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Donna Drew Sawyer

Donna Drew Sawyer photo

Donna Drew Sawyer is a Top 100 AALBC.com Bestselling Author Making Our List 5 Times

Before writing her novel, Provenance, Donna Drew Sawyer spent more than three decades advancing the creativity of others. First as a Madison Avenue advertising executive, then as a public relations manager for Big Bird, Elmo and the gang on Sesame Street. Donna then followed her passion for the arts becoming a senior administrator for national arts organizations including the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, the Arts and Science Council and the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Donna has also served on art panels for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Her immersion in the arts was the catalyst for Donna’s debut novel. When she couldn’t get the story of her protagonist, Lance Henry Withers, out of her mind, Donna signed up for an advanced novel writing class at a local writing center—even though she had never written fiction before. The 35 pages she wrote for that class became the genesis of her novel—though it took eight years and more versions and revisions than she can remember to learn the craft of writing fiction, she finally completed Provenance, and it was published in October 2015. In 2016 the novel was featured at the Virginia Festival of the Book and the Gaithersburg Book Festival. It was also a finalist for the 2016 Wheatley Award and was selected by the Go On Girl Book Club as the May 2017 selection for their 30 chapters of book lovers in 16 states.

A proud native New Yorker, Donna is Harlem-born and was raised and nurtured in the tight-knit community of Corona-East Elmhurst in Queens. Her second novel, Promise, draws from these roots to continue the story of Lance Henry Withers, the protagonist in Provenance. Promise is scheduled for publication in 2017.

Donna earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the New York Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Texas Southern University. She and her husband—university professor and author, Dr. Granville M. Sawyer, Jr.—have two grown daughters of which they are immensely proud. After living in the DC suburbs for more than a decade, they recently moved to one of Baltimore’s vibrant historic districts where authors (F. Scott Fitzgerald), art collectors (Dr. Claribel Cone and Etta Cone), politicians, educators and activists once lived. She’s betting there are a few stories to be told there too.

Learn more at Donna Drew Sawyer’s official website


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Printed: October 18, 2017, 6:15 pm
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