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Michael Loveday, Flash Fiction Finalist, LISP 2nd Quarter 2020

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

Thrilled! I was a semi-finalist in the previous quarter’s competition so to have another success was a pleasant shock.

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

Getting the words exactly right is time-consuming and painstaking but it’s so satisfying to strive towards perfecting a small thing - as if a flash were some kind of netsuke. -  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? It came from thinking about how my voice sometimes “sits” in my throat not my chest and is softer on those occasions. I linked it to feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability. I found the “frame” in which to set the insight about my voice by linking it to contemporary themes of patriarchy and white privilege, which I’d been wanting to address for a while. I started the story a couple of years ago and kept tinkering slowly. - Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word flash-fiction story?

Use the pen like a scalpel and try to cut unnecessary words. - What's the best thing about writing competitions? Competitions have become increasingly popular in recent years - especially in flash fiction, but also in poetry. I feel like nowadays there's an increasing expectation that a writer should have some track record in competitions on their CV. Markets and habits change and I think it's important to adjust where appropriate. But only a small number of my flashes ever seem suited to sending to a competition - so the majority still go to magazines.  -Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on flash fiction story and LISP? I'd say it's worth selecting the pieces you've written that seem more suited to being considered for a competition, and sending them out. But also being prepared for the fact that most committed writers have many many dozens more rejections than they have successes with competitions or magazine acceptances. It just goes with the territory. We have to dust ourselves off and go again.



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