This Goodly Land

Mary Elizabeth Counselman (November 19, 1911–May 3, 1994)

Other Names Used

Alabama Connections

Selected Works

Literary Awards

Biographical Information

Mary Elizabeth Counselman was born in Birmingham, Ala. She later moved with her family to Gainesville, Ga., where her father taught at the Riverside Military Academy. Counselman began writing poetry as a child. She attended Alabama College (now the University of Montevallo) and the University of Alabama. Later, Counselman worked as a reporter for The Birmingham News. After her marriage, she and her husband lived in Gadsden, Ala. Counselman taught creative writing classes at Gadsden State Junior College (now the Wallace Drive Campus of Gadsden State Community College) and at the University of Alabama. In 1976, she received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

Counselman began publishing short stories and poems in pulp magazines such as Weird Tales in the 1930s and continued for over twenty years. Her most famous story published in Weird Tales was “The Three Marked Pennies.” Other stories and essays were published in mainstream magazines such as Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, and Ladies’ Home Journal. Some of Counselman’s stories were adapted for television, including “Parasite Mansion,” which was broadcast in 1961 as part of the Thriller television series.

Interests and Themes

Mary Elizabeth Counselman wrote short stories in the horror and science fiction genres, many with Alabama settings. She also wrote African jungle stories and poetry on science fiction themes.

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Last updated on May 30, 2008.

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