Sejal Shah is a writer and teacher of writing. The daughter of Gujarati parents who immigrated to the United States from India and Kenya, she grew up in western New York. Her essays, stories, and poems appear widely in print and online—including Brevity; Conjunctions; Kenyon Review Online; The Literary Review; The Margins; The Rumpus; Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press); and others.
Her story collection was named a finalist for the 2017 Mary McCarthy Prize from Sarabande Books; the 2017 Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose from Pleiades Press; and the 2016 Ohio State University Press / The Journal Prize. Her nonfiction manuscript, Things People Say, was a finalist for the 2017 and 2016 Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Essay Collection Prize. Lidia Yuknavitch also named a different version of this book as a finalist for the 2016 Kore Press Memoir-in-Essays Prize.
Sejal is the recipient of a 2018 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) / New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) Fellowship in Fiction; other fellowships, residencies, and grants include awards from The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Blue Mountain Center, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Kundiman, the Millay Colony for the Arts, New York University, Poets & Writers, the Ragdale Foundation, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
She holds a BA in English from Wellesley College and an MFA in English / Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She lives in Rochester, New York.