Seray Şahiner

Seray Şahiner (Bursa, 1984) grew up in Istanbul, where she studied journalism until 2007. Whilst a student she worked for the culture magazine Hayvan and was a member of the editorial staff of the literary magazine Aylak. She also co-published the fanzines Kaygan Zemin and Kara Kutu.

Şahiner has worked as a correspondent for Marie Claire and the newspaper Birgün and has also written television screenplays. In 2006 her short story collection Gelin Başi was distinguished as exceptional at the ceremony of the Yaşar Nabi Nayir Short Story Award. She is currently working as a screenplay writer and correspondent for the Gaste newspaper.

Şahiner participated at the Winternachten literature festival in The Hague in 2010 were she was interviewed about the Cosmopolitan future of Istanbul.

In retrospect Seray Şahiner wrote about her stay in Amsterdam (as writer in residence at the Dutch Literary Fund):

“I take Virginia Woolf very seriously when she says that every woman should have a “room of her own if she is to write fiction”. Having your own room means having your own world. When I packed my suitcase and left my own room in Istanbul to spend a month in the Writers Residency in Amsterdam, I apprehensively thought that I would not feel at home in my new surroundings and probably would not be comfortable enough to be able to write there.
When I entered the house all my doubts faded away. Yes, the place was new to me, but it didn’t feel unfamiliar. It was designed and decorated especially to enable guests to write and to listen to themselves; Apparantly a place where you can be alone with yourself never feels unfamiliar. I calmed down and managed to pick up on my writing. During the daytime I walked the streets of Amsterdam and at night I wrote a story about Istanbul. I am now aware that it’s possible to live in two mindsets, and I will try to maintain my newly found calm once I’ve returned to my hectic daily life in Istanbul.”