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Kwame MA McPherson, LISP 2023 Flash Fiction Finalists, I Wonder If They See Me

LISP 2023 Flash Fiction Finalists, I Wonder If They See Me by Kwame MA McPherson



- Can you please tell us about you and your daily life?

My daily life mainly consists of writing or around writing. So, as a ghostwriter and book coach, I support others on their writing journey. As well as show corporations how to create messages that engage with their target market. In addition to helping others I also do my own writing and in the middle of completing a few manuscripts. I also organise online workshops and seminars around writing.

 

- When and how did you get into writing?

I grew up in the Caribbean and from a very young age we are encouraged to write poems, essays and stories. Plus coming from a people who love to narrate stories and storytelling, it has evolved into my life purpose. My pivotal awakening came in 2006 when I experienced depression and while going through that event, the message came to me to focus on what brought joy to others and made me feel I was contributing to the lives of others - the answer came through that writing will be my life purpose.

 

- How often do you write? Do you have a writing routine? And what inspires you to write?

I write every single day (and at night). I am constantly writing in my head, while walking on the road or taking a drive into the countryside. I am inspired to write due to thousands of stories we see every day on television, in the newspaper, on social media or just "people watching" on the street.

 

- How does it feel to have your work recognised?

I am the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023 Winner for the Caribbean (fifth Jamaican to do so) and Globally (the first Jamaican to achieve this). I was the first Jamaican to win a The Bridport Prize 2020 Flash Fiction bursary. There are other accolades like being a LISP Finalist, so my writing has been recognised and it is a great feeling.

 

- What's the best and most challenging thing about writing a Story? 

The ability to tell a story that is fresh and original. Thus, being aware and keeping abreast of past and current affairs and stories, helps in consistently producing new work.

 

-  How did you develop the idea for your LISP-selected story? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it?

As I highlighted, being abreast of current affairs helps to generate a story. My story was about economic migrants who, in their thousands, are stuck on the Mexico/US border. It didn't take me long to write since the idea is based on a present reality.

 

- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a Story?

Read. Read. Read. That means every and anything from what is happening on and offline, other writers, magazines, newspapers, journals; I cannot emphasise it enough.

 

- What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about competitions? 

You never know how well you have done, until you get the rejection or success notification!

 

- Lastly, do you recommend the writers submit to LISP?

Definitely, flexing one's writing muscle by entering competitions like LISP builds writing resilience and expertise.


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