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The Post-it puzzle of a big writing project, Nieman Storyboard, November 2023

"Up until I started writing my first book, I wasn’t a big outliner.


I spent the earlier part of my career writing news and feature stories about the media industry, then transitioned into writing personal essays. Outlining struck me as another tedious and time-consuming task to add to my to-do list, especially when I was on tight deadlines. I’ll figure it out as I go, I’d often think, (which, looking back, may explain why it took me so long to write my stories.) ..."

"During a recent summer camp pickup, my daughter Madelyn handed me two paper plates. On one plate, there were pictures of an apple, salad, salmon, grilled chicken and chicken nuggets. On the other, an ice cream sundae, nachos, cake, a hamburger and a baked potato. I instinctively knew what her assignment had been, but I asked my daughter to describe it anyway .."

"Every day I set aside time to transform sheets of paper into colorful origami hearts. My fingers fold the paper into a series of squares and triangles that are reliant on patience and precision. I repeat the same folds on each side, finding beauty in the symmetry and satisfaction in the creation..."

"Every morning I scroll through my Google Alerts to stay up to date on the media’s coverage of eating disorders. Some days, the headlines in the alerts point me toward interesting new research, or stories that expand my thinking around the challenges of eating disorder treatment and recovery..."

Challenging the Stereotype of Uvalde’s Plucky Survivor, Harvard University’s Nieman Storyboard, January 27, 2023

"Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox has spent six years covering stories of gun violence and children, fashioning a beat out of one of America’s most heartbreaking realities..."

So You Want to Write a Book? The Risks and Rewards of Memoir, Harvard University’s Nieman Storyboard, July 6, 2022

"For well over a decade, my memoir was a perennial backburner project. I would vow to carve out time to write each week, but work or life always took precedence. I kept a blog where I posted personal essays, and at one point I strung these essays together into a drafty, poorly-structured 'memoir.' But even with these small, incremental victories, I continued to feel stuck..."

"This time of year, I’m often overcome with a sense of grief and gratitude, loss and love. February is the month when I lost my mother and became a mother, a month when I’m reminded of life and death’s complicated coexistence. I’ve thought about this with even greater intrigue lately, as the 25th anniversary of my mother’s death approaches this month..."

"As I sank my teeth into my veggie burger, I could sense my 5-year-old daughter’s stare. “Mommy, why does your burger look different?” she asked in her singsong voice.

“It’s a veggie burger, sweetie. It’s made differently from yours.” “But Mommy, why is it different from ours?” my 4-year-old son wondered. “Well,” I said, “it doesn’t have meat.”

"The day after my family and I were diagnosed with Covid-19 last September, I made myself a cup of coffee. I had been awake most of the night with chills and hoped I’d find comfort in its familiar aroma and warmth..."

"Before my daughter was born, I pictured what it would be like to nurse her. Ever the optimist, I imagined her latching well and smiling up at me as we bonded over feedings. I had read about the benefits of breastfeeding — as well as the challenges. But c’mon, I thought, how difficult could it really be? ..."

Daughter Heals from Mother's Death One Step at a Time, The Dallas Morning News, May 1, 2015

"My penchant for running started when I was 3 years old.

Shortly after my third birthday, my mom signed me up for a youth track and field program. 

“When they say ‘on your mark, get set, go,’ run as fast as you can,” Mom advised. “And don’t look back.”

“But why?”

“Because it can slow you down. Just keep on running. You’ll even get a ribbon at the end!”

I lined up at the starting line with the other 3-year-olds, as we jumped up and down and clapped our hands. ..."

Mallary's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and more. Here is a sampling of her recent stories/essays:
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