Claire O’Brien is an essayist and copywriter based in Costa Rica. She's been recognized for unique and irreverent voice, especially when she tells her favorite type of story—tales from true crime scenes. She also makes a serious guacamole and is obsessed with her expanding pack of rescue dogs.
Winner of 2021 ASJA Contest, Personal Essay Category
Claire O’Brien’s deft slice-of-life essay gives readers a peek into a fascinating and difficult job: death investigator. It’s filled with human insight and just the right details; it moves at a fast pace through what could feel like tangents in less capable hands, but blends together into a seamless narrative here about suicide and its aftermath. This piece stays with readers and leaves us wanting the rest of the story, so it’s great to learn that it’s part of a larger project to come.
American Society of Journalists and Authors
Winner of 2020 Hippocampus Contest for Creative Nonfiction
Ultimately “Dead Weight” came out ahead as it is not only fascinating, but exquisitely written. The voice is compassionate, compelling, and expertly conveys the heaviness of the metaphor consistently throughout the piece.” — Janna Marlies Maron