Shara K Sinor writes in the somewhat broad genre of literary nonfiction. In personal essays she writes primarily about her experiences and observations gained from travels abroad. In creative nonfiction she's fond of mixing in history with her personal experiences or framing her true stories in a fictional universe (akin to magic realism). She also writes the SKJ Travel blog and is the photographer of SKJ Photography. Welcome to her strange little world ... you can read many of her published essays below.




"The Road to Columbine Heaven" [read full text] Statesider. Who can I trust to share my wildflower secrets with?  [location: Colorado]


"They Were Labeled Witches. They Just Had Dementia." [read full textNarratively How an ex-pastor discovered a link between dementia and "witches."  [location: Namibia] 


"Mute Among the Qashqai" Phenomenal Literature Staying with traditional nomads to learn their ways  [location: Iran] Reprinted in Wanderlust Journal [read full text]


"The Seedy Cafe" [read full text] The Art of Death A tanka haiku poem written with the first and last line provided as a prompt [location: a forest floor]


"Inside the Sagrada" [read full text] Burrow Press Review More on the aqueous nature of God  [location: Spain]


"Aluminum Dreams"  [read full text] Cutbank Where did my dreams go?   [locations: Slovakia, Czech Republic]


"The Motion of Waves" [read full textThe Indiana Review Truth and legend, a Buddhist metaphor [location: China]


"Inca of the Maya"  [read full textThe Florida Review History and reincarnation in Latin American tribes   [locations: Peru, Guatemala]


"A Rough Guide to Astronomy" [read full textFourth Genre Eulogy to my dad, Jerry Sinor   [location: Colorado]


"The Fish is Mute"  [read full textSou'Wester Speculation on the nature of God   [locations: Tunisia, China, Colorado]


"Eye of the World"  New Letters Awards for Writers (contest) Deserts and consciousness   [location: Tunisia]


"Artifact" read full text (page 16) at Chicago Memory House Another tribute to my dad, dealing with his death via archaeology [location: Colorado, archaeology survey] (byline Shara Johnson)


"Ghost of Ten"  [read full textPost Road Ancestors and daydreams


"Tracking"  [read full textThe Bellingham Review Tracking higher powers   [locations: Colorado, Utah]


"Chimps and Their Keeper"  [read full text] The MacGuffin The unfortunate ironies of life in a Third World country  [location: Uganda]


"Riding With Rigas"  [read full textPrick of the Spindle Motorcycling with enthusiasts   [location: Greece]


"Tofu for String Quartet"  [read full text] Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers (contest) Chinese food traditions   [location: China]


"Botox"   Blip Magazine [location: South Africa]


"Archipelago of Eve" [read full text] unpublished [location: Brazil]



Read many more documentary and travel essays at SKJ Travel



2005 Nomination for Pushcart Prize in Nonfiction

2006 Nomination for Pushcart Prize in Nonfiction

2006 Selected as Notable Essay in Best American Essays Anthology

2008 Honorable Mention in New Letters Awards for Writers

2010 Honorable Mention in Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference

2014 Spiritual Category Winner in Wander Women Write Contest

2020 Honorable Mention in Literary Taxidermy Morrison Short Story Competition

2021 Finalist in Literary Taxidermy Writing Competition, published in The Art of Death



2009 Prague Summer Program, Nonfiction

2019 Completed three-week La Wayaka Current residency in Armila, Panama

2020 Selected for four-week Cafe Tissardmine residency in Morocco, aborted when Morocco closed its borders due to COVID-19 (after I was already in Morocco and had 24 hours notice to get out!)



Follow Shara on Facebook

Follow Shara on Twitter