About ~m

cocked, more hair

Margaret Osburn‘s professional experience includes national and mid-sized newspapers, magazines, annual reports, literary and academic journals, film, radio, websites, and books.  She has received a number of awards for writing, editing, and content development.

As a writing coach and content editor she has worked with more than 200 writers through the Deepdene Studio & Writers Workshop, Baltimore, MD. Many of these writers have published books (Macmillan, University of Georgia Press, self-publishing presses), personal essays (NYTimes, Nation, Style, The Baltimore Sun, Urbanite, etc.), and won prizes ($20,000 National Aviation Hall of Fame Combs-Gate Prize, City Paper Fiction Contest). One client has a movie deal.

Margaret also teaches in The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Odyssey Program: “Narrative in Fiction and Memoir,” spring 2016 [student evaluations], “Memory & Imagination: A Weekend Writers Retreat,” spring 2016 [evaluations], as well as “Writing from Personal Experience” and “The Journal as Personal Essay.”  She also has taught for JHU Osher, JHU Carey, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Smithsonian Associates, Washington, D.C. In 2018 she conducted an essay writing workshop for faculty and graduate students in the Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii, Honolulu.  She was a featured speaker at the 2011 national writer’s conference in Baltimore, sponsored by Passager literary journal.

In 2015, three of her short stories were selected for publication in the following literary journals: CALYX (“The Jelly Women,” Summer 2016), Existere (“Between the Rows,” Summer 2015), and Salamander (“When Desire Can’t Find Its Object,” Winter 2015).  “When Desire Can’t Find Its Object” was chosen by best-selling novelist Jennifer Haigh as runner-up in the 2014 Salamander Fiction Contest.  …”How Unlucky Are the Dead” (short story/metafiction) appears in the spring 2018  Raleigh Review.

Margaret’s first freelance project was as the writer, cinematographer, and producer of a documentary film, Once There Was A City. The film recounts the history and gentrification of an Indianapolis inner-city neighborhood thought to be the setting for Booth Tarkington’s novel, The Magnificent Ambersons. The film aired on PBS.

To read examples of Margaret’s work as a “literary artist,” including an essay on her fiction writing methods (far different than her methods and work product as a nonfiction writer), follow this link to the Baker Awards Nomination Page: http://bakerartist.org/nominations/view/margaretosburn/

TO CONTACT Margaret for a fiction or nonfiction manuscript review, help with a book proposal, editing, private coaching, or to arrange for or to participate in a small workshop for writers, please email deepdenewriters@gmail.com.

Margaret is also available to speak to small or large groups on topics related to life writing, memory & imagination, reading like a writer, thinking like your editor, and specific facets of art and craft. Please email deepdenewriters@gmail.com with your inquiries and requests.


7 thoughts on “About ~m

  1. The beauty of this website, its magnificence, is not just about the website, but about the assemblage of writers, writing and relationships that the site maps. Baltimore is fortunate to have this vigorous creative network as well as this lovely website to express it.


  2. Margaret is a treasure to writers who are serious about improving their craft! Her coaching and editing continue to challenge, teach, and inform my writing. I shudder to think of submitting (let alone publishing) work without first getting her editorial input.


  3. This beautiful website honors the writer’s words just like Margaret honors each writer she works with. Margaret is a treasure,


  4. I was a member of the weekly Deepdene Writers Workshop from 2001 until 2005 when my husband and I relocated from Columbia, MD, to Camden, ME. On my last night with the group, I left Margaret a note: “Thank you, Margaret, for encouraging me to become a nonfiction writer and for having faith that I could actually write something of value.”

    During my time in the workshop and since then, I’ve had pieces published by The NY Times, The Washington Post, other newspapers and magazines and, after my move to Maine, I became a regular contributor to Maine Seniors Magazine.

    For nearly 15 years I’ve been working on a manuscript about a group of people who are living with Parkinson’s disease, their friends, and caregivers, and what they do to shore up the resilience needed to manage this disease. There were many times when I didn’t know what I was doing, when my writing was so uninspired that I stopped working on it.

    Whenever I called Margaret about the mess I was in she always had fresh ideas and, more than once, stayed up all night editing some very rough chapters. She believed in this project more than I did; I didn’t want to fail the people who had given me their personal Parkinson’s-related stories, but I didn’t know how to get myself going again.

    A year ago, I joined a kind of boot camp for 8 writers. Throughout this 9-month process, everything that I’d learned in Margaret’s workshops came roaring back and my writing began to improve and the stories/chapters came to life.

    What I remember most is that Margaret never gave up on me or my ability to complete this manuscript. I’m happy to report that it is 2/3 completed and I feel very good about the quality of my work and confident I will complete it. Once a student of Margaret Osburn, always a student of Margaret Osburn.


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