Annie Dawid, LISP Short Story Semi-Finalist
-Can you please tell us about you? Where do you live and how is your daily life? I live in the beautiful Wet Mountain Valley of South Central Colorado at 8,000 feet, where I teach online for the University of Denver, University College master’s creative writing program. I also edit manuscripts for poets, fiction and non-fiction writers. When not at the computer, I’m playing tennis, cross-country skiing, and continually walking my dog. - When did you start writing? How often do you write? We want to learn all about your writing life! I used to be religious about writing and do it every morning. Now, as an empty nester single parent, I’m more free with my time, and write when I want to, rather than on a schedule. Recent achievements include the Sequestrum reprint award for my most ambitious short story ever, “The Closer You Were, the Less You Knew,” about the intersection of a New York Jewish family with the events of Sept. 11. The title is a quote from the NYC chief of police, and he was referring to the towers, but this also seems true for family drama and trauma. - How did you feel when you learned that you are a Semi-Finalist on The London Independent Story Prize?
Thrilled and pleased. I won second prize in 2018, and hope one day to get all the way to first! - What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a short story?
Short stories are more like poems than like novels, in that they explore fully one facet of lived experience. Sometimes the story can prove to be too small for what I am aiming to show the reader. At other moments, the story is the perfect, beautiful length for one complete narrative. - 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 story stems from lived experience, my first boyfriend whose father committed suicide not long after I’d met him for the first and only time. It explores a time of wonder and sadness, emotions often juxtaposed in adolescence. - Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 1500-word short story story?
I cut this story down from a piece nearly twice as long, and found it more concentrated in the shorter version. I often do this with longer works, and discover more powerful nuggets in the condensed prose. - What's the best thing about writing competitions?
Writing is solitary, so being published brings one’s work from the margins into the center of the virtual world.
-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on short story and LISP?
Absolutely! I am submitting again shortly.