Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Sheila James

Sheila James
Photo by Dinesh Shah

Sheila James is a writer and multi-disciplinary artist, born in the UK and raised in Nova
Scotia, Canada by parents who hail from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India. She is the
author of Outcaste, her first novel, and the short story collection In the Wake of
Loss, a finalist for the Ottawa Book Awards.


James’s media works have been screened and broadcast internationally to acclaim, including
Unmapping Desire, a joint winner of the Akua Award for Best Lesbian Short Film at
Toronto’s Inside Out Festival.


In addition to her film and video work, James has also authored several stage plays including
Canadian Monsoon, one of the first plays in Toronto to be written and directed by a South
Asian woman, and recorded Radio K.I.D.S., a children’s album of ten original songs. Over
the past twenty years, James has led equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives within
community-based and cultural organizations through her company DEVI and institutions,
including the Canada Council for the Arts. A holder of an MFA and LLM, Sheila James
gratefully lives in Ottawa, on unceded Algonquin Anishinabek Territory and feels at
home in Hyderabad, London, Halifax, Vancouver, and Toronto.

Writers Festival Appearances