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Maria Kenny, LISP Flash Fiction Semi-Finalist

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

I live in Dublin and work in a school, assisting children with special needs. 

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

I always wrote, but as I approached my fortieth birthday I began to take it more seriously. Since then, I have been published with both my flash fiction and short stories, several times online in various countries. I have been published in print, in two journals in Ireland, been shortlisted for a few competitions and won the Maria Edgeworth Short Story Competition last summer. I try to write as much as possible, sometimes with work and home, it's doesn't always happen. If I do sit down to write, I stay writing for at least an hour, but most times it's longer than that. Once I get started!

- How did you feel when you learned that you are a Semi-Finalist on The London Independent Story Prize? 

I was so happy to hear I was a semi-finalist in this competition. It's a well-known one and it has many entries, so to get that far was a real achievement for me. 

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

The best thing about writing flash fiction is having a short, snapshot of a story, yet it is in complete form. The hardest thing is condensing it down to either 100, 300 or 500 words.

-  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?

The idea for the story came from a friend who had recently given birth and felt she wasn't connecting with her baby. It made me think of post-natal depression and the awful struggle it brings. It was heading towards a short story, but I felt it was more powerful as flash. 

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

My main tip for writing flash is to write your story and then slay those words! Get the story out first, then cut the unnecessary words.  

- What's the best thing about writing competitions?

The best thing about writing competitions are that they motivate you to write. Some give prompts, which can send you down roads you would never think of travelling. If you get anywhere with your entry, you have the affirmation that you are on the right track and it is a great way of getting in touch with other writers. Social media is great for advertising all competitions and submissions.

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

When I started writing, I was very shy about entering competitions, but it really is what they say  - 'if you're not in, you can't win'. The LISP is easy to enter, (some have crazy submission rules) they get back to you quickly and it's a lovely community to be involved in.



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