Q: Your short story ‘The Peace Lily – A Story in Three Breakfasts’ is a beautiful composition that was published in MindFood Magazine. Can you tell us more about the process of successfully publishing your first short story?
A: This story came from the first course I completed (Literary Short Fiction Course) with Ginny Swart at the Writers College; it was inspired by the peace lily in my bathroom!
I have many years’ experience in business and academic writing and now have greater opportunity for creative writing and non-fiction work. The process to get to publication took many years of prior learning, attending courses and of steadfastly keeping going – reading, researching, writing, editing, editing, editing and submitting to competitions and other opportunities as available.
Q: You completed the Advanced Literary Short Fiction Course with the Writers College. How did this experience impact on your writing journey?
A: The discipline of the course is a powerful motivator. The learning imperative is natural to me and I have always studied. I find it rewarding, challenging – and sometimes daunting. My writing now bears little resemblance to that of the first writing course and I’m enjoying the ability to write with far greater confidence and with a more structured approach.
My tutors, Ginny Swart and Alex Smith, have taught me so much, especially the power of effective and sometimes ruthless editing. I’m now far more critical of my work and far less attached to it: there are always better ways to tell or shape a story.
Have a Story to Tell?
Q: With another short story published in the Atlantis Anthology, you seem to be making great literary strides. What other ventures do you have in mind for your writing?
A: More of the same really. New stories, more competitions to enter. I placed second in the Atlantis competition and was delighted and amazed by that.
I appreciate the wisdom of competition judges in their written feedback and have learned so much from the competitive environment. I love the challenge of the short story form: the discipline, the tightness that requires attention to every word, as each must earn its place.
I recently had another short story placed in MindFood magazine, as well as two pieces in The Centifictionist, 100 words in Friday Flash Fiction, and three short pieces in Free Flash Fiction, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine and the Journal of the International Flash Fiction Association.
As part of the Advanced Course, I’m putting an anthology together and will see where that takes me.