Tuesday 7 February 2023

Allison Symes talks to us about her involvement in Evergreen


Allison Symes - Evergreen Blog


How did you hear about our competition?

I was at the Bridge House Publishing Celebration Event the previous year and had "early bird" notice of what the topic was going to be. I am a long term follower/writer for Bridge House so know to keep an eye out for the annual competition. I often take part in these and have had the great joy of being published in some of the resulting anthologies. Would like that to continue! Indeed, my first story in print was in one of the early anthologies. A treasured moment, that!

What inspired you about the theme?

I like the way you could play with the words "ever green". For my story, I used the colour element as well here and the topic immediately suggested to me a character, not young but not old, still capable of coming up with surprises when they needed to and still capable of teaching those needing it a well deserved lesson. That thought inspired my title - Never Old - Ever Green and Good To Go. The theme was such a great one to run with and I had a lot of fun with this.

How did you get to write short stories?

I started out in writing by trying to write a novel. I know - talk about run before you can walk, right?! Having said that, I have always loved reading short stories as well as long ones, so it was natural to me to have a go at writing short stories myself at some point. What has come as a lovely surprise was the discovery of flash fiction, the even shorter short story, where I'm published too. I also was trying to build up publication credits long before having any books out so writing short stories and getting into the habit of submitting them for competitions helped a lot here. Short stories are great fun to write and I love the challenge of writing to smaller word counts.

In no more than three sentences can you summarise what made you become a writer?

This is simply due to a lifelong love of books and stories, encouraged at a very early age by my late mother. Why? Because it led to my ending up wanting to write some of my own. (She got to see my first one  in print too, another treasured memory).

What else are you working on?

I've submitted my third flash fiction collection and am working on a potential fourth one. I am always blogging (for various online magazines, including a US based one where I'm their flash fiction editor). I usually have a story on the go ready either for a competition I'm aiming at or where I'm adding it to my stock of stories. If a suitable competition comes up later in the year, as if often will, I can rummage through my stock of stories and have something suitable I can polish reasonably quickly and submit. I also have a long term non-fiction project on the go and I hope to make much more progress with that in 2023. I've started running workshops in the last year or so and am often preparing material for those too.

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