Sylvia Vetta is best known in Oxfordshire for casting away 120 inspirational people on her mythical island of Oxtopia. The castaways included the Chancellors of both Oxford and Oxford Brookes Universities. The features were originally published by The Oxford Times every month for ten years.  A recorded lecture, with some video and lots of pictures, about the inspirational people she interviewed is on the home page.

Her first three novels are informed by historical stories which have been lost or deliberately ignored. Current of Death, her fourth novel, is an whodunnit set in her home village on the Thames.

Her poem An Artist Observes was on a hoarding in the ROQ area for three years. She curated Poems in an Exhibition for the human rights charity Standing Voice. Sylvia’s memoir Food of Love Cooking up a life across gender, class and race received enthusiastic endorsements from Rana Mitter, Professor of History, University of Oxford, journalist, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, acclaimed poet, Sudeep Sen and more. Sylvia married Indian born, Atam Vetta, when that was regarded with hostility. Her story is of a working class girl from Luton becoming middle class. She is a campaigner for libraries because her life would have been different without access to Luton Central Library. She is on her fourth career after teaching, running a business, freelance writing and now as an author. Her story of women in business in Oxford, 1983-1998, is one of exclusion and casual misogyny. Food of Love tells how the intersection of gender, class and race shaped her life – and how she tried to transcend them. It is entwined with Atam’s often heartbreaking but in the end positive story.

In 2005, as a journalist, Sylvia met Qu Leilei, a founder of the Stars Art Movement (Beijing 1979). Her first acclaimed novel Brushstrokes in Time, set in China and the USA, celebrates those courageous artists (including Ai Weiwei).  She wrote it after being awarded the Diploma in Creative Writing (Oxford)and interviewing Qu Leilei in depth over three years.

Her life does not fit conveniently in any boxes. Sylvia has been involved in community and development projects for over 40 years and was given an ‘unsung hero’ award for her work in the community  by Oxfordshire High Sherriff in 2018. She organised the Pied Piper Procession led by the illustrator, Korky Paul, which helped save 20 libraries from closure. Her latest project is Cosmic Cats, an anthology of stories written by children in her village school and Mumias in west Kenya. Sylvia believes that art,music and story telling can connect across continents and that regardless of wealth or lack of it, we are equal in our imagination.

She is a member of the Society of Authors, Writers in Oxford and a founder organiser of the Oxford Indie Book Fair

 Oxford Antiques Centre (1988 -1998)  was nick-named The Jam Factory by Sylvia and Gill.—antiques-memories-jam-factory/?