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Sergii Pershyn


First Language(s): Russian
Second Language(s): English, Ukrainian


Sergii Pershyn is a Ukrainian-American writer based in New York City. His short works appeared in The New York Times’ Metropolitan Diary section. Sergii is also an avid long-distance runner who spends his free time running and exploring new places.


What was your favorite book as a child?

At school, I consumed every book I could find, from Agatha Christie to Fedor Dostoevsky.

I believe that the most influential writer in my early life was Julio Cortázar. I was really impressed by his Hopscotch novel, which showed me there is no limit on how to use a text to create your universe. Using just words, he managed to achieve something bigger than a book — it’s a multi-dimensional piece of art, something that I thought only can be found in music or cinematography.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

I can never plan it or force it. Instead, from time to time I get creative ideas for short stories in my mind that I cannot control. Usually, it’s full synopsis right away — and then the only thing I need to do is to write it down as soon as possible before it disappears.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

Most recently, running has been shaping my life a lot. I have experienced dozens of both magical and challenging moments.

My first marathon was life-changing. It was a real emotional rollercoaster and several times I was so close to just stopping and dropping out, yet every time I found the determination to keep going till the finish line. I learned a lot about myself and discovered strength and stamina helping me in daily life.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

I sometimes like to listen to jazz when reading or writing. It helps maintain the pace and makes the process more dynamic. Also, some books, especially those set in early to mid-20th-century America, seem to be made for reading while listening to jazz.

That said, I would not listen to any songs with lyrics as they can distract me from the book.


Flash Fiction
The News
Issue Fall '22

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz