Mary Morton Cowan

Mary Morton Cowan

Mary Morton Cowan writes for young readers. Her most recent biography, Cyrus Field’s Big Dream: The Daring Effort to Lay the First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, tells the riveting story of Cyrus Field’s dream to connect North America and Europe by underwater cable and his courage to pursue it despite numerous setbacks, resulting in one of the greatest achievements of the nineteenth century.

Her earlier biography, Captain Mac: the Life of Donald Baxter MacMillan, Arctic Explorer, won a National Outdoor Book Award and a John Burroughs Award for an outstanding natural history book. It is an Honor Book with the Society of School Librarians International and is recommended by the National Science Teachers Association. The adventurous story relates MacMillan’s fifty years of exploration, including expeditions aboard his Arctic schooner, Bowdoin. 

Other published works include Timberrr…A History of Logging in New England, for which Mary was awarded a work-in-progress grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and which won Maine Library Association’s Lupine Honor Award. Her historical novel, Ice Country, is a teenager’s sailing adventure to the Arctic with Donald MacMillan. Mary’s articles and stories have been published in more than eighty issues of children’s magazines, including Highlights for Children and Cobblestone. Several have been reprinted in magazines, textbooks and anthologies, some are included in reading comprehension programs for standardized tests, and a few are online. 

A native Mainer, Mary earned a BA in English literature from Bates College, and has taken numerous courses, seminars, and workshops in children’s writing and literature. She visits schools throughout the northeast, conducts writing workshops, and speaks to a variety of community groups.