Sheila is so excited to join the Writopia LA team after teaching at Writopia DC for 3 years. Sheila is the author of daughterrarium (2017), winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize. She brings to Writopia over a decade’s worth of experience in creative writing and education ranging from after-school writing and enrichment programs, to public school and classroom partnership projects, to Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Prague as well as in China’s Shandong Province, a stint teaching English Composition and Intro to Literature at the collegiate level, editing magazines and periodicals, and publishing her own original work. She is a strong believer in and supporter of youth empowerment, literacy advocacy, and community involvement. She is passionate about books and storytelling. She loves to read them, write them, and get them into the hands of others. Even more, she is dedicated to writing and talking story with people from all walks of life to encourage the writing and storytelling process, especially with those who do not consider themselves “writers” or “someone with a story” and those from communities or with perspectives rarely given space to be witnessed. She believes everyone has truly important stories to share and the right for their voices to be valued. She believes it an honor to help get those stories out into the world. She earned her M.F.A. in Poetry from George Mason University and sits on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. In her spare time, she volunteers at her local cat rescue.