Although born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Maria D. Smith claims the entire state of Tennessee as her home as each of the three regions has molded her artistry and humanity. Her passion for being a storyteller was ignited at a young age in West Tennessee where Maria witnessed her grandma write and produce plays for anticipatory churchgoers. In East Tennessee, Maria began her first pursuits as a storyteller as she attended undergrad at the University of Tennessee. While there, she served as a weekly columnist for the university paper and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Africana Studies. She then went on to receive her master's degree in English Literature at Belmont University before completing her MFA at Northwestern University where she studied writing for the stage and screen. Maria’s work has been featured in the Theater Masters TAKE TEN MFA Festival and the Black Lives, Black Voices Festival. She recently completed a writer’s residency at the Story 27 Production’s Writer’s Colony hosted by television mogul Mara Brock Akil. Always a southern girl at heart, Maria is now located in Los Angeles, California, where she is pursuing storytelling full-time.