I’m Marylee MacDonald, writer, caregiver advocate, former carpenter, and mother of five. I’m the author of a memoir, Surrender, the novel, Montpelier Tomorrow, Bonds of Love & Blood. Body Language, The Rug Bazaar, and The Big Book of Small Presses and Independent Publishers. When I set up this website, I intended to review books. As time went on, however, I found that I particularly enjoy interacting with folks who share my passion for writing.
My short stories have won the Barry Hannah Prize, the Ron Rash Award, the Jeanne M. Leiby Chapbook Award, the American Literary Review Fiction Prize, the Matt Clark Prize, and taken second in the Dana Prize and Faulkner-Wisdom competition. I’ve also been a finalist for the Lamar York Prize and the Marguerite Donnelly Prize, among others.
I wish I had time to look at individual manuscripts. Honestly, I’d love to read your work. However, I’m aware that at my age–seventy-five–time is of the essence. If I want to complete my own projects, I must stay focused on getting work out of my drawer into the pages of a book.
That said, I have years of experience. I know how to write fiction because I’ve spent time learning. All of this knowledge will go to waste if I don’t pass it on. My ultimate goal is to make your journey easier.
I not only want to help you write the best book you can write, I want you to get it published, too. In my weekly or bi-weekly newsletter, I share information about literary contests, publishers, and magazines looking for the work of emerging authors. Below, you can read more about some of the awards I’ve won.
Montpelier Tomorrow won a Gold Medal for Drama from the Readers’ Favorites International Book Awards. The novel was also a finalist for the Bellwether Prize, the Next Generation INDIE Book Awards, and the Eric Hoffer Prize. On Goodreads, the novel was #1 on two Listopia lists: “Non-Chicklit Books for Women” and “Books You Need Tissues to Read.”
Bonds of Love & Blood was a Finalist in Foreword Reviews‘ INDIEFAB Book Awards and a Silver Medalist in the Readers’ Favorites’ awards. The Big Book of Small Presses and Independent Publishers won a Silver Medal from Readers’ Favorities, and Body Language won a bronze medal for short stories.
My short stories have been published in American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Calyx, Folio, Four Quarters, New Delta Review, North Atlantic Review, River Oak Review, Ruminate, StoryQuarterly, Superstition Review, The Briar Cliff Review, The Chattahoochee Review, the Yalobusha Review, and many other magazines.
I have a Master’s in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford’s School of Continuing Education. I’ve been a Writing Fellow at Arizona State University’s Piper Center for Creative Writing. At their “Desert Nights, Rising Stars” writers’ conference, I’ve led workshops and taught classes on writing fiction, literary editing, writing memoirs, and issues of work-life balance.
In recent years I have led a writing group in Tempe, AZ. Members of my group have won or been finalists in a number of competitions: the 2014 Gateway Emerging Writers contest, the First Coast Romance Writers Novel Prize, the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize, the Blue Moon Fiction Prize, the Tucson Book Festival competition, and more. I love helping writers improve their craft and build their careers. If you ever feel stuck or stymied about what to do next, just use the contact form to send me an email. You will hear back from me, maybe not the next day, but within the week.