April Dávila received her undergraduate degree in biology from Scripps College before going on to study writing at USC. She is a mindfulness meditation instructor (certified by the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley), creator of the unique Sit Write Here writing coaching program, and co-founder of A Very Important Meeting. In 2019 her short story “Ultra” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2020 her debut novel “142 Ostriches” was published by Kensington Books and went on to win the 2021 WILLA Award for Women Writing the West. A fourth-generation Californian, she lives in La Cañada Flintridge with her husband and two children. She is a practicing Buddhist, half-hearted gardener, and occasional runner.
The Long Version:
April Dávila is a fourth generation Californian. Her mother’s family established a dairy farm in the Sacramento Valley in the 1880s and her father’s family came from Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl. She has lived briefly in places as far flung as Ecuador, the Caribbean, and the Marshall Islands, but never found anywhere she loves more than California.
Dávila studied marine biology at Scripps College with the aim of entering a steady, traditional profession, but her career as a scientist fizzled when she realized how much time she had to spend in the lab. Set adrift after graduation she made all of the obligatory, early-twenty-something poor choices (details forthcoming in the memoir she plans to write… never), but she did manage to do one thing well: she chose a wonderfully creative and super supportive partner to build her life with.
In 2007, while unemployed, pregnant, and living in student housing at Stanford (while her husband finished up his masters degree), Dávila began writing short stories. She had always loved writing, but never before considered it something she could do for a living. After her husband graduated and their daughter was born, they moved to the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles and she attended the Masters of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California. She was three months pregnant with their second child when she graduated.
After two years of freelancing as a copywriter, she was hired full-time at a boutique marketing firm and then later as a technical writer at an engineering company. To keep writing fiction, she bought a coffee machine with a timer and set it to start brewing at 4:50 every morning so that she could write in the wee hours before the rest of the family woke. This went on for years.
In 2016 she quit her job to write full time. In 2017 her blog was listed by Writer’s Digest as one of the Best 101 Websites for Writers. In January of 2018 she finished her debut novel, 142 Ostriches, and found representation with Joel Gotler of the Intellectual Property Group. She is an attendee of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and past resident at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. Her novel was published by Kensington Books in February of 2020 and went on to win the 2021 WILLA Award for Women Writing the West.
Currently, Dávila writes from her home in La Cañada Flintridge, a small suburb north of Los Angeles. She is a practicing Buddhist and a certified mindfulness instructor. She is a runner, swimmer, and half-hearted gardener. Together, she and her husband are doing their best to raise two hilarious, wicked-smart kids.