was awarded the 2010 Candlewick Picture Book Prize at VCFA.
Poetry for Children:
Mary’s poetry for children has been featured on “Poetry Sunday” on WCAI-FM (Cape and Islands NPR station) and has been published in Ladybug magazine, the Christmas-themed anthology Mistletoe Madness, and Amazing Faces, an anthology edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Lee and Low, 2010).
- “Black Lives Matter: Does Your Child’s Bookshelf Reflect the World?” Cape Cod Times, 2020
- “One Year On, Four Things You Can Do to Honor the Victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting.” Cognoscenti.com/WBUR-Boston. June 2017.
- “Parenting Through an R-Rated Presidential Campaign.” Cognoscenti.com/WBUR-Boston. November 5, 2016.
- Firefighter’s kid: Stories my father never told me – Cape Cod Times
- Op-Ed: Searching for My Sidekick – A Story of Pure Friendship – Shewired.com
“Resilience and Literacy: Building Two Strengths at Once.” Impact: The Journal of the NY State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. February 2012.
Poetry for Adults:
- “Studying Rachel Maddow in Provincetown,” in anthology Hashtag Queer 2, 2018.
- “Not in Kansas: Tribute to Rainbow Flag Creator Gilbert Baker,” Provincetown Magazine, June 2018.
- “We Know How to Do This,” in poetry anthology If You Can Hear This: Poems in Protest of an American Inauguration. Sibling Rivalry Press, January 2017.
Awards and Honors:
- Boston Authors Club, Discovery Award honorable mention, 2020.
- Candlewick Scholarship to Rainbow Writers Retreat, Writing Barn, Austin TX, 2019.
- Eileen Spinelli Scholarship, Highlights Foundation, for Menders, a middle-grade novel, 2017.
- Katherine Paterson Prize, Runner-Up, Hunger Mountain /Vermont College of Fine Arts, 2016.
- Local Cultural Council Grant for “Connecting Through Kids’ Books: a Prison Writing Project,” 2016.
- Finalist, Cape Cod Writers Center Writing Contest, Middle-Grade Fiction, 2016.
- Ruth Landers Glass Scholarship (fiction), New England Society of Children’s Book Writers, 2014.
- Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Grant Recipient, Creative Writing at Barnstable County Correctional Facility, 2014.