Sylvia Schlettwein was born in Omaruru and grew up in Stellenbosch, Katima Mulilo and Windhoek. She studied in Cape Town, Stuttgart and Lyon. After completing her Master’s degree in June 2002, she returned to Windhoek in 2003 where she now heads the Department of Languages and Communication at the International University of Management and lectures German, French and Communication.
She also writes, translates and edits short fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry in English, German and Afrikaans. She received a Highly Commended Award in the 2010 Commonwealth Short Story competition for her story "Framing the Nation". In July 2012 her short stories were published in the collection Bullies, Beasts and Beauties. She was chosen to attend the 2011 Femrite Writer’s Residency in Kampala in Uganda and was part of the Moving Africa group of African writers sent to the Kwani! Literary Festival in Nairobi in Kenya the following year. She co-authored and co-edited the German language anthology of poetry and short stories Hauptsache Windhoek published in 2013. She was awarded second prize for her short story Ape Shit in Short Story Day Africa’s 2014 competition, Terra Incognita.
Sylvia, who is married and has three daughters (Miriam, Lisa and Amelie) lives, loves, works and writes in Windhoek where she is involved in various literary projects.