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This Miami Book Fair fellow came here to write her first novel and decolonize her voice

Siham Inshassi is a recipient of this year’s Emerging Writer Fellowship from the Miami Book Fair.
Courtesy of Siham Inshassi
Siham Inshassi is a recipient of this year’s Emerging Writer Fellowship from the Miami Book Fair.

The Miami Book Fair made a deal with the writer Siham Inshassi: Come to Miami. We’ll pay you to spend a year working on your novel.

All they ask in return? Help others find their voice.

Siham was handpicked by one of America’s rising stars in literature for the assignment. She’s the Miami Book Fair’s fiction fellow. The Fair also awards writers in poetry, nonfiction and Spanish literature with a fellowship.

While she worked on her book, Siham led a workshop, where she taught people in our community how to write for their audience. She challenged them to tell stories in their own voice.

Siham’s own work is inspired by her life growing up in New Jersey. Her parents are Palestinian immigrants, and wants her novel to reflect her experience.

She’s had a career in advertising and got an MFA at the New School in New York. But this year, she joined our literary community.

On the Sep. 14 episode of Sundial, she joined us to talk about her novel, what she’s teaching us and what we’re teaching her.

On Sundial's previous episode, comedian and actor Dale Elliott Jr. joined us. He has a big following on social media for his comedy sketches and stories that depict Caribbean families and culture.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.