Issue #4

Today we have an interview with Alma Alexander as well as her essay on Middles along with a spotlight on Far Off Places!

Interview with Alma Alexander

Why did you become a writer?

I hold an MSc degree in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. And for a little while I worked in that field, as a research scientist. But when it became obvious that to get anywhere in that area I would absolutely HAVE to get a PhD to get taken seriously – and that wasn’t on the cards – I kind of segued sideways into first scientific/medical writing and editing, then into more mainstream editing work, and finally into fulltime writing. Which I think is pretty much where I was headed all along. It was the true vocation, it was the only thing I really wanted to do, that I knew how to do properly and well. There are some things you are born for. This was mine. read more here…

Essay on Middles

It was a sign hung over a shop in a picturesque side street of a small Japanese town. Everything else – all the signage, everything pertinent to what it was actually selling – was in Japanese, and therefore beyond my comprehension – but this, the main shop sign, this was in English. And it said “Middles”.

To most people it might just be an amusing curiosity. But to me, with a writer’s mindset and worldview… this was potentially the Open Sesame cave of every treasure known to those of us who scribble. Because, you see, middles are often the DIFFICULT part. read more here…
Spotlight on Far Off Places

Why they started their journal: Partly to create a stage for emerging writers to strut their stuff, both traditional and experimental, but also to reach, enchant and grip readers who wouldn’t ordinarily pick up a literary magazine, which is why we publish across different media. We wanted to create a magazine in which equal care was given to the content and the design: we believe in bedtime stories and beautiful craftsmanship, where choice of font and paper type is an artistic decision.

Also because we were tipsy with elderflower wine and drunk on literature. read more here…

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New Content – Butcher and Flash Fiction

The next round of content is up, including an Interview with Jim Butcher, a spotlight on Flash Fiction Online, and an essay regarding a way to start your story without starting with a character.

Interview with Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher

Why did you choose to be a writer over other careers and were their other careers that you considered?

Yes, there were several other careers that I considered. I started off trying to go through computer programming, and electrical engineering, and then I met engineers and that went out the window, so I decided to come at computers through managing information systems, and then I met accounting mathematics and so that went out the window. So then I thought it would be nice to be a teacher, since I always thought that would be something nice to do, but then I had to observe teachers in their natural environments for the courses, and I realized that teachers were some of the most miserable people I had seen in my life. So then I sort of bottomed out in English…read more here!

Flash Fiction Online

What they are looking for: Great stories with heart, beautiful writing, and deft storytelling. It also makes me very happy when authors read and heed our guidelines…read more here!

Character Foremost, Not First

Open any book on the craft of writing and you’re going to see some familiar advice. Try to write every day. Read more work from writers you admire. Seek out feedback from readers you trust. Character, not plot, must always come first and foremost in your writing…read more here!