Maureen Dunphy, Author and Writing Coach

Maureen Dunphy

About Maureen Dunphy

Author & Writing Coach/Consultant

Dunphy is an award-winning author, a speaker who enjoys giving book presentations, a writing workshop facilitator, and a writing coach.

Maureen’s three books include:

    • Divining: A Memoir in Trees, forthcoming from Wayne State University Press in February 2023
    • The 2017 Michigan Notable book Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure (Wayne State University Press, 2016), which also won the Midwest Book Travel Award and the Next Generation Indie Book Travel/Travel Guide Award
    • All About the Great Lakes in the juvenile nonfiction “All About” series (Blue River Press, 2020).


Maureen Dunphy was born in Detroit in 1953. When she was a kid, she collected rocks. In 2011, she started “collecting” islands . . . by beginning a blog she called “Great Lake Island Escapes,” where she posted her island wonderings and the bits of island facts and fantasies she was discovering. Ultimately, with the islands’ call becoming louder, she left her desk, exchanging island wondering for island wandering. Dunphy visited 136 Great Lakes Basin islands on 27 trips over two summer seasons. And then she returned to write about them.

Her experiences and the information she discovered about the islands became her first book, Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure (Wayne State University Press, 2016), a 2017 Michigan Notable Book, which was awarded the 2017 Midwest Book Travel Award and the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Travel/Travel Guide Award. To date, Maureen has made over 45 presentations related to this book for libraries, schools, lifelong learning programs, and clubs.

Her first book led to an invitation to write another. Dunphy’s second book All About the Great Lakes (Blue River Press, 2020) is a part of the juvenile nonfiction “All About” series of books about people and places.

Maureen has also published non-fiction in Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs from Michigan, edited by Michael Steinberg (E. Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2000), fiction in Bear River Review (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press,  and poetry in Beyond the Lines: Writing What You Couldn’t Say edited by Margo LaGattuta (Texas: Plainview Press, 2000).

Dunphy’s third book Divining, A Memoir in Trees was published by Wayne State University in February, 2023.

Dunphy is Lead Fiction Editor for Clockhouse, a national literary journal published by the Clockhouse Writers’ Conference in partnership with Goddard College.

Currently, Maureen Dunphy teaches three goal-based writing workshops—a daytime and an evening “Getting There from Here” workshop and an “Advanced Fiction” workshop for Springfed Arts, offered spring, winter, and fall.

She has taught writing workshops at Lost Lake Writer’s Retreat, Clockhouse Writer’s Conference for MFA alum at Goddard College—a conference she co-founded in 1997, and Far Field Writer’s Retreat at Oakland University, as well as led writing retreats in the Irish Hills and on Pelee Island.

In the past decade, Dunphy taught Fiction Workshop and three other writing courses at Oakland University, Fiction Workshop at the University of Windsor, and Creative Writing, as well as developmental writing courses, at Oakland Community College—Orchard Ridge.


Through Dunphy Consulting Services, Dunphy individually coaches writers, assists writers with queries, book proposals, and manuscripts, creates writing workshops and retreats, and provides a variety of editing services for both individuals and institutions, virtually and in person.

Dunphy earned her B.A. in English from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, did post-graduate work in English at Wayne State University, and earned her MFA in Fiction Writing from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. In her first career, spanning more than 20 years, she was an instructional designer and video writer, primarily for clients in the automotive industry, but also IBM and Harley-Davidson.

Maureen lives in the Detroit metropolitan area of the “Mitten State.” When she’s not writing, presenting, or leading workshops, she frequently is drawn to the woods, beaches, and islands of the Great Lakes.

Taya,<br />
the tuxedo “writing kitty”<br />
with whom Maureen shares a desk.<br />

Taya, the tuxedo “writing kitty”
with whom Maureen shares a desk.