Sharmilla Ganesan is a features journalist, culture writer, and literary columnist from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
With more than a decade of experience with The Star newspaper in Kuala Lumpur, she has written on a wide variety of topics, from gender and environment to fashion and entertainment. Most recently, she focused on writing about books, the arts, and film for their features section, Star2.
She also managed The Star’s books section. Her literary column Booked Out, which aims to create accessible conversations around reading and literature, was runner-up for the Malaysian Press Institute’s award for Best Column 2016.
Sharmilla was a Fulbright/Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow with the University of Maryland in the United States in 2015/2016, where she studied culture journalism and the digital evolution of long-form journalism. She was also an Asia Journalism Fellow 2017 with the National University of Singapore, where she researched culture journalism.
Sharmilla writes fiction, and her short stories have been published in several anthologies and literary journals. Her works have been featured on BFM 89.9 radio, the Voices 2016 showcase at the George Town Literary Festival, and the Yoni Ki Baat 2016 showcase in San Francisco. Her short story was runner-up for the 2017 D.K. Dutt Award for Literary Excellence.
She is a past recipient of the Malaysian Australia Colombo Plan Commemoration Scholarship, and has a master’s degree in communication focusing on film from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.