about the author

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Maureen Hourihan Author

Maureen Hourihan

Children's Writer

  • Writer
  • Teacher
  • Tutor
  • Artist
  • Daydreamer

About Me

 

As a girl I loved Crayola crayons, my EZ-Bake Oven, and daydreaming. I was an expert daydreamer. I also loved books and was happiest with a big pile of picture books at hand imagining that one day I would write for children.

As a young woman, I moved to Cape Cod. I grew enchanted by the beaches, galleries, and roadside salvage shops where I searched for antiques to turn into art. I worked at a pre-school, a sheltered workshop, restaurants, and I built stained-glass windows. I cleaned crude oil from the outer beaches one bitter cold winter when a tanker wrecked. I sold houses, crafted repurposed jewelry from found objects, and held fast to my dream of writing for children.

When I married and had a young son, my desire to write children’s books re-surfaced when I began teaching 4th grade in Truro at the Cape tip with piles of books at hand. Now I witnessed the magic that ensued when a book such as Charlotte’s Web captivated children. Each year when I read E.B. White’s magnum opus to my fourth graders, I choked up on the final page, and one of my students always had to finish reading the end where White says, “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

 
The following year my family and I took a year off and sailed over 4,000 miles on our sailboat the Blue Moon. Once underway, I wrote poems, journals, short stories -- and dreamed of writing a children's novel. Soon after we returned, I left teaching full time to write full time.

Slow Train Coming Play Poster

My play Slow Train Coming, about a daughter whose dad has Alzheimer’s Disease, has been performed over a dozen times on the Cape & Islands. I’ve published short stories and articles including a monthly magazine column called Vintage. I became a member of SCBWI and of several dedicated writing groups.
 

At Vermont College of Fine Arts, I earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults and wrote a middle grade novel called My Stupendous Fall from Grace which won the Marion Dane Bauer Award and was a finalist for the Kath Patterson Prize. My agent Erzsi Deak has given me the confidence to persist and I now have a middle grade novel draft called Voyage of the Osprey and several picture books manuscripts at hand including Bedtime for the Wild which won SCBWI’s Marguerite W. Davol Award.

These days when I’m not writing I can usually be found holed up with a good book, creating a whimsical art project, or baking an unnecessarily complicated cake.

 

I'm still an expert daydreamer.

Zoom meeting with authors