Mary Collins

Professor; Career Advisor & Intern Coordinator; Program Coordinator, Writing Minors


Contact Information

Willard-DiLoreto Hall W 401-05

Phone: 860-832-2770


So what is “Creative Nonfiction” and how do you practice that genre in and out of the classroom? A short but accurate definition: True stories well told. Have you ever read a personal essay or memoir that really moved you? That’s Creative Nonfiction. Have you ever read a humorous essay, a thoughtful piece of travel writing, a feature or profile about some compelling person? That’s Creative Nonfiction. The work is often timeless, full of reflection and good storytelling, and, most importantly, true.

After working for more than 20 years as a freelance writer and editor in Washington, DC for a range of clients, including National Geographic and the Smithsonian, I moved to Connecticut in 2007 for a tenured track position in Creative Writing/Nonfiction. Since my arrival to CCSU, I have won the Excellence in Teaching Award (2010) and a statewide award for Community Engaged College Educator (2015) given by a consortium of all of the colleges and universities in the state for the work my nonfiction classes have done in the community, including magazine projects with veterans, the elderly and inner city children. I have also served as the Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development. I have published three nonfiction books, many award-winning essays and features, four young adult history books, an online American Revolution travel guide for Connecticut, served as an Artist-in-Resident for the National Park Service and other adventures (went to the Badlands for that project!). I am currently at work on my fourth adult nonfiction book.

M.A. University of Virginia, 1986.

Coming in April 2017
At the Broken Places A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces, Mary Collins and Donald Collins

Course Sample Syllabi and Project
Collins ENG 370 Creative Nonfiction I
Collins ENG 376 Essay
Collins ENG385 Writing About Health

Sample Community Engagement Project
Gold Star Magazine
Cycling Without Age
An Invisible Problem A Family Promise/CCSU Magazine

Career Advising
Supervise the Internship program for the English Department. Chief organizer for the department’s career fair, The Power of the Pen: Careers in Writing, Literature and Publishing, which takes place every April.

Minors in Writing