Maria Omena was born in Brazil and moved to the United Kingdom in 2016, after being awarded a scholarship to study English and Creative Writing at Coventry University. A few years later, she was awarded another scholarship at Kingston University, this time for a Masters’ degree in Publishing and Creative Writing.
Maria is also an author, poet and publisher and currently lives in London. She published her first poem at the age of six and had her paternal grandmother as the main influence when it comes to writing poetry.
Her poetry and prose have been featured multiple times in different publications, both online and in print.
Maria’s short story, 1.22.1, was adapted to the silver screen and the film was part of the Birmingham Film Festival’s Official Selection. The Vine Within, her first short fiction to be available on print, can be read on RiPPLE 2020: A Kingston University Student Anthology (See PROJECTS for full publication list).
Maria won the Fred Holland Poetry Collection Award and the Writing Times Poetry Competition, both in 2017. In 2019, she was commissioned by the Humans of Cov Campaign organised by Coventry 2021 City of Culture Trust, writing a piece inspired by the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.
During her academic and professional life, Maria has developed and refined skills in administration, writing, marketing, editing/proof-reading and time-management. She also honed an eye for detail and learned how to thrive under pressure through many extra-curricular projects and positions. She speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish and loves engaging in cross-cultural communication.
She was Fiction Sub-Editor for Here Comes Everyone Magazine for 3,5 years (and Fiction Editor for the Rituals issue – Jan 2019) and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the 10th Anniversary Edition of Coventry University’s CovWords Magazine (2018/2019), where she delivered the most successful call for submissions in a 10-year history.
Maria will be joining SAGE Publishing as a Marketing Assistant in the end of October 2020. She is excited to start a career in the publishing industry and looks forward to refining her skills and contributing to the success a global academic publisher.
During her free time, Maria continues to write the thriller that got her a Distinction on her MA degree. The novel grapples with topics such as identity, isolation, trauma and mental health issues.