Tara Cowie--Runner Up Spring 2010 Flash Fiction Contest
Here's Tara Cowie, one of the runners-up for the Spring 2010 Flash Fiction Contest. If you haven't read her winning story, Confirmation, you can check it out here.
Tara lives and works in New York City. She received her BA in English from Colgate University and her MFA in fiction from New York University. Tara is passionate about words and writing and is currently at work on her first novel. In addition to writing, she enjoys riding her horse, reading, traveling, and exploring the world.
WOW: Hi Tara, welcome to The Muffin, and congratulations on your win. Where did you get the idea for Confirmation?
Tara: I was wandering around the city one day and noticed a particularly beautiful church on Broadway. I sat on the steps for a while and just watched the people come in and out of the heavy wooden doors. The comfort offered by this massive edifice intrigued me, particularly the comfort that seemed possible regardless of religious affiliation. The night wore on, and I delighted in the dichotomy the dark created--the peaceful space inside and the hustling city street just steps away.
WOW: What a great image to spark a story idea! Why did you choose Confirmation as the title?
Tara: I wanted to relate the religious setting to the change taking place within the girl. While a traditional religious confirmation involves taking full communion with the church, I wanted to show that the girl was beginning to take full communion of herself. It is a moment of maturation and understanding of her body and her self.
WOW: The amazing thing is you did all that in a few words, too! What are the themes you are exploring in your flash fiction piece?
Tara: I wanted to explore the burgeoning sexuality of the young girl and the dual nature of this sexuality--how it at once empowers and victimizes her.
WOW: You received your MFA from New York University. How do you feel this degree prepares you as a writer?
Tara: Most importantly, my graduate study at NYU convinced me that I must write and imbued my task with a bit more urgency. The school celebrated the beauty of stories and encouraged me to reach for that beauty within my own writing. The school also prepared me in practical ways, and the workshops served as a perfect testing ground while finding my particular voice within my stories.
WOW: WOW! What an awesome educational experience. I know many writers search for a community such as you described, and it's so wonderful you had that while pursuing a degree. Can you tell us about the novel you are currently working on? What genre is it?
Tara: I am currently working on a fictional novel exploring the relationship between art and the artist.
WOW: Good luck with your project. What are your career goals as a writer?
Tara: I would like to be fully devoted to my writing, wherever it takes me.
WOW: It sounds like you are well on your way. One last question--why do you think it's a good idea for writers to enter contests?
Tara: Contests offer a great forum for expanding a reader base. They work as inspiration and often a means towards productivity.
WOW: Congratulations again, Tara, and thank you for sharing a bit of your writing life with us today.
interview conducted by Margo L. Dill; http://margodill.com/blog/