• LISP Team

Annette Edwards-Hill

Annette Edwards-Hill LISP 2nd Half 2019 Longlisted Writer



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

I live in Wellington, New Zealand. I work as a business analyst in the public sector. I have a nine year old daughter. In-between school pick-ups and work, I write.

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

I started writing stories at primary school. There was a big emphasis on creative writing at the time and I loved it! A New Zealand writer visited our school and read some of my writing, he told me I was going to be a writer and although I’ve had quite a varied career I have never forgotten that. I started writing poetry in my first year of university and then completed a poetry writing paper. After I had my daughter I sought career advice and complained to the careers advisor that I had no time for writing. She advised I try flash fiction. I sent my first piece to the New Zealand journal Flash Frontier and it was accepted and published.

Since then I have been long listed and recommended in a number of competitions, published in anthologies – including the just published Bath Flash Fiction Anthology, and nominated for Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize.

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

Stunned! This is the second time I have been longlisted and I really thought the first time was a fluke! I am very happy to be here again and it makes all the time spent writing, then editing and editing again worthwhile. It’s great to have this recognition.

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

Last time I was asked this question I said the length and this is still true. I love how much can be left unsaid in such a short piece of writing but at the same time there is a fine balance between saying too much and saying too little.

-  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?

Unfortunately the turkey was real. When I was growing up a friend of the family joined us for Christmas dinner one year and supplied a very smelly turkey that nobody wanted to eat. I took the stinky turkey and used it as the central element in a story about a child dealing with the recent loss of their father.

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

For me, the best way to improve a piece of writing, is to put it down and come back to it later. ‘The Turkey’, sat in my draft folder for a few months untouched as I was unsatisfied with the story it was telling. But when I came back to it several months down the track it was far clearer to me what I needed to do to reach a point where I was happy with it. I also have a writing group. We meet monthly and the feedback I get from that group is invaluable. They often see holes in the plot of my stories or help me find the ending I have been searching for.

- What's the best thing about writing competitions? Having a deadline, a motivation to finish the story, the chance of winning, getting recognised by a professional organisation,  communicating with other writers or a networking opportunity to meet with like-minded people?

All those things! The deadline is definitely motivating and it’s wonderful to have my writing recognised alongside so many talented writers. It is a real honour.

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

Absolutely! I’m here for a second time and this was completely unexpected. You never know what will happen in any competition and if you don’t enter, you’ll never find out!


Click To Read Annette's Longlisted Story!



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