Natalie has a B.A. in English from University California, Berkeley, a Masters in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and earned an M.F.A from Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers. An early version of Queen Sugar won the Hurston Wright College Writer's Award, the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, and was runner-up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley novel-in-progress competition. Natalie has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Hedgebrook. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto and lives in San Francisco with her family.