My name is Mary Chen. I’ve been writing for The-N.com (now TeenNick.com) since 2002. Before that I edited GrandRoyal.com, and before that I wrote a lot of random crap on the internet just for fun, starting in 1996.

Writing for teens is what I like to do the very most in the world. My job is awesome, but the focus of the TeenNick blog has changed recently. And I still want an outlet for the kinds of stuff I used to write there, so that’s what this is for.

Also, because eight years of my work (some of which I was actually pretty proud of) vanished into the ether when the site was overhauled in 2010, I’m posting some of my back catalog here in an effort to re-assemble my writing portfolio. (If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to watch eight years of your daily writing work vanish into the ether, I can provide some firsthand testimony: it makes you real sad.)

I’m sad that all the comments from readers are gone — I’ve saved what I can, and some day when I have so much free time I just don’t know what to do with myself, I’ll try to pick through them and maybe re-post some of them, too. There was some great stuff.

If you used to read The N’Sider at The-N.com and were one of the people who liked what I did there, I beseech you to say hi, leave a comment, and if at all appropriate, spread the word that this site exists. I would love to reconnect with that small but delightful audience. I’m reachable via her(at)the-mary.com, or DM me on twitter: marychen


  1. Johanna Claasen
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink


    I’m so sorry to hear you lost all that written material. What a shame. I actually went to your website to show Amy an example of a simple but elegant website with blogging. She’s working on some ideas for her middle school students using technology and the internet. Anyway, it was a great excuse to catch up on you too. Your highlights from 201o were fabulous and I’m so glad to have been part of some of them. Your site rocks, as always…and if you have a chance, hit me up with how you make comment boxes like the ones on your site.

  2. Jen
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Was your old stuff on a bright red page with cool curlicue background designs, and did you take a lonnnnng from writing there break after your lovely blond painter friend died suddenly and sadly; and and and and, was there something about an iguana? (Maybe a friend with an iguana?) Or a link to Edward Gorey’s Fantod Deck? Because if that was you, I read you for years. (If that wasn’t you, please just quietly file under “Only Mildly Crazy Person” and disregard; I am quite harmless, I promise.)

  3. Jen
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Heck, that was “looooong *break* from writing there…” sorry.

  4. MaryChen
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Ha, yes! That was me. That was all over at marychen.com; and then the friend with the iguana and the Fantod Deck (which the Gorey estate politely requested that she take down) was Mars, who did specialtorture.com (which she still has, but it’s about something completely different now). WE ARE ALL VERY OLD NOW. Probably you included, no offense 🙂

  5. Jessica Connolly
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    This is Jessica (Iwish4dot) from the-n.com! I am so happy to have stumbled upon this…. I can’t imagine losing the history you had on that site. It makes ME sad that that all of those memories are no longer there. BUT, I kind of feel like I found a piece of it here.
    I hope you are doing well.


  6. Melody5
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Miss you, The-Mary! 🙂

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