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Aarni Tuomi, Flash Fiction Winner

- Can you please tell us about you? Where do you live and how is your daily life?

Happy to! I’m a PhD student at the University of Surrey, currently based in Guildford (UK). Most of my days involve writing in some shape or form, from my thesis to academic papers to funding bids. And of course flash fiction! I love all things sci-fi, fantasy, anime, games, everything goes. When I’m not trying to be a serious academic I’m a huge nerd.

- When did you start writing? How often do you write? We want to learn all about your writing life!

The funny thing is, I never considered myself a writer. It was reading that I loved, the writing was just something I did for others, like for school. It was only when I found myself doing a research degree that I realised how much I actually love putting words after one another. It’s just snowballed from there.

- How did you feel when you learned that you won The London Independent Story Prize? How does it feel to have your work recognised?

It feels completely unreal. This is actually the first time I’ve ever written flash fiction or any type of fiction for that matter. To have my work recognised makes me extremely glad that I found the courage to submit to this competition.

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?

Word limit. It’s definitely the most gruelling yet at the same time the most beautiful thing about this medium.

- 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?

This is a tough one. I want to say it just came to me. That what we write is a reflection of who we are as people. The experiences we’ve had, the hopes we hold, the fears we hide. That when we write we give form to something bigger, something from within. But obviously that’s not how things happen. So, like everyone else, I sat down, thought hard about it, and typed it down.

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

Hmm. I’m still very much learning the ropes myself, so I don’t think I’m qualified to give tips. I mean, I guess there are general conventions to any form of storytelling. But I feel like in flash fiction the main thing is to have fun. You got your readers’ attention for 300 words. It’s up to you how you’re going to use it, but if I were you I’d grab them from the get-go and wouldn’t let go until that last word.

- What's the best thing about writing competitions?

Thinking of myself, perhaps the most useful thing is having a structure of some sort. This is the length, here are the guidelines, here is the deadline - go nuts. I think it creates just enough of a frame to make sense of the chaos that is creative writing.

-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on flash fiction story and LISP?

Having people read your work is downright terrifying. I get that. But I also believe that good things come to those who are brave enough to step outside their comfort zones. What’s the worst that could happen? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.



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