About

The Short Bio

Deonna Kelli Sayed is a Florida-born (on Muskogee/Apalachees traditional land) writer and performer. She’s a recovering ghost hunter, an American Muslim, podcast producer, and an interfaith instigator.  

Deonna works for the North Carolina Writers’ Network and represents the PEN America NC Piedmont Chapter.

Follow Deonna on Twitter @deonnakelli and Instagram @deonnasayed 

The Long Bio

Deonna Kelli Sayed is an internationally published author, a storyteller, TEDx speaker, and an award-winning podcast producer.  She is an interfaith dialogue instigator and a recovering ghost hunter. Born in Florida, she is a descendant/ascendant of Catawba John Jack Ayers (Ayers-Kegg), who arrived in the Florida Panhandle during the state’s Territorial Period.

She is the PEN Across America representative for the N.C. Piedmont area (Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh). 

Deonna is the author of Paranormal Obsession: America’s Fascination with Ghosts & Hauntings, Spooks and Spirits. Her essays are included in Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women and Faithfully Feminists: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay. Her short stories are featured in the Press 53 anthology, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction From a Small Planet, Red Fez, and Drunk Monkeys (forthcoming).

Her personal essays appear at The Dirty Spoon,  The Manifestation, AltMuslimah, & Patheos. Her podcast work for Yes!Weekly, OUT IN THE SOUTH, received state and national press awards (2017).

Deonna’s media appearances include NPR, WUNC-TV,  WUNC’s “The State of Things,” The Monti, and local NPR affiliate, WFDD.  She is the Membership Coordinator for the N.C. Writers’ Network, the 2018-2019 Festival Coordinator for Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival,

Deonna’s short essay, Joe and the Shawl, was turned into a short film by director Nicole Ballivian.

She is currently working a novel about exploring how personal and political origin stories.

Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.