Mary Robinette Kowal


Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor 2010). In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2011, her short story “For Want of a Nail” won the Hugo Award for Short Story. Her work has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. 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.

Mary, a professional puppeteer and voice actor, 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. She also records 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. Visit

SiWC Workshops

Saturday 1:30pm

Whether you write historical novels or fantasy based on history, it's important to recognize the actual historical diversity of the world you are writing about. Contemporary media presents a white-washed view of the past, which does not match the historic record. From black Roman soldiers in Scotland to Hawaiian nobles in England, learn about some of the ways to approach the question of diversity in your historical fiction.

Saturday 10:30am

Relationships are at the heart of human existence, from the wildest romantic entanglements to the most casual interactions with the regular cashier at your local grocery store. No matter what sort of fiction you’re writing, chances are relationships of one sort or another are a factor, one its essential to get right. Our panel makes its living writing well about human connections and is here to share their insight into making your fictional relationships ring true.

Friday 1:30pm

Think you never have time to write? In this workshop, Hugo award-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal will walk you through how to write short stories using a combination of lecture and in class exercises. The session will cover economical prose, effective use of POV and how plot works in short form.

Friday 3:30pm

The historical fiction panel is an SiWC tradition. Our bestselling panelists and moderator know not only what life was like in the time periods and places in history in which they’ve immersed themselves, but how to write about it so that they avoid sounding like that boring professor whose classes you slept through when you bothered to attend at all. Come learn their secrets and enjoy their stories, too.