College of Creative Studies: Liberal Arts


Dorene O'Brien

Adjunct Faculty

MA, BA, Wayne State University

Dorene O'Brien is a Detroit-based writing and literature instructor and creative writer published in the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. She has won the Red Rock Review Mark Twain Award for Short Fiction, the Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award, and the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award.

She also won the international Bridport Prize and is the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a writing residency from the Vermont Studio Center. Her stories have earned three Pushcart Prize nominations and two Best of the Net Story nominations and have been published in special Kindle editions. Her work has appeared in the Baltimore Review, Connecticut Review, Madison Review, Cowboy Poetry, Montreal Review, Passages North, Cimarron Review, the Best of Carve Magazine, Short Story Review, Southern Humanities Review, Detroit Noir and others. Voices of the Lost and Found, her first full-length story collection, won the USA Best Book Award in Fiction.

Professional Experience:

Grants, Awards, Honors
2016, Vermont Studio Center Fellow
2015, Atlas Review Chapbook Finalist
2015, Wordrunner Chapbook Finalist
2014, 2013, Best of the Net Story Nomination
2013, storySouth Million Writers Award Nomination
2013, International Fish Award Shortlist
2012, Second Place, Madison Review Prize
2010, Drake Emerging Writer Award Finalist
2009, Greensboro Review Literary Award Finalist
2008, USA Book News Best Book Award
2008, 2005, 2003, Pushcart Prize Nomination
2007, International Fish Award Finalist
2006, New Letters Literary Award Finalist
2005, Best of Carve Award
2005, First Place, Bridport Prize
2004, NEA Grant
2004, Night Train Firebox Fiction Award
2003, Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award
2003, First Place, Willamette Award in Fiction
2002, First Place, Wind Magazine Fiction Award
2002, First Place, New Millennium Writings Award for Fiction
2002, New Letters Literary Award for Fiction Finalist
2002, Greensboro Review Literary Award for Fiction Finalist
2002, Authors in the Park Story Contest Finalist

Significant publications/presentations/exhibitions/projects:

Voices of the Lost and Found, Wayne State University Press, 2007, USA Book News
Best Book Award, 2008

Invited Lectures:
Finding Your Narrative Voice,” University of Michigan Detroit Center, 2015
"Writing Place," University of Michigan Detroit Center, 2015
Microfiction Writing Seminar, Ann Arbor Book Festival, 2014
“Voices of ‘The Other’,” University of Michigan Detroit Center, 2014
“Detroit Fiction Writers Speak,” University of Michigan Detroit Center, 2012
“Investigating Story,” University of Michigan Detroit Center, 2012
“The Art of Revision” Panelist, Ann Arbor Book Festival, 2011
Kerrytown Book Fest “Michigan Voices” Panel Moderator, 2011
“A Writer’s Life,” U.S. District Attorney’s Office, Detroit, MI, 2009
“Women and Writing,” Barger Leadership Institute in Organizational Studies, Women in Leadership, University of Michigan, 2009
“Conceptualizing the Story,” Visiting Scholar, Saginaw Valley State University, 2008