Mary is a popular presenter of workshops at national and local chapter writers' meetings and also at schools. Some topics (click for description):
Workshop Reviews:"At writers' conventions, Mary Kennedy is one of the most dynamic and informative speakers I've ever heard. She's wonderfully knowledgeable, yet spontaneous and witty, too." —Nancy Martin, founder of Pennwriters
Life Story: Did you know that writing memoirs is one of the hottest trends in publishing today? Think of Angela's Ashes, Running with Scissors and The Liar's Club--they all made it to the best-seller list! In this interactive workshop, you will learn foolproof tricks to jog your memory along with the secret of choosing colorful details and developing your own writing style. You'll look at commercially successful memoirs, and receive insider advice on getting your stories published. Through stimulating questions and shared memories, you will have the tools you need to write a personal history, whether for family or publication.
Write Smart: !NEW! Very popular! Write Smart: 25 Things You Really Need to Know to Sell Your Book! For the beginning novelist or the multi-published---covers the basics on queries, pitches, synopses and proposals along with an inside look at agents, editors, markets and genres. We'll also discuss conferences, networking, e-mail loops and time management. It's everything I've learned after selling forty novels to New York publishers! If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, you don’t want to miss this one!
Writing for Teens: The teen market is alive and well in this tough publishing climate. This workshop covers everything you need to write successfully in this challenging, lucrative market. Mary Kennedy, author of 37 young adult novels, will give you an overview of the market, along with a discussion of publishers, a description of trends, and examples from current titles. Where do you fit in this market? Do you like to write "light and funny," or do you tend to favor "problem or issue" novels? Do you prefer a paranormal twist, or do have a trendy contemporary style? You will learn to find your own niche in the market and will discover which common themes are the most popular, both with publishers and teen readers. This fun, interactive workshop includes writing exercises, quizzes, mysteries, games and prizes
Creating Villains: Dr Kennedy provides a psychological profile of predators, ranging from players and bad boys to dangerous psychopaths. Learn how they think, how they operate, how they gain access to their victims. Study the manipulation, the lures, the mind games they play as they choose their prey.
Creating Villains offers you an "up close and personal" look at the unscrupulous charmer who bilks his girlfriends out of thousands of dollars, and then vanishes. The unrepentant "bad boy" who seduces underage girls, the dangerous stalker who strikes without warning, the deranged sociopath who thinks he’s on a divinely inspired mission to kill. Learn how even professionals (psychologists, public defenders and social workers) can be seduced by the quick smile and superficial charm of a "natural born killer."
Everything you need to create a chilling portrait of a villain in your novel is at your fingertips. Creating Villains mixes cutting edge clinical insights with examples from best-selling suspense novels.
Deviant Personality Types: In this compelling workshop, Dr. Kennedy introduces you to the exciting field of personality types, and explores both deviant and criminal behavior. Blending clinical insights with personal anecdotes from her work as a forensic psychologist, she gives you “real world” case files, psychological evaluation forms, and examples from recent crime fiction.
Cozies: If you think cozy mysteries include an old lady, a cup of tea and a tabby cat, think again. Today's cozies range from comedic to paranormal, from trendy chick-lit to solid traditional. A cozy can be set anywhere your imagination takes you--from glitzy LA to a picturesque town in New England. In a workshop for everyone from newbies to multi-published authors, you'll learn how to how balance conflict, plot, character and suspense in this popular genre.
"There are very few times in life when a person drops in and gives the gift of herself. I am grateful that you gave us that gift. Your message was informative, motivational and genuinely kind." —Kim Kroll, Middle School Librarian, Dover Air Force Base, Dover. DE.
Dr. Mary Kennedy’s workshops are some of the best I’ve attended in 20 years of author conferences. Informative and witty, Dr. Kennedy presents writers with methods for better understanding their characters. Her insight into the criminal mind is invaluable. She’s not just about profiles, but gets to the intangible heart of a killer. Seeing Dr. Kennedy on a conference guest list would prompt me to attend." —Colleen Faulkner, best-selling novelist
"Mary Kennedy’s workshops, presented at the Dreamin’ in Dallas Writers Conference in 2006, introduced a complex and serious subject in a fun, easy to understand and memorable manner. I still pull out the workshop CDs and listen to them as refreshers when working on my books. The information has proven invaluable." —Nikki Duncan, Dreamin' in Dallas, Dallas, Texas