Anika’s first book, Free and Other Stories, was chosen as one of 2002’s best short story collections by Black Issues Book Review. It gained her recognition as a Black Writers Alliance Gold Pen Award Nominee and a place on the New York Public Library’s Young Adult List. Says Nailah, “I am a former NYC English teacher who has wanted to be an author ever since I was a little girl, thanks to the early wordplay, stories read to me before bed, and general encouragement from my mother. I was born in Worcester, MA in the mid 50s, from a long line of warriors (Pocasset Wampanoag) and entrepreneurs, whose lineage extends from Massasoit in Massachusetts to St. Kitts in the Caribbean.”
Anika’s work, in Gumbo: An Anthology of African American Writing, was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Americana series. Her blog, Between Books, chronicles her journey as an author in her own words, from her first publication to the present.
She is also the Founder and former Director of Books Of Hope, a Boston-area program that encourages youth to write, self-publish, and sell their own books. “I have loved working with children for most of my life,” she says, “helping them to find and own their voices.”
Currently, Anika resides in New England where she is working on two novels–an historical prequel to one of her stories in her first book, and a sci-fi piece. She also provides writing coaching and social justice consulting to private clients.
For more about Anika’s consulting work, please visit Tough Conversations.