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Wendy Eiben, Short Story Winner LISP 2nd Quarter 2020

- When did you start writing? How often do you write? I remember writing my first poem when I was about five years old. I don't know why I remember that as well as I do, but it's most probably because I've always wanted to be a writer.  I've spent a good bit of my free time over the years writing screenplays, both short and feature length.  Recently, I've been trying my hand at fiction, which is a rough adjustment when I almost instinctively write everything in screenplay format.  As for how often I write, not often enough, but I am getting better about making the time to write instead of just thinking about it.

I have had screenplays and short films accepted into festivals around the world and have been recognized with awards for both.

- How does it feel to have your work recognised?


- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Short Story?

The best thing about writing short stories is that they (usually) come together faster than longer pieces and there is a real sense of accomplishment in getting an entire story down on paper in a short amount of time.  The hardest thing is wondering if there is enough substance in the limited number of pages and small word count to draw the reader in and really give them something that will stick with them after they've moved on to their next read.

-  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 piece was actually written for a timed flash fiction challenge.  I was given my assignment (historical fiction/a helipad/a toy boat) on a Friday at midnight and had to have the story completed and turned in 48 hours later.  I enjoy these challenges because I honestly feel that I work better with a deadline and challenges such as these force me to quickly flesh out a story with elements I may not have used otherwise.

- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 1500-word flash-short story?

If you are writing to a word count allow yourself to first tell the story to the best of your ability.  You'll most probably be over.  Maybe way over!  Then examine each word of each sentence and find a way to tell the same story making every word count for more, trimming your tale down until you've managed to increase your story telling power and decrease the number of words used to get there.  Just remember, it all starts with the best story you can tell.

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing competitions?

The best thing is the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing and submitting a piece to a competition.  Even if you don't win, place or show, you did it.  The hardest thing is reminding yourself that every reader comes in with a different life experience and every competition is completely subjective.  I have submitted to juried contests where two out of three judges loved my work, but the third judge just plain didn't.  You have to weigh all feedback that you may get along the way, but at the end of the day, you have to love your story and really, that's what matters the most.

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




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