Sylvia Petter

Sylvia Petter

Sylvia Petter is an Australian now based in Vienna, Austria. She writes short and long, serious and fun. Her stories appear online, in magazines and anthologies, at Ether Books and in her collections, The Past Present, Back Burning, Mercury Blobs, Geflimmer der Vergangenheit (in German), and writing as AstridL, in Consuming the Muse – erotic Tales. In 2009 she completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of NSW in Sydney, Australia. The theoretical part of her thesis, The Smell of Dislocation, explored olfaction in the short stories and novels of Janette Turner Hospital. Sylvia was Co-Director Vienna for the 13th International Conference on the Short Story in English (2014) and works part time at the University of Vienna in the area of education research. She is a member of the Geneva Writers' Group (Switzerland), the Australian Society of Authors, and in Vienna, IG Autoren and GAV (Grazer Autorinnen Autorenversammlung). Website:


Sylvia Petter in 60 seconds

When did you start writing?

1990 Geneva, Switzerland and online.

What do you love about short stories?

I love the way good ones can linger and make you think. I like the fact that they can be read in one sitting.

Do you write in other forms?

I write a little poetry, am working on two novels, and I have written several articles and book reviews.

What distracts you from writing?

Dinnertime! Must-do tasks left undone.

Outside of writing, what are your other passions?

Visiting friends in far-flung places, participating in local writing gigs, hanging out with friends, pottering in the garden.

What is your favourite book?

Novel: Famous Last Words by Timothy Findley; short story: Genesis and Catastrophe by Roald Dahl.

Who are your favourite writers?

Timothy Findley, Janette Turner Hospital and Roald Dahl.

Where is your dream location?

A little cottage by the water in the Swedish countryside.

What one item would you put into Room 101?

Sneaky self-serving behaviour. And tripe.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Read widely, keep writing.

Work by Sylvia Petter:

Just a Toenail Away
Sylvia Petter
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Al Gore, the Internet, the Algonquin Hotel and perhaps some misconceptions.
The Colour of Haze
Sylvia Petter
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'The Colour of Haze'[is] about the Nazis [and] is especially pungent. Every kid knew there was a row back then but didn't know what it was about. The past can be disturbing for children, too. - Trevor Reeves, Southern Ocean Review
Soul Kill
Sylvia Petter
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A young woman’s way in and out of a brothel. (This story contains adult themes and explicit sexual references.)
It's All in the Nose
Sylvia Petter
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How a nosey GP finds his satisfaction for a happy ever after. (This story contains explicit sexual references.)
Widow's Peak
Sylvia Petter
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a woman's revenge on the men who betrayed her.
Mangrove on Wenceslas Square
Sylvia Petter
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Passion in a time of revolution. (This story contains sexually explicit references.)
An Imaginary Friend
Sylvia Petter
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A lifetime of adventures with Ben, the leprechaun...

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