- Can you tell us the story behind your winning piece – was it prompted by a word, a memory, a scene, a wish to write in a new way?
I've had many mornings of waking up to the Inshore Waters Forecast and I suppose inevitably it became a story. I submitted a much longer story using the language of the forecast to Synaesthesia Magazine. They suggested the forecast could work as a poem which led me to think of writing it as flash fiction. The editors at Synaesthesia are very generous with feedback and have very good eyes. Within Radio Alarm there are also elements of personal experience, but I'm not telling you which elements they are!
- What do you particularly like about the very short form? Have you been writing in this genre for long?
The very short form is like a quick shot. Sometimes, as a writer or a reader, you need 300 pages but sometimes you need 300 words. I've been trying to write very short for quite a while - you have to work at it.
- Which short story writers have inspired you and what is it about their writing that appeals to you?
I've just finished The Lost of Syros by Emma Timpany. She writes about such different places, thousands of miles apart, and does it so well. Kirsty Logan is brilliant – I love Coin-Operated Boys in The Rental Heart – she can tell a great fairytale. I also love: Alison Moore, Stella Duffy, Ali Smith, Lorrie Moore, Molly Antopol, Tom Barbash, George Saunders.
- When and where do you do your writing?
I write whenever and wherever I can, on whatever piece of paper comes to hand.
- What are your current writing projects? Have you further writing ambitions?
I'm writing more short stories and more very very short stories.
- We'd love to know your best tips for writing flash fiction.
Work at it and be fearless and trust your instincts.