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Forest Issac Jones, Flash Fiction Finalist, LISP 2nd Quarter 2020

- Can you please tell us about your daily life?

I am a full time educator. I am a division school leader with Salem City Schools in Salem, Virginia. I volunteer with a number of civic organizations.  - When did you start writing? How often do you write?

was a finalist for Pitch Perfect, part of the international crime festival in Sterling, Scotland in 2018. I was also a finalist for the 2019 London Book Fair ‘Write Stuff’ Contest and shortlisted for the 2019 Fish Short Story Contest for ‘Whatever You Say, Say Nothing’. I published a children's book in 2005 called, 'The Greatest English Detective Club #1'. I am currently working on a novel and a short story.  I try to write every single day. - How does it feel to have your work recognised?

It is an honor to have my work recognized and truly humbling. You often think your work is good and when others see it like that as well, it is a great feeling.  - What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?

Wow...the hardest thing--definitely the length. Many people would think writing 300 words is easy but you are trying to tell a story in a very small amount of words. The best thing--this would be when you finish a piece of flash fiction and you read it and think that it is pretty good.  -  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 a history major at university and I had always been intrigued about Chernobyl. I was interested in what happened, the effects on the people, and what it is like today. The truth is startling and has direct correlations with the COVID-19 epidemic. It took me about a year to write the flash piece after several rewrites. - Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word flash-fiction story?

I would say three things-- 1. Practice, practice, Practice---just like with everything you need to keep writing and throw some things away and keep others. 2. Pick a topic that interests you--I think this is underrated. The more you are into what you are writing about, the work won't seem too bad. 3. Read what others have produced---the more you look at how others have produced in flash, it will only help your writing. - What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing competitions?

Hardest---Rejections. Nobody wants or likes rejection. It is hard and difficult for the state of mind and the ego. Best thing--- definitely to be recognized. It is a great sense of fulfillment and realizing that someone likes what you wrote and gives you the confidence to move forward. -Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on flash fiction story and LISP?

100% Yes---Flash is another way to practice your writing skills. It is not easy but it makes you feel good once you produce something- recognized or not.



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