Today I have on my blog Paula Readman. Paula has actually been a winner in all three of the Waterloo festival Writing Competitions, so very well done to her.
1) Tell me about your story in the collection.
Oh, which one shall I tell you about, as I’ve been lucky enough to have three of my stories selected? The first story Deucalion’s Flood tells the tale of a migrant who travelled to Britain in the belief he would find a better life.
The second Over the Wall tells the story of two young friends and an accident changed one of their lives forever. My last story Cobalt Blue tells the story about a young lad who has to take his father’s job in a mine to support his family.
2) What inspired you to write them?
With all three of my stories I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone, and look at the world from someone else other than my white English elderly woman’s point of view. Deucalion’s Flood puts me in a boat with hundreds of other migrants who have been treated as less than human by others, only to arrive in Britain to find they aren’t treated any better here. In Over the Wall, I wanted to include disability in my story, and play about with how it might affect a young boy’s life. Would it make him less outgoing? Cobalt Blue was the story I did the most research on. An awful soul destroying problem, which I felt, was under publicised. I wanted to give a voice to the children and women whose lives are being undervalued, while the rest of the world races towards a greener future.
3) How did you hear about the competition?
I heard about the Waterloo Art Festival through being a regular contributor to Bridge House Publishing and Chapel Town Books submissions.
4) Have you had any other success in short story writing?
Yes, I have. Over the last year, I have been busy submitting to other small presses in Britain, Australia and America. In 2012, I won the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival/ Writing Magazine Short Story Competition. It was the biggest competition I won to date.
5) What, for you, makes a good short story?
A story from its first word to its last that hooks your attention because you know the writer has edited the piece within an inch of its life after carefully choosing each word to carry you forward.
6) Do you have any tips for new writers or writers seeking publication?
Don’t always go with your first idea when entering a themed submission. You first idea will properly be similar to a few of other writers. Try to think outside the box. Write down some obscure ideas. Being a little brave in your lateral thinking may just give you the edge over other entries for competitions and submissions. Also remember nothing is wasted when your work is rejected. Gave rejected stories another re-read and edited before sending it out elsewhere.