Mary Jo has been a writer since her 3rd grade teacher, Sister Mary Donald, weaved the love of words into her being. Sentence diagrams, Haiku poetry and short stories formed from the spelling word list were all exciting and tentative attempts at being a “real writer.”
She has studied writing through: Creative Writing courses of Morton College, Cicero, IL; College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL; Columbia College Chicago; Institute of Children’s Literature (correspondence school); and Christina Katz’s Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff.
She is always learning and loves to share her knowledge.
Mary Jo founded the first Young Writers’ Group at the Downers Grove Public Library, which now meets monthly at the Bolingbrook Barnes & Noble Bookstore. She teaches (Fall & Winter sessions) a Young Writer’s Workshop and “Publish Me!” Class through the FRoG Enrichment Program in Downers Grove, IL. Mary Jo also runs a week-long writing intensive Summer Studio every August (click on EVENTS page for details!)
In March of 2009, Mary Jo gave the key-note speech on the topic of ”journaling” to a group of 130 young ladies at the Chick Chat event sponsored by HGNA.org (Helping GirlsNavigate Adolescence.)
In the News!
Mary Jo has been featured in the Downers Grove Sun (March 4, 2010) and the Downers Grove Reporter (March 25, 2009) for her work with young writers in the community. She was also interviewed by Joyce Tumea on Downers Grove Local Ch 6′s talk show, Today’s Tidings.
- Mary Jo’s column, “Into the Wild” appeared in The Motherhood Muse, a quarterly on-line magazine for mothers who wish to reconnect themselves and their children with nature.
- Her articles have been published in Suburban Woman, WritingKid, MOMSense Magazine and Simple Joy.
- Her short fiction has received awards: First Place for In Father Brannigan’s Room in 100 Words or Fewer Second Contest with honorable mentions in their Winter 2009 contest and The Verb’s “Silent Character” Contest. Her short story, Obsession, appeared on coloredchalk.com.
- Her essay Cravings, appeared in Underwired Magazine, June 2009. Mary Jo is currently writing a Young Adult novel.
Her teaching goals include: inspiring new writers to keep writing, revising and submitting and helping young writers find their voice. Her personal writing goals include: consistent publication of creative nonfiction and short fiction while completing her novel, then of course rise to the top of the New York Times’ Best Sellers list and live the American Dream! ; )
Realistically, she hopes to grow as a writer as she helps others grow, to always have a hand around a good cup of coffee and be in the presence of loved ones. She resides in Illinois with her husband and two children.
Mary Jo Campbell is available for speaking engagements and school visits! If your school or organization is interested in having this local published writer visit, please contact her for rates and availability at: firstname.lastname@example.org