Mary Horner has spent the last decade teaching communications courses at St. Louis Community College. In fact, when the Wildwood campus opened in 2007, she was among the initial group of instructors hired to serve as adjunct faculty. Since then, she has continued to teach courses for the college while pursuing her passion for writing.
“I’ve been a writer my entire life,” she said. “It can be a long process, but it’s incredibly rewarding. I enjoy putting my ideas on the screen, refining them and getting them into people’s hands.”
Among her accomplishments, Horner’s work has appeared in more than two dozen publications. She is a regular contributor for the blog, “Woman on Writing,” and is the author of “Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing” (High Hill Press, 2011). In addition, her short story, “Shirley and the Apricot Tree,” was recently selected for the 14th volume of “Kansas City Voices,” an annual publication by Whispering Prairie Press that features a mix of fiction, essays, interviews, articles, poetry and art.
“I wrote this story years ago, when I was a student in graduate school,” Horner said. “Although the story is about three seemingly different topics, they are woven together to convey a message of hope.”
While writing has always been her first passion, the transition to teaching was a natural fit.
“Through teaching, I’ve gained an understanding of the importance of knowing your audience,” she said. “Teaching has helped me learn how to defend my decisions and work, and keeps me on my toes. There’s nothing like immediate reactions.”
In the classroom, Horner encourages students to use their authentic voice.
“Communications is all about connections. When you show people who you are, you connect with them,” Horner said. “By sharing your shortcomings and emotions, you lay the groundwork for others to understand you.”
Horner holds a master’s degree in communications from Lindenwood University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis as well as a certificate in writing.