A daughter of the West, Claire Rudolf Murphy is the author of fifteen award-wining fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults, including Marching With Aunt SusanChildren of Alcatraz and I Am Sacajawea, I Am York: Our Journey West with Lewis and Clark. Her passion is writing stories about outsiders in American history, characters who have persevered over incredible odds. Her high school teacher’s love of history and her parents’ passion for politics and books inspired Claire to major in history at Santa Clara University.

Claire’s extended writing community has helped her persevere during twenty years in the business, including the faculty and students at Hamline University ‘s low residency MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, where she currently teaches.

Formerly a secondary language arts teacher, Claire and her family lived in Alaska for twenty-four years. Many of her books evolved out of her fascination with the native cultures and gold rush history of the 49th state. She now resides in her hometown of Spokane where she continues to write, visit schools and teach creative writing workshops. Her children Conor and Megan, their friends, and Claire’s many nieces and nephews have given her insights over the years about kids and teens. Americans who have fought for equal rights in every arena continue to inspire Claire today.

When not writing and reading Claire enjoys sports and music, and building an energy efficient, sustainable home where she plans to write for many years.

In 2006, Claire was honored with the WORD Outstanding Author award:  

“WORD is pleased to recognize Washington author, storyteller and writing instructor, Claire Rudolf Murphy, for her outstanding contributions to children’s literature and literacy here in Washington State. […] Claire has a heart for teaching as well and delights in every opportunity she has to interact with students in classroom visits. Additionally, she has been an active supporter of SACIRA: presenting at meetings, donating books for teachers, subsidizing her classroom visits to poorer schools and helping to bring other authors to the Spokane area to enrich the literacy skills of Spokane area children. Claire is a shining example of what it means to give back to your community.”




Leave a Reply