For Immediate Release

For more information, please contact:
Amy King, VIDA Executive Board




September 20, 2016 —VIDA: Women in Literary Arts is thrilled to welcome seven new board members: Gabrielle Bellot, Holly Burdorff, Ashaki Jackson, Sheila McMullin, Danielle Pafunda, Héctor Ramírez, and Elissa Washuta!

As we continue to develop and expand our annual VIDA Count, nationwide events, and the VIDA Review, these new board members will be of crucial service to our organization, each bringing their unique experiences and talents to our team.

Gabrielle Bellot is a staff writer at Literary Hub. She has contributed to or has work forthcoming in the New York Times, theAtlantic, Slate, Tin House, Guernica, Huffington Post, Lambda Literary, Small Axe, Autostraddle, the blogs of Prairie Schooner andThe Missouri Review, and many other places. She is a 2016 Poynter Fellow and is currently a doctoral candidate in Fiction at Florida State University.

Holly Burdorff is an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Alabama. Her poems appear in recent or forthcoming issues of Cimarron ReviewPOOLTinderbox Poetry Journal, and Handsome. Formerly Operations Director for VIDA and managing editor of HER KIND, she currently serves as the Director of the VIDA Count.

Ashaki M. Jackson, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, program evaluator and poet who has worked with at-risk and post-incarceration youth through research, evaluation, and creative arts mentoring. She is also co-founder of Women Who Submit, a community that supports women in submitting their literary works to top tier journals.

Sheila McMullin is the author of daughterrarium, winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize. She serves as Survey Count Lead on the Count Committee for the VIDA Count Intersectional Survey. A community-based workshop leader, she facilitates creative writing workshops for all ages as well as college prep sessions for high schoolers.

Danielle Pafunda is a poet and writer whose books include The Dead Girls Speak in Unison and Natural History Rape Museum. Her poems, essays, and criticism are widely published. She holds a PhD in literature from University of Georgia and a Poetry MFA from New School University. She previously served on the VIDA Board of Directors in its inaugural term.

Héctor Ramírez is a writer and teacher living in Boulder, CO. He received his B.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He reads fiction submissions for Timber journal and is an editor and staff writer at Vannevar. His work has been published in The Café Irreal, Buffalo Almanack, American Book Review, The Poetry Foundation’s “Harriet” blog, and elsewhere.

Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the author of two books, Starvation Mode and My Body Is a Book of Rules, named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Elissa currently serves as the undergraduate adviser for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and a nonfiction faculty member in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.


VIDA is a non-profit feminist organization committed to creating transparency around the lack of gender parity in the literary landscape and to amplifying historically-marginalized voices, including people of color; writers with disabilities; and queer, trans and gender nonconforming individuals.


For more information on the work of VIDA, please visit