Mary Kuryla is a fiction writer, screenwriter and director, professor, and journalist.
Her collection Freak Weather Stories won the AWP Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction and was published by University of Massachusetts Press. Her stories have received The Pushcart Prize and the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Prize and appeared in The Paris Review, Conjunctions, Agni, Epoch and elsewhere.
Kuryla co-authored a series of children’s books with National Book Award Finalist Eugene Yelchin, including The Next Door Bear, The Heart of a Snowman, and Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books.
Freak Weather, a feature film written and directed by Kuryla, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, was in competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Tiger Awards, and debuted theatrically in New York City. Her award-winning short Memory Circus premiered at Sundance.
She has written award-winning screenplays as well as screen adaptations for United Artists and MGM, among others; she got her professional start with Mr. Mudd Films, writing an adaptation of Gordon Lish’s Dear Mr. Capote for John Malkovich to direct.
Kuryla has written for Hollywood Reporter, Filmmaker Magazine, TheWrap.Com and currently freelances for The Washington Post, with a focus on film and media as it relates to women’s issues. Kuryla foregrounds women and representation in her creative work, which often explores female characters surviving at the lower rungs of the ladder who nevertheless resist behaving in socially acceptable ways. The tensions between these characters’ underdog status and their oft transgressive behaviors seek to expose cracks in our tolerance and empathy for women that challenge the implicit boundaries society places upon them, and women place on themselves.
Kuryla is a Clinical Screenwriting professor in the School of Film and TV at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.