Director’s Bio
“Mary Ann Henry is a natural born teacher. Not all writers can teach writing; Mary Ann has the ability to go outside of her own creative perspective and understand her students’ particular needs. Her greatest gift is her capacity to care about their writing as much as her own.”
– Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina Poet Laureate

Born and raised in West Virginia, Mary Ann Henry spent her girlhood summers in the mountains of Fayette County where she wrote and directed plays, using bales of hay to create staging and seating, long before she knew it was a Hollywood cliché. Oblivious to another cliché, the Writer’s Checkered Past, she held the positions of dance school receptionist, mini-skirted gas pump attendant, lingerie salesperson, lab rat researcher, test-tube washer, bartender, sensitivity-trainer for police officers, drug counselor, sheltered workshop director and special education teacher, while finishing undergraduate studies in Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy, as well as a M.Ed. degree. After five years as a public school teacher, she took two graduate classes in Radio and Television and (thanks to that background in barn theater), built a twenty-five year career as an advertising copywriter and scriptwriter/ director/ producer of video and interactive media, winning many regional and national awards along the way.

In the year 2000, Mary Ann left her media career to move to a barrier island in South Carolina where she turned her hand to writing fiction and teaching creative writing, earning five annual awards from the National Alliance for Young Artists & Writers as an Outstanding Teacher of Creative Writing. Summers, she traveled to study alternative belief systems with internationally known teachers in the areas of Reiki, Shamanism and the Lakota Sioux belief system. Bringing together her writing and spiritual studies, she began teaching a series of weekend workshops called Writing is Good for the Soul. Today, she teaches Fiction and Creative Non-fiction workshops to adults while finishing a novel. She recently published an award-winning collection of short stories, Ladies in Low Places,  which was described as, “…(A) healthy dose of Southern humor and style…told with a fresh, sensitive voice likely to appeal to readers who appreciate Southern cultrue in all its myriad forms.”  Kirkus Reviews

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