Interviews

Interview with Emily Devane
February 2017 Flash Fiction First Prize

Emily tells us about jotting down ideas for fictions in her notebook, wherever she is. Her habit has resulted in two flash fiction stories shortlisted in previous rounds of the Award and now published in To Carry Her Home: Bath Flash Fiction Volume One and her first-prize winning story from the February 2017 Award. It’s fascinating to read about what inspired all three stories. In her winning story, seeing an angling magazine took Emily back to past memories of fishing. She tells us how she shaped the story to include the child’s shift of perception, the central idea of the piece. Emily also describes how her former career as a history teacher helped her write stories that have subtext and certain inferences. We learn about her time as a Word Factory Apprentice and how it has taken her writing to different places. And she has some great tips for flash fiction writing at the end of the interview.
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Interview with Caroline Reid
October 2016 Flash Fiction Commended

Caroline Reid’s flash fiction, Last Dog, commended by Robert Vaughan in the October round, with it’s energy and passion, cries out to be read out loud. She says that her first love was music and growing up with a Welsh mother and an Irish father, and singing around a piano as a child, might have helped her strong sense of rhythm and enjoyment of performance. We love the photograph of Caroline’s dog and the description of the walks they take morning and evening. Many aspects of the environment are there, as with her story. It’s also great to know where our international entrants live, and how settings are different and similar. And how wonderful that Caroline, a free-lance arts worker, can take on arts collaboration projects worldwide. We’d like to think our Award could help make those connections between artists. Her writing advice for entrants is very helpful – don’t give up on a piece you love – keep sending it out everywhere. Submitting outside of your own country gives a story another chance to be read and published. We’re looking forward to the publication of our anthology with all the winning and a selection of listed stories in print.
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Interview with Julianna Holland
October 2016 Flash Fiction Third Prize

juliannaJulianna whittled down a longer story to create her beautiful third prize winning story, White Matter. Her voice is strong in this winning piece, with its wonderful use of language. We like her advice to other writers who might enter Bath Flash Fiction Award – stay true to your writing voice and style and don’t be put off by rejection. She points out how our subconscious lends us a vast bank of memory and imagination to draw on for new flash fictions.The challenge is how to shape that rich wealth of material into meaningful stories. Julianna’s writing group is important to her for feedback and increasing her productivity. Members of the group recommend books to each other and invite guests as well as critiquing each other’s writing. We’d be interested see more of Julianna’s work – the longer piece, her labour of love mapping the story of an elderly eccentric woman sounds intriguing. And of course we’d love to read more of her flash fictions.
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Interview with Christopher M Drew
October 2016 Flash Fiction Second Prize

So many different experiences and images went into the creation of The Perfect Fall Christopher’s striking second-prize winning flash fiction from our October round judged by Robert Vaughan. He shows us how meticulous his writing methods are, from the arrangement of the words on the page, to his many, many rewrites. He carves out the basics in a quick rough draft, then chisels in the fine details. This process can take a few months or longer. The finished result in his winning story demonstrates the attention to detail very well. It’s a story with several layers and we like his advice for others — "remember to write two stories: the one on the page and the one between the lines." Christopher also points out that ideas can come from the most unexpected places and multiply once you get started. You can find flash fictions in your longer stories if you ruthlessly cut down the words. We look forward to seeing more of his fiction, both the long and short pieces and hope his intriguing George and the Dragon comic fantasy tribute to Terry Pratchett gets completed and into print.
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Interview with Helen Rye
October 2016 Flash Fiction First Prize

helen-rye-homeHelen entered her incredibly moving first prize winning story just before midnight on October 12th, the final day of our last Award, judged by Robert Vaughan. Her ancient computer kept crashing and nearly stopped her from entering and we’re glad to say the prize money made it possible for her to buy a new one, pictured in the photograph here. In this interview she tells us what the title of the story, One in Twenty-Three means – a deeply shocking and sobering fact. She also describes her writing life in the hotbed of talented writers in Norwich. Her supportive writing group played the theme tune to ‘Rocky’ when she walked in soon after her win! I think cake might have been involved too. Take note of Helen’s top tip for prospective entrants – don’t let a lack of self-belief stop you, just go for it.
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Banshee Literary Journal
Interviewed by Adam Trodd

bansheeBanshee is a print journal of exciting accessible, contemporary writing from Ireland and around the world, published twice a year – in spring and autumn – and features short stories, flash fiction, personal essays and interviews. The first issue was launched in September 2015 and Issue 3 is now available. Banshee is edited by three writers in their late 20s and early 30s, Laura Jane Cassidy, Claire Hennessy and Eimear Ryan.

    • You all come from different writing backgrounds. How does that inform your experience of editing a literary journal?
  • Even though we write different things, there's a lot of overlap in terms of the topics that interest us - which really becomes evident when we look at the many writers we all love. As editors we're not really thinking as writers but as readers – it wouldn't be helpful to think in terms of 'what we would like to have written' instead of 'this is brilliant, let's champion it!'
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    Interview with Kathy Fish
    Flash Fiction Award Judge
    October 2016 – February 2017

    kathy-fishWe’re delighted that renowned American flash fiction writer and teacher, Kathy Fish is judging our next award, which opens on November 1st.

    Kathy teaches flash fiction for the Mile High MFA program at Regis University in Denver. She has published four collections of short fiction: a chapbook in the Rose Metal Press collective, A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women (2008); Wild Life (Matter Press, 2011); Together We Can Bury It (The Lit Pub, 2012); and Rift, co-authored with Robert Vaughan (Unknown Press, 2015). Her story, “A Room with Many Small Beds” was chosen by Stuart Dybek for inclusion in Best Small Fictions 2016 (Queen’s Ferry Press).
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    Interview with Matt Potter
    Founder of Pure Slush Magazine

    matt-potterPure Slush was established in December 2010, publishing flash fiction online for anyone who wants to read it. Moving into print publication in late 2011, what has followed includes two further imprints (Truth Serum Press and Everytime Press) and almost fifty books. There are many more to come – memoir, how-to resources, anthologies, fiction, poetry – so there is always something to like about the entire catalogue. The best words to describe Pure Slush: zesty and cosmopolitan.

    Pure Slush founder, Matt Potter, was born in Adelaide and has lived most of his life in Australia … but keeps a key part of his psyche in Berlin. If you want to know more about him and the way he thinks, read his travel memoir Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between (Červená Barva Press, 2015). Does his Australian outlook affect the work and the mood and the tone of Pure Slush? Yeah, he reckons it does.
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    Interview with Michael Fitzgerald
    June 2016 Flash Fiction Commended

    MF falklands BMichael Fitzgerald tells us more about his trip to the remoter parts of the Falkland Islands, which inspired his piece. An architect, he explains how architectural work, like writing, goes through a constantly evolving process and includes “a finite palette of components”. When writing flash fiction he says to ignore the rules and experiment, which is what he does to great effect in 'Falkland Island Walk'. We also like his tip to save your work under a different title if you are struggling, then “go mad on it”.
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    Q and A with John Saul
    June 2016 Flash Fiction Commended

    Call It TenderJohn Saul told us he likes interviews, reading them especially. Matching the condensed nature of flash fiction, he's given us some brief answers to our questions. We like his one word answer – 'read ' – to our question about a tip for writing flash fiction. There's lots of opportunity for reading a variety of short-short fiction on this site. John's commended story, 'Tearful' which came to him in the middle of the night, all the winners and commended in the June round and the other winning pieces from the first two rounds of Bath Flash Fiction Award, plus many links to fiction from writers around the globe and, of course, all the pieces on Ad Hoc Fiction, our weekly free micro contest, where you can read and vote for your favourites. You can also read John's longer fiction – he's published several collections – including Call it Tender, published by Salt.
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