Playing with words led to her full-time pursuit
South Charlotte News South
Wednesday, Apr. 06, 2011

Playing with words led to her full-time pursuit

Creator of WordPlay can help refine your writing

  • In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, Griffin will teach two free poetry workshops for teens, one at the South Charlotte Regional Library 6-7:30 p.m. April 11 and one at Steele Creek Library 4-5:30 p.m. April 12.

    Maureen Griffin's website:


    Phone: 704-494-9961.

    Griffin frequently holds classes at Covenant Presbyterian Recreation Center on East Morehead Street in Charlotte. Her workshop "The Gift of Memoir" will be offered there April 9. Most of Griffin's classes start at $25 per two-hour session.

Maureen Ryan Griffin grew up playing with words.

Griffin's mother loved words and books, she said, which influenced the direction of her life. As a child, Griffin's insatiable appetite for books was fueled by lots of trips to the library.

"I didn't want to do anything but read," said Griffin.

Griffin now is a writer, published author, teacher, facilitator, coach and editor. She uses words to communicate her support for others. She's also created WordPlay, a program designed to inspire and empower the writer in people.

Griffin, 54, lives in the Stonecrest area of south Charlotte with her husband, Richard, who encourages her to write and to help others create stories, poetry or books.

Griffin has a gentle way about her that encourages you to tell your story. She says she gets a lot of pleasure out of hearing other people's words and supporting their goals.

Griffin offers classes, workshops and retreats for those with writing goals. If you have an idea for a story or have been writing with the intent of publishing and need support, Griffin's offerings might be what you need.

Kathryn Gruhn, a retired speech pathologist, said, "If it wasn't for Maureen Ryan Griffin, I never would have written 'My Baby Compass.' (Griffin) is very good at encouraging you to do it better, never criticizing."

Linda Matney says her book, "Imaging Heaven," "would not be in anyone's hands without Griffin." The idea for the book came after the death of her husband, Jack.

In "Imaging Heaven," Matney created an anthology filled with more than 100 writings in which people explored their visions of heaven.

Matney credits Griffin's support with her success, saying Griffin has a special quality; "She believed in my idea and me," said Matney.

With Griffin's guidance, Matney said, she was able to take her idea and create a book that has helped with her personal healing as well as providing more than $20,000 in profits to Presbyterian Hospice and Palliative Care in Charlotte.

Griffin has had several books published, including "Spinning Words into Gold" and "This Scatter of Blossoms" (both by Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), and "When the Leaves Are in the Water" (Sandstone Publishing).

Eileen A. Schwartz is a freelance writer for South Charlotte News. Have a story idea for Eileen? Email her at

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