Sheila Webster Boneham writes literary and commercial fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, often about animals, environment, gender, and culture in the anthropological sense. She is a 2015 North Carolina Arts Council fellow. Her work has won the Prime Number Magazine Award for Creative Nonfiction and six Maxwell and MUSE awards for fiction and nonfiction, been selected for the 2015 Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology edited by Rebecca Skloot, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Sheila’s first novel, Drop Dead on Recall, was named a 2011 Top Ten Dog Book by NBC Petside, the only fiction on the list. She has published seventeen nonfiction books and four novels, and her recent creative work has appeared in Red Earth Review, The Written River Journal of Eco-poetics, The Wayfarer, Minerva Rising, and elsewhere. A recovering academic, Sheila has taught folklore, literature, and writing at universities in the U.S. and in Tunisia and Kuwait; her earliest publications were academic papers on traditional arts and culture in North Africa and the Middle East. Sheila holds a Ph.D. in folklore and M.S. in linguistics from Indiana University, and MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. When she isn’t writing, Sheila can be found teaching writing workshops, taking long walks, and playing with animals.
Animals have always been part of Sheila's life. In her teens and twenties she showed horses, and later she was active showing her Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers in various canine sports. She has also bred top-winning Aussies, and founded rescue groups for Aussies and Labs.
Sheila holds a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast MFA Program/University of Southern Maine, and a Ph.D. degree in folklore from Indiana University. She has taught writing, folklore, and literature in the U.S., Tunisia, and Kuwait. She is a member of the Associated Writing Programs, the North Carolina Writers Network, and several other professional organizations.
Sheila and her husband and dogs have enjoyed getting to know different parts of the U.S. over the past few years. They currently live in Wilmington, North Carolina.