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Interview with Gaynor Jones- Recommended Writer, LISP 3rd Quarter 2018

-Can you please tell us about you?

I was born in Wales, raised in Merseyside and have lived in Manchester for around 12 years. I’ve been a stay at home Mum to a non-sleeping child for nearly four years, though I recently returned to supply work. - When did you start writing? How often do you write? Please feel free to mention your previously published works or awards or any other achievements in writing. We want to learn all about your writing life!

I’ve been writing on and off for around 10 years I think. With a big gap somewhere along the way when I developed an anxiety disorder and again when I first had my daughter. I don’t have a set writing routine but I definitely don’t write every day. However, I am taking writing much more seriously since winning the Mairtín Crawford Award and receiving professional mentoring from Paul McVeigh. He has really helped me focus on my end goals and I’ve definitely upped my game since winning the award.

- How did you feel when you learned that you are on the Recommended List of The London Independent Story Prize? How does it feel to have your work recognised?

This is the second time I’ve been recommended in the LISP competition, and it’s the second time I’ve entered with quite an experimental piece. It definitely pays to push yourself to stand out when entering competitions. Thank you for selecting my story once again.

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction? The best and hardest thing about writing flash fiction, for me, is that it’s so addictive. I’m meant to be working on my debut short story collection, but I keep sneaking back to flash fiction, I can’t help it.

- How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected story? Is there a story behind your story? And how long have you been working on it?

The story I entered in this round was produced in a Kathy Fish Fast Flash workshop, seriously one of the best courses I’ve ever taken. I highly recommend following her on twitter or on her blog as she gives out little tips there too. This piece is not my usual writing style at all but I enjoyed playing with an experimental form.

- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word flash-fiction story?

My tips for writing a 300 word piece would be to try and make your piece unique somehow. It might be in the form you choose, it might be in the way you use language, it might be an unexpected element that you bring in. It’s very difficult to think of an original ‘plot’ so don’t worry too much about that. I wrote a blog post about this with lots of tips and examples,

- What's the best thing about writing competitions?

The best thing, for me, about entering writing competitions is the chance for wider recognition. I’ve had so many people contact me and read my work since winning the Mairtín Crawford Award. It’s put pressure on me to keep it up, which is a positive, and has given me the confidence to apply for writing related jobs and residencies.

-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on flash fiction story and LISP? I would recommend entering the LISP competition, definitely. I’m well known in the flash fiction world and usually recognise lots of names in competitions, but LISP seems to be doing a grand job of reaching new writers. This is a good thing, there’s room here for everyone!

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