Maura McHugh is a writer living in Galway, Ireland.
Although Maura was born in the USA, she was transplanted early to the West of Ireland when she was too young to protest. She haunted the local library (it was next door), and developed an early passion for speculative fiction. A late night encounter with a black and white horror film (Tod Browning’s The Devil-Doll) as a child gave her a lasting love of horror cinema. Ellen Ripley was her first movie heroine.
After getting a B.A. in English and History, followed by a M.A. in English at NUI Galway, she lived in New York, then Dublin, where like many arts graduates began a career in I.T.
After a number of years as a system administrator she turned freelance, and began to focus more on writing.
At that point she took a short course at Filmbase in Dublin on screenwriting, and discovered it was the perfect fusion of her love of writing with her passion for cinema.
When she moved back to the West of Ireland Maura began a study of cinema, starting with a Diploma in Film Studies at NUIG, a Foundation Course in Filmmaking at the Galway Film Centre, and culminating in a M.A. in Screenwriting at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media
After that she applied for the respected Clarion West Writers Workshop, in Seattle, USA. Each year Clarion West selects 18 writers from a competitive international field to prepare them for professional writing careers in science fiction and fantasy. She was the recipient of the Gordon R. Dickson Scholarship for 2006.
Since Clarion West Maura’s short stories and poetry have appeared in a number of publications in the USA and the UK.
Her short script, ‘Hotel Training’, was selected to be part of the Hotel Darklight anthology film. It was directed by Conor McMahon, and premièred as part of the Darklight Film Festival in October 2009.
Maura also teamed up with author Christopher Fowler to launch a horror flash fiction competition called the Campaign for Real Fear in response to her blog posts about a couple of disappointing events in the horror industry. She and Chris announced the top twenty winners in late April 2010. The stories were published in Black Static during the summer of 2010.
She is the writer on two comic book series, Róisín Dubh and Jennifer Wilde, both published by Atomic Diner in Ireland. Jennifer Wilde was nominated for an Eagle Award for Favourite European Comic Book in 2012, and for the British Fantasy Award for Best Comic Book/Graphic Novel in 2014. Her short script, ‘The Nail’, was selected to appear in the Womanthology comic book anthology, with art by Star St. Germain, edited by Suzannah Rowntree, and published by IDW Publishing in March 2012.
In March 2014 it was announced that she was co-writing a comic book mini-series with Kim Newman which is part of the Hellboy universe created by Mike Mignola, and published by Dark Horse Comics. It’s a five-issue Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder story called The Mysteries of Unland, with art byTyler Crook, coloured by Dave Stewart, covers by Julian Totino Tedesco, lettered by Clem Robins, and edited by Scott Allie.
Maura’s first collection, Twisted Fairy Tales, was published by Barron’s in the USA in February 2013. It’s a large-format hardback book, lavishly illustrated by the artist Jane Laurie. The sequel-of-sorts, Twisted Myths, featuring more beautiful art by Jane Laurie, was published in October 2013.
In May 2014 her short story ‘Bone Mother’ was optioned by the National Film Board of Canada’s Animation Studio with the view to make a short stop-motion animated film. It was subsequently adapted and directed by Sylvie Trouvé and Dale Hayward, and produced for the NFB by Jelena Popovic. It premièred in 2018.
She wrote a critique of David Lynch’s iconic film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me for the Midnight Movies Monograph series, published by Electric Dreamhouse Press/PS Publishing in 2017. It was nominated for a BFS Award in the Best Non-Fiction category in 2018.
Since 2009 she has served on a number of literary and film juries, including the Shirley Jackson Award jury in 2011/12.
If you wish to contact Maura please fill out the contact form on this site. You can subscribe to her mailing list if you want to keep up with her news, updates, images and personal anecdotes.
Here are a few links to some of her interviews:
- An interview on The Thin Air by Loreana Rushe, discussing comics, influences, and in particular Maura’s Judge Anderson story for 2000 AD.
- Mignola Welcomes New Writers to Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, Comic Book Resources
- 7 Questions with Maura McHugh David Ferguson, Irish Comic News
- ‘The Brave New World of Comic Book Heroines The Irish Times, Monday, June 27, 2011
- Róisín Dubh, Demons, and Bicycles: an interview with author Maura McHugh (Part 1)
- Róisín Dubh, Demons, and Bicycles: an interview with author Maura McHugh (Part 2)
- Quick Questions with Maura McHugh Irish Comic News
- Interview with Maura McHugh by Emmet O’Cuana
- Quicksilver Questions: Maura McHugh with Chris O’Halloran