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Mary Jo Campbell has been a writer since her 3rd grade teacher, Sister Mary Donald, weaved the love of words into her being. Sentence diagrams, Haiku poetry and short stories formed from the spelling word list were all exciting and tentative attempts at being a “real writer.”


She has studied writing through: Creative Writing courses of Morton College, Cicero, IL; College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL; Columbia College Chicago; Institute of Children’s Literature (correspondence school); and Christina Katz’s Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff.

She is always learning and loves to share her knowledge.


Mary Jo is a member of the Downers Grove Public Library Writers’ Group and former Secretary and Board Member of Capital City Young Writers.


Mary Jo founded the first Young Writers’ Group at the Downers Grove Public Library, which now meets monthly at the Bolingbrook Barnes & Noble Bookstore. She teaches (Fall & Winter sessions) a Young Writer’s Workshop and “Publish Me!” Class through the FRoG Enrichment Program in Downers Grove, IL.  Mary Jo also runs a week-long writing intensive Summer Studio every August (click on EVENTS page for details!)

In March of 2009, Mary Jo gave the key-note speech on the topic of “journaling” to a group of 130 young ladies at the Chick Chat event sponsored by (Helping GirlsNavigate Adolescence.) 

In the News!

Mary Jo has been featured in the Downers Grove Sun (March 4, 2010)  and the Downers Grove Reporter (March 25, 2009) for her work with young writers in the community. She was also interviewed by Joyce Tumea on Downers Grove Local Ch 6’s talk show, Today’s Tidings.

Publication Credits:


Her teaching goals include: inspiring new writers to keep writing, revising and submitting and helping young writers find their voice. Her personal writing goals include: consistent publication of creative nonfiction and short fiction while completing her novel, then of course rise to the top of the New York Times’ Best Sellers list and live the American Dream! ; )

Realistically, she hopes to grow as a writer as she helps others grow, to always have a hand around a good cup of coffee and be in the presence of loved ones.  She resides in Illinois with her husband and two children.


Mary Jo Campbell is available for speaking engagements and school visits! If  your school or organization is interested in having this local published writer visit, please contact her for rates and availability at:


9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. writelikecrazy!  |  February 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    That is cool! She is my FROG teacher!

  • 2. Sarah Joyce Bryant  |  March 26, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Hi! I thought you might like this since you have a blog for young writers. I follow your blog because I have a seventeen-year-old son who wants to be a sports writer. This is a program for young writers that sends them a new writing regimen e-mail for thirty days. I am doing the adult version right now and it is fabulous!

    Hope you enjoy!

    • 3. writerinspired  |  March 26, 2009 at 9:51 am


      Thanks so much for the tip! I do depend on my readers to help me locate new opportunities for young writers. I’ll make the link available to all.
      Has your son checked out the Capitol City Young Writers site? We are a non-profit organization offering membership and meetings to young writers through age 18. We cover all writing careers – fiction, nonfiction, scriptwriting, songwriting, etc. With mentorship and editor opportunites available!
      If you’re from CA, he can attend the meetings in person, otherwise the videos wil be posted on the site for members until we grow our locations across the US.

      Thanks for visiting : )

  • 4. E. M. Rowan  |  November 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Mary, thank you for your comments on my website! I’m currently moving into a new house (NW Illinois); but once I settle in, I hope to follow your site on a regular basis. I love what you’re doing with young writers, and I would like to share your information with my site’s visitors. Thanks again, and I’ll be in touch!


    • 5. writerinspired  |  November 3, 2009 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks, Erin. I’d be honored if you shared this site with your readers. Hope we can find a way to work together for young writers in IL once you’re settled. Keep me posted : )

      • 6. E. M. Rowan  |  November 15, 2009 at 1:20 am

        Officially linked to you this week, plus added you to my “Teens” page! I hope more young writers discover your site.

        I’m starting an online book club–one YA or MG book a month–first discussion Dec. 2nd. Do you think any of your students would be interested in joining? No pressure. 🙂

      • 7. writerinspired  |  November 16, 2009 at 7:43 pm

        Hey thanks so much! And yes, I’d love to post your info on the book club…

  • 8. Kristina Springer  |  February 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Hey Mary Jo,
    Just stumbled on your site and it looks fantastic! I didn’t know there was a Bolingbrook young writers group. I’m a young adult author (THE ESPRESSOLOGIST) and a Bolingbrook resident. Next Sunday (Feb 14th) at 3pm me, Kristin Walker (A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL), and Kimberly Pauley (SUCKS TO BE ME) are going to be signing at the Bolingbrook Borders. We’re just going to be hanging out near the front, chatting and being goofy, so if anyone wants to stop by and talk about writing or getting published or whatever we’re happy to chat!


    • 9. writerinspired  |  February 5, 2010 at 9:07 pm


      How cool! So glad you found me – we’re practically neighbors. I’ll email you and maybe we can set up a meeting? I’m sure I’d have some excited young writers to invite to your book signing on V-day! ; )


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