Interviews

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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    Interview with Anita Macallum
    June 2016 Flash Fiction Commended

    Anita MacullumAnita Macallum commended by Michelle Elvy for her flash fiction Boobless, tells us how a prompt from her writing group kick started this piece and how keeping things simple is her biggest lesson when she performs her work.
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    The Molotov Cocktail
    A projectile for explosive flash fiction
    Interview with Josh Goller the brain behind the mayhem

    Molotov CocktailI should be clear about this right from the beginning. I LOVE The Molotov Cocktail being freakishly keen on the strangely, darkly weird. I enter all their comps and won their last themed Flash Fiction competition in May – Flash Felon. This interview with its creator, Josh Goller is therefore more starry-eyed big-up than incisive critique. Having said that I can genuinely think of nothing not to like about the darkly whimsical retro-styled badass flash zine based under gloomy Portland skies in the USA.
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    Interview with Carrie Etter
    Poet and Flash Fiction Writer

    Carrie EtterCarrie Etter is an American award-winning poet, resident in the UK since 2001. She has three published collections, The Tethers (Seren 2009), Divining for Starters (Shearsman 2011) and Imagined Sons (Seren 2014) and is also a flash fiction writer. Carrie is senior lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University, where she has taught since 2004. Carrie Etter's recently published flash fiction chapbook Hometown (V Press) is reviewed here by Santino Prinzi. You can hear Carrie read from the chapbook alongside Meg Pokrass, K M Elkes, Santino Prinzi, and Diane Simmons at our Evening of Flash Fiction, St James Wine Vaults, Bath on Friday 29th July.
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