Deonna Kelli Sayed

Writer. Storyteller. Coffee Drinking Bad Ass.

I am honored to be one of the top three “winners” of my local O.Henry Magazine’s first memoir competition. The story is a reflection of my rural Southern upbringing and how one event altered the course of my life. I entered the contest on a whim; this was my first time experimenting with a Southern voice AND writing about my childhood. The results surprised me! This goes to show that when you sit down to write, you never know what will fall out on the page.

Here is the opening paragraph:

I learned most of what I needed to know about the world under an old oak tree in my Big Momma’s front yard. The kingdom I created in that magical space, betrothed to me by a tire swing, predicted the shifting geographies that would define my life.

You can read the full text here, or you can listen to my reading below:

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