Anne Howkins, LISP Flash Fiction FINALIST
LISP Flash Fiction FINALIST, Anne Howkins by A TY WITHOUT A TAG ISN’T WORTH SQUAT
- Can you please tell us about you and your daily life? I'm semi-retired, working part-time for a charity. My daily life revolves around my horse, my dog, gardening and writing. - When and how did you get into writing? I did an Open University creative writing course about 15 years ago and wrote sporadically. A few years ago I joined a local writer's group and wrote some short stories which were published in an anthology. I started playing with flash and went to the Bath Flash Fiction Festival in 2019, which sparked my interest. I have had stories published by Lunate, Retreat West, Bath Flash Fiction, Reflex Fiction, Flash 500, Strands International, The Phare and National Flash Fiction Day. - How often do you write? Do you have a writing routine? And what inspires you to write? I try to write every day, but this has proved difficult this year after losing my mother and changing my job. The story I wrote for LISP was one of only five pieces I've written in the last four months. I am inspired by the quirky, sometimes an image, sometimes catching snatches of a conversation. I also like taking something like a nursery rhyme and developing it into something a little surreal. - How does it feel to have your work recognised? Getting a piece of writing published is the icing on the cake for me, the ultimate approval of a judge or an editor is an amazing feeling. - What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about writing a Story? I find endings difficult. Often what starts as a good idea can tail off. Or I have an idea but there is not enough 'story'. - 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? I was clearing a cupboard and found a couple of boxes of Beanie Babies I had packed up for my daughters. While they were small I travelled a lot for work, and would always bring them a BB back for each of them. It was written very quickly and changed very little when I edited it. - Can you please give us a few tips about writing a Story? Believe in yourself. Read your words out loud again and again. - What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about competitions? Seeing yourself on a long or shortlist is amazing. The challenge is finding the right competition for your writing. - Lastly, do you recommend the writers give a go on LISP? Absolutely!