• Svetlana Sterlin
Kids + Family, People of LoganAugust 30, 2023 / 5 minute read

Prize-winning Logan writer has big plans for literary future

A bookworm and keen writer since primary school, Svetlana Sterlin is a seasoned writer with a head full of stories, and her talent for the written word has seen her named second runner up in the recent State Library of Queensland’s Young Writers Award

While her early writing was based in the world of fantasy, her recent work is based on her lived experience – much of it around her other big passion, swimming. Svetlana says as she grew up and her family moved around, swimming was one of the only constants in her life. Her dad is a successful swim coach and Svetlana also now coaches swimming. Many of her stories take place poolside. 

‘I didn’t really even think I could look at my own life as a source of inspiration until quite recently – I thought my life was too boring,’ she says. 

‘But a lot of my characters are inspired by people I have come across and I realise there are stories everywhere.’Candles, the short story recognised by the Young Writers Award, is an example of using real life to inspire a fictional narrative – and Svetlana’s upcoming novels will do the same. 

Svetlana, a regular entrant in story competitions since she was 14, is also a keen poet and says the ‘freedom’ of poetry appeals to her. 

‘There is freedom in prose as well, but in poetry it’s like the rules are made to be broken and that really appeals to me,’ she says. 

Svetlana has been contacted by publishers keen to read any future work, and says she is driven by an ambition to keep telling great stories. 

The Daisy Hill resident says she’s got big plans, currently working on 2 novels, a poetry manuscript and a screenplay, and spending lots of time over the next few months immersing herself in the world of words, attending writers retreats and festivals to help her creativity flow. 

Like many writers, she is full of ideas, and plans her whole story, character profiles and arcs before beginning the process, as well as working on the discipline of ‘just sitting down and writing’. 

‘As much as we love to write, a lot of writers seem to magically find all these things that need to be done first before committing to a writing session so I am really trying to create a routine and discipline around that,’ Svetlana says. 

Her advice for other young writers is similar. 

‘Just keep pushing and believe you can do it. Writing is quite solitary but there are communities, workshops, literary events that you can be part of for support,’ she says.

Svetlana also remains a keen reader, with recent favourites including Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin and all of Sally Rooney’s work. 

Find out more on Svetlana’s website.

Your Privacy

This website uses ‘cookies’ for analytical purpose and to improve site user experience. By continuing to browse, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.