Meet Sandra Brown-Lindstedt Winner of the 2020 Grand Prize – Fiction!

Sandy Brown-Lindstedt is the recipient of the 2020 Grand Prize Fiction award for her debut novel, “Life of a Firefly”

She also took home the following awards:
Gold Medal – Young Readers Category
Gold Medal Teen Category
Regional Award – South Region
The Author Marketing Experts Award for Best Debut Fiction

A Note from Sandra Brown Lindstedt: Discover Your Passion!

I grew up in some of the roughest neighborhoods on the south-side of Chicago, with five siblings. My stepfather was a Kentucky hustler and my mother was. . .distant. Thankfully, I spent most of my summers in the quiet rural town of Hooks, Texas with my grandmother. Later in life I got married and had three children. Soon after, I got divorced and moved to Portland Oregon to start a new life.

After quitting my coveted profession as a medical clerk at our local hospital,  I enrolled in Community College, and was later accepted to Lewis & Clark College.

After years of hard work and interning in New York, I graduated with a degree in my lucrative profession of theatre. This gave me plenty of time and opportunity to write plays, scripts, enter poetry contests, and otherwise prove myself worthy of the tremendous amount of money I owed in pursuit of my education. During my days off working at the IRS, I pressed on, writing and directing plays for community theatre and church organizations, as well as winning a few contests in short story, plays and poetry.

However, winning the Grand prize for overall fiction from Reader Views is by far the biggest award I have ever won. I was so overwhelmed when I learned that I had won.  I also felt honored and humbled at the same time, that others would appreciate my work to this degree.

I now live in Gothenburg Sweden with my husband Christer, where I’m the Drama director for Smyrna International. In between writing and producing, I try to find time to visit my children and adorable grandchildren in America. My debut book, Life of a Firefly, is my first venture writing for children. And this came about in a remarkable way.

My friend Kiumbiro, who teaches at the International school of Gothenburg, invited me to come and read some of my short stories taken from my unpublished book, a memoir titled, “I am Fireflies Ascending”. I read for five classes ranging from first to sixth graders. I was surprised and overwhelmed at the response I received. Not only did they love the stories, they brought their parents back to the book fair and bought all of the books and booklets that I’d printed out. This made me realize that my true calling was to write children’s stories. I was happy that my husband Christer had compiled a list of “headlines” from all the stories I shared with him of my childhood. I used these to write, Life of a Firefly, which I dedicated to my husband and all the wonderful children of The International School of Gothenburg.

So, my advice for what’s worth is, it’s never too late to discover your passion. And  as a dear Congressman named John Lewis said, “Never give up, and never give in”. I guess this is the motto that I have chosen to live my life by.                                                   


I was born and raised in Chicago. I moved to Portland with my three children when I was thirty-three. After working as a medical secretary for many years, I decided to go back to college and get my degree.

I graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon with bachelor’s degrees in Theater and English. I’ve also worked in New York, on stage productions, art and design. I’ve won two first place short story awards and three poetry awards, publishing the work in literary journals. I’ve written and directed numerous plays in the US and in Sweden. I now reside in Göteborg Sweden, where I am Drama director for Smyrnakyrkan. Life of a Firefly is my first children’s book.