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Horner’s Novel Nabs Third Place in Mystery Writing Contest

November 10, 2016

Mary Horner photo  

Mary Horner, adjunct instructor in communications at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood, recently placed third in the Missouri Writer's Guild’s “First Chapter of a Novel Contest – Mystery Category” Contest.

Horner’s unpublished novel is titled, “Carlyle Manor.” In the story, a woman struggles to save an old mansion that has some interesting history, including a murder by a serial killer. Horner began writing the story a few years ago, with numerous starts and stops along the way.

“The idea came to me from my first job as a journalist at a local newspaper,” she said. “An old mansion near the office sat empty for years before being torn down to build a strip mall, which broke my heart. In my novel, I added the murder, more history, and some shady dealings with local government and a greedy, powerful family that would do anything to make a buck.”

Horner plans to complete her novel and send it to publishers next year.

“My love for writing has been with me all my life,” she said. “My students are usually surprised by my enthusiasm for writing and creating outlines.”

Horner holds a master’s degree in communications from Lindenwood University and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Horner also serves as an adjunct instructor at St. Charles Community College. Her first book, “Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing,” is available on Amazon.com.

To read more of Horner’s work, visit her blog

Founded in 1915, the Missouri Writers’ Guild is a statewide organization for professional writers in all genres, including science fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, western, travel, and romance. Members of the guild are published nationally and internationally in literary journals, magazines and anthologies. The guild works to further excellence in the craft of writing.