About

Hello! I’m a freelance writer, reporter, oral historian and photographer based in Washington, D.C.

I’ve spent the last 15 years reporting on two topic areas: life in D.C.’s rapidly changing neighborhoods and everything relating to the Indian American diaspora. My work has been published in The Washington Post, UrbanTurf, India Abroad, News-India Times and The Indian American magazine.

My first book, which tells the story of 70 years of development and gentrification in D.C. through oral history, reporting and photography, was published by The History Press in late 2021. You can find it here. Watch my book talk at Busboys and Poets here.

Now I’m working on a project telling the story of second-generation Indian American immigrants and how we find our identities. You can read a bit of it in the New York Times here.

In 2022, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded me with a fellowship to support my humanities work.

Until 2013, my name (and byline) was Shilpi Paul. In addition to being a freelance reporter, that person was also a teacher who led the journalism program at The Field School for five years and helped adults prepare for the GRE and GMAT for Kaplan for a decade. Before that, she was an Anthropology major who took photos for The Daily Tar Heel.