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Mary  Kuryla - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Mary Kuryla

Clinical Assistant Professor of Screenwriting | Loyola Marymount University


School of Film and Television



Mary  Kuryla Publication Mary  Kuryla Publication






Mary Kuryla’s collection Freak Weather: stories was selected by Amy Hempel for the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2017.
Her novel Away to Stay is forthcoming with Regal House Press in 2021.
Her stories have received The Pushcart Prize and the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Prize and have appeared in Conjunctions, Pleiades, Agni, Witness, Epoch, Shenandoah, Denver Quarterly, The New Orleans Review, and Strange Horizons, Greensboro Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.
Kuryla co-authored a series of children’s books with Newbery Honor winner Eugene Yelchin, including The Next Door Bear, The Heart of a Snowman, and Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth, all with Harper Children’s Books.
As a filmmaker, Kuryla’s feature film, Freak Weather premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was in competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Her award-winning short film Memory Circus premiered at Sundance. Several of Kuryla’s short stories have been adapted into award-winning films. She is in preproduction on her second feature film, Jorie Lee Crosses the Line.
In screenwriting, Kuryla has written screen adaptations, including Gordon Lish’s Dear Mr. Capote for John Malkovich to direct, as well as screen adaptations for Mr. Mudd Films, United Artist and MGM, among others. Her first feature, Bunny Girl was optioned by Generation Films. She has written a screen adaptation of her novel, Away to Stay for the actor John Carroll Lynch to direct. Kuryla was a consulting story editor for the WGN TV one-hour serialized drama, Salem.

Education (3)

University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts: M.F.A., Film Production 1988

Boston College: B.A., Film and English 1984

University of California, Irvine: Creative Writing Fellow


Areas of Expertise (6)

Film Studies: Horror Genre and International Cinema

Children's Book Writing

Independent Film Directing and Producing


Fiction Writing: Novels and Short Stories


Industry Expertise (3)

Media - Print

Motion Pictures and Film


Accomplishments (2)

Wrote and Directed Feature Film Freak Weather (professional)


Freak Weather is a 35mm feature, written and directed by Mary Kuryla, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was in competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival, Tiger Awards. “Freak Weather was selected for the Tiger Awards Competition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2000 in light of its adventurous approach to the potential of cinema and for the authentic treatment of its subject.” —— Simon Field, director of International Film Festival Rotterdam

First Collection of Short Stories won Grace Paley Prize (professional)


Freak Weather was published by University of Massachusetts Press. “There is a feral quality to these stories, an attitude that is truly startling. The language is perfectly matched to the not-so-conflicted women. The treatment of people in over their heads is both tough and surprisingly moving. The “action” resides as much in the brisk, fresh language as in what these people conjure in a crisis. Ultimately, the author delivers stories unlike anyone else’s.” — Amy Hempel, Grace Paley Prize judge

Affiliations (3)

  • WGA-West
  • Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
  • Associated Writer's Program

Articles (5)

Animal Control

Witness: The Modern Writer As Witness

Mary Kuryla


Short fiction by Mary Kuryla

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Women directors made Oscar-worthy films this year. Here’s what they think about not being recognized.

The Lily

Mary Kuryla and Holly Willis

"If the trend continues as it has for the last couple of decades, it should take seven or eight more years for a woman to earn an Academy Award nomination for best director."

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Slice Management

Celia Blue Johnson


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David Cronenberg, Unbound by the Niceties of Taste, Propriety

The Wrap

Mary Kuryla


Review of "A Dangerous Method"

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The Adroit Journal

Mary Kuryla

Prose by Mary Kuryla

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