Lisa Gray opens doors and helps other writers of color claim space in writing and is a non-profit leader with over twenty years of working in and serving communities of color. She is a writer and leader who believes that it is necessary for black women and women of color to write and share our stories so that others do not erase or control our narratives. She is completing her first novel, Stolen Summer, and is searching for an agent and publisher for her short story collection that focuses on black children coming of age from the 1950s to the present day.
Lisa won the 2018 Edgar Award named for Robert L. Fish and the Henry Joseph Jackson Prize for Distinguished Fiction in 2014. She was a Fellow at The San Francisco Writers Grotto, where she is now a member, and The West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange. Lisa also earned writing scholarships to attend The Fine Arts Works Center, The Voices of Our Nations Foundation, and the Vermont Studio Center, where she completed a residency. She holds an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College and a BA in English from Spelman College.
Her work appears in The Salmon Creek Journal, As Us Literary Journal, Mission at Tenth, New Haven Noir, Black Fire This Time, and the West Oakland to West Africa Project's Black Rootedness: 54 Poets from Africa to America. She's the founder of Our Voices Our Stories SF which features the work of established and emerging women writers of color. She has taught at Mills College, Liminal Women's Space, the San Francisco Writers Grotto, and Rooted and Written, a project that focuses on writers of color in all states of their careers. She's judged writing contests like the 2021 Scholastic Prize in Writing and acted as a reader for Kimbilio.