Mary Collins

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Photo by Paul Cryan

Upcoming Readings or Events

**Gold Star Magazine and Traveling Exhibit Project

Central Connecticut State University Creative Nonfiction Workshop students interviewed Gold Star Families from Connecticut that lost a son, sibling or husband in the Vietnam War. They transformed the transcripts into powerful first-person co-authored essays that shed light, often for the first time, on what the various relatives and friends of the fallen soldiers endured at the time and in the 50 years since the war. The Rotary Club of Trumbull Connecticut awarded a $5000 grant to the project and other generous private donors contributed another $5000.

The Gold Star Magazines are currently available and the traveling exhibit will debut in May 2015 at the Trumbull Library and then be on display at the 50th commemoration of the Vietnam War at the NE Air Museum in July 2015. The exhibit will be available for schools, libraries and other interested educational organizations to display for free. Contact Mary Collins at collinsmae@​ or penmary@​ for more information about this project or hosting the travel exhibit at your school or library.

**New Britain Industrial Museum 20th Anniversary Magazine Project

CCSU Creative Nonfiction students will design, write and publish this special anniversary publication in the spring of 2015 as part of a class project.

Other Authors You Should Read

Books on my night table:
The Most of Nora Ephron

The Empathy Essays

First Rate Madness by Nassir Ghaemi

Story Craft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction
Jack Hart
University of Chicago, 2011

Writer * Professor * Public Speaker

*** PETRIFIED FOREST National Park Service Artists-in-Residence Project***

Mary Collins and Susan McElhinney created a prose/​photo profile project of people that work, volunteer and visit the Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert in Arizona. "Faces of the Petrified Forest" will be on permanent exhibit in the historic Painted Desert Inn this fall. The fuller version of the project with complete text will also be on the Park's website.

Young boy measuring petrified tree trunk. (Photo Susan McElhinney)

Winner Grand Prize Nonfiction, 2010 Indie Book Awards
American Idle looks at the social, cultural, physical and spiritual consequences of our sedentary culture. How can we integrate movement back into everyday life again in the U.S.?


Photobiography of the Wright brothers
National Geographic Books

Mary's essay, "Moving the Idle Masses," is one of six in WHAT I EAT: Around the World in 80 Diets, another great title in Menzel and D'Aluisio's award-winning Material World Series. Other essayists in this volume: Michael Pollan, Wendell Barry and Richard Wrangham.! Explore the new mobile-friendly travel guide by Sal Lilienthal and Mary Collins

**Twenty year career as a writer and editor in Washington, DC for a range of clients, including National Geographic, the Smithsonian and Discovery Channel

**Associate Professor of Creative Nonfiction, Central Connecticut State University (2007 to present); Winner Teaching Award 2010; Director of Center for Teaching and Faculty Development

**Part-time professor at Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing Program, Washington, DC (1995-2007); Winner Teaching Award 2003; Winner Professional Achievement Award 2002; taught two graduate classes a term, ran the monthly reading series and helped oversee as many as 80 nonfiction advisees

**Veteran Guest Speaker for a range of clients, including Commencement Speaker, Boston University School of Public Health, 2010; Plenary Speaker, Annual Convention, National Center for Biking and Walking, 2010; Keynote speaker for a range of City Planning Annual Conventions and Bike/​Walk advocacy groups across the country

**Workshop leader and Writing Advisor for a range of corporate clients, including town governments, insurance companies, law offices; panelist at several major writing conferences, including Cape Cod Writers Conference, Baltimore Writers Conference and the Stonecoast Program in Maine

**Award-winning book author and essayist: Winner Grand Prize for Nonfiction at the 2010 Indie Book Awards; Best Book of the Year, American Independent Writers Group, 2010; Best Essay of the Year, Amercian Independent Writers, 2009; Best Essay of the Year, American Society of Journalists and Authors, 2003; Top 10 best YA Biography of the Year on Booklist and NY Public Library, 2003 and others