Lalini Shanela Ranaraja is a multi-genre writer from Kandy, Sri Lanka.

She graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Augustana College in Illinois

with a double major in anthropology and creative writing, and a minor in multimedia journalism and mass communication. Her research and writing interests include South Asian studies, gender-based violence, sexual assault, mental health, and gender equality. 

While at Augustana she served as a Reading/Writing Center tutor,

was a reporter and features editor for the Augustana Observer, and contributed regularly to SAGA Art & Literary Magazine. In addition to SAGA and the Augustana Observer, her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Transition Magazine, Entropy, Lammergeier,  Sky Island Journal, Club Plum Literary Journal, ANGLES Magazine, and The Sunday Times Sri Lanka. She also maintained a travel blog for the study abroad organization IES Abroad during an exchange program at the University of Amsterdam.

Her hobbies include photography, distance running, and linguistics;

she is fluent in French, German, and Sinhala, proficient in Dutch, and conversational in Japanese. She aspires to acquire many more languages in the coming years. 


Awards and Honors



Phi Beta Kappa

Peggy Anderson Creative Writer 

Vasquez Valarezo Poetry Award

1st Place and 3rd Place

SAGA Vol. 84

1st Place Poetry and 3rd Place Prose

Audre Lorde Award

2nd Place Reflective Prose


SAGA Vol. 83

Barbara Anderson Miller Award

1st Place Prose and 1st Place Poetry

Audre Lorde Award

2nd Place Short Analytical 


Vasquez Valarezo Poetry Award

1st Place 

SAGA Vol. 82

Barbara Anderson Miller Award

1st and 3rd Place Prose 

2nd Place Poetry 


Vasquez Valarezo Poetry Award 

3rd Place

Honourable Mention

Augustana Observer 

Outstanding Young Journalist



2nd In The World, English Literature,

GCE A-Levels


8 A*s, International GCSEs 


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