(203) 592-6640 mary@marysharnick.com

Current Events

Mary visits Chase Collegiate School – 

Creative writing

4th/5th grade visit

Mrs. Kahuda’s 4th/5th graders have been hard at work creating original realistic fiction stories. They have worked on character development, story arcs, creating conflict, “showing” not “telling,” writing leads and writing effective endings. The students realized that a lot goes into creating stories and wondered what techniques published authors use when writing a novel. So… they invited one to visit! Mary Sharnick, former Chase English Department Chair and published author, visited the class today and led them in a writing exercise. She showed them that writing is wonderful because they get to make the rules and be in charge. The students discovered that they are using the same techniques as published authors. This gave them quite a sense of accomplishment and has inspired them to produce more “chapters” to their stories.



Friday, October 25, 2019
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) UCONN/Waterbury
99 East Main Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
12:15-1:30 pm

Three Families, Two Countries, One Artist – From Flesh and Breath to Canvas with Mary Donnarumma Sharnick

What are the joys and challenges of writing a novel series? How does on-site research inform character and plot? What historical touchstones influence context? Join award-winning author Mary Donnarumma Sharnick as she explores those questions and reads from Orla’s Canvas and Painting Mercy, the first two novels in the Orla Paint Series.

Applying the late E. L. Doctorow’s observation that: “The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like,” Mary will describe the process by which she folds imaginary characters into actual historical contexts from New Orleans during the Civil Rights Movement (Orla’s Canvas), to the Fall of Saigon and the aftershocks of war for her adopted daughter and a childhood friend-turned-soldier (Painting Mercy). You’ll enjoy a sneak preview of The Contessa’s Easel, Mary’s work-in-progress, set in Fiesole, Italy, where the 45th Anniversary of Fiesole’s liberation from the Nazis collides with the AIDS crisis.



Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Stone Soup Club
(a membership group)
Middlebury, CT

6:00-9:00 pm

Exploring the Blur

How do individuals manage to build and live satisfying lives in contexts that sometimes thwart, oppose, and diminish them?  That is what artist Orla Castleberry, the protagonist and voice of Orla’s Canvas and Painting Mercy, is keen to discover. With her brush, she paints what she sees, startling and provoking her audience and herself to consider and re-consider their own shifting places in a world at once beautiful and terrifying.





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