Rising Writers #6 – Shian Streadwick Augustine-Cain


Who are you, where you’re from, and what makes you tick?

My name is Shian and I live in Surrey. Food makes me tick and brings me what I can only assume is joy.

Why do you write? What got you started?

I was your typical moody twelve year old when I first started scrawling poems in this little notebook I had. Most of it was pretty angst-y but I do remember there was one about an orange. I was a strange kid and didn’t really have any friends at the beginning of high school and I used to read under the table in lessons that were not English. Poetry was a way for me to not only write about the things that bothered me but also so I could appear to be doing maths work in class.


Who are your biggest influences? Inside and out of literature.

Inside of literature it would have to be Sylvia Plath, she is such a babe. Tiffany Atkinson, Michael Lee, Jeanann Verlee and Omar Holmon. Outside of literature probably my family and music.

sylvia plath

What would be your favourite poem?

I have three because I’m a rebel:

Sylvia Plath’s ‘Edge’

Michael Lee’s ‘The Addict, A Magician’

Katherine Stansfield’s ‘Relic’

Top five novels/story collections?

Harry Potter Series- J.K. Rowling

The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger

The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath

The Stone Gods- Jeannette Winterson

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit- Jeannette Winterson

Do you have a favourite song lyric?

Tegan and Sara (More for Me)

“I got a picture of the way the world has summed me up,
If I could have one wish/ I sure wish that I had never grown up/
I got a picture of the way I looked when I was three/I came out laughing screaming dancing…”


What inspires you/where do you find inspiration most? Are there any themes you feel particular affinity for? Political, personal, etc.

I mainly write confessional poetry. In the years I have written poetry I have written a grand total of three political poems, two which have never been shown to anyone so I’m sure that they’ll bring about world peace any day now. I am generally inspired by the people around me and the prospect of imminent death. I collect spoons so I occasionally write about them as well.

Do you have a specific technique, or routine to your writing?

I generally have three.

  1. Be inspired by some fantastic event, Write a poem about it.
  2. Be inspired by some tragic event, Cry/fall to my knees in a dramatic fashion and scream/whisper ‘Why, God?’ (I am not joking) Then write a poem about it.
  3. Wake up at a ridiculous time in the morning and start writing away.

Where are you with your writing right now?

Much better than I was at 12?

What are your plans for the future? What’s the ultimate goal?

I want to be published with my poetry but I definitely think the ultimate goal is to somehow change the world for the better. I guess I’d also like to write a book and see if I can actually stick to writing prose for a length of time.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write, then write some more, then get someone who hates you to see what they think, then after that find someone who is utterly indifferent to your existence and ask them.

Make up your own question to ask yourself. I am that lazy.

What’s your favourite type of food?

Popcorn is awesome and pretty much anything that you can eat with a spoon.

popcorn pic

Now that Shian has shared with you, you should turn the page and share in some of her work. Enjoy…


Get paid.