I was an awkward later bloomer whose only happy high school moments revolved around writing essays for English class. “Write about whatever you want,” said Mr. Adams. And when I did, I always got an A and often had my piece read aloud to the class.
My one claim to fame: Mary Ellen McGinty could write.
I assumed I would become an English professor until I worked in Northeastern University’s English Department while in graduate school and observed tenure battles and whiny faculty meetings. No thanks. I finished the master’s, moved into higher ed. administration, and landed in college alumni relations and fundraising – an unlikely career for someone who hates forced mingling.
I stuck it out until my husband, John, and I embarked on a mid-life adventure that took us from Boston to Phoenix, and I made the successful leap from fundraiser to freelancer. Since then I’ve learned that I am happiest working solo, turning research and interviews into perfect sentences that become:
- articles and personal profiles for business, lifestyle and trade magazines
- marketing materials for nonprofits
- promotions, web copy and correspondence for business owners
About the Essayist
My writing sweet spot is telling slice-of-life stories that make people laugh, cry, or say, “We must have been separated at birth.” I’ve written a monthly column for The Arizona Republic and a syndicated humor column, “The Homefront,” for Angie’s List Magazine; and my essays have appeared in publications ranging from Outdoor Life to Notre Dame Magazine.
My topics range from pie crust to preschool, hypochondria to HGTV, and I’ve been at this long enough that my family often responds to odd or interesting experiences by saying, “That’s a column.” Most of the time they are right.
I currently have an essay collection and (maybe) a memoir in progress, which requires achieving a workable balance between clients and my inner essayist. So far, so good.