Meet Flash Fiction Runner Up, Julie Kent
interview by Marcia Peterson
WOW: Congratulations on placing in the top ten in our Spring 2015 Flash Fiction competition! What inspired you to submit, since it’s the first writing contest you’ve ever entered?
Julie: First of all, let me just say thank you. I am so excited to have placed in the top ten with my story. Honestly, I was just looking around on the internet for journals to submit some of my work to for publication when I came across your contest. I knew I wanted to be a part of it right away because this was the first thing I had come across that was just for women and it was for people of my age. My biggest inspiration was my husband but WOW's open prompt was right up my ally. When you are told to write about whatever you want, you jump on it. I have to say that I was nervous with this being the first time I submitted anything, but when I started writing my story I became more confident. I was only hoping for a publication. I didn't think I would win anything but now that I have, I am submitting to other places and entering more contests. Thank you for giving me that confidence.
WOW: So glad it worked out for you! What encouraged the idea behind your story, “What Is Your Emergency?”
Julie: It's funny because this story just came to me. I like to read and write suspense/ thrillers and my husband spent a lot of time working for an ambulance company and the fire department, so I thought an emergency call would be easy for me to write about. I used names of people and streets that I am familiar with and from the first line of the story, the words just happened on the paper. I also watch a lot of police shows on the television. I think these emergency situations get our attention on the television and movie screens so I wanted to see if I could do it on paper. I know a good "hook" always grabs my interest; I'm glad I was able to get yours.
WOW: You mention that working toward a master’s degree in English Creative Writing. Could you share a bit about that experience, and why you chose to pursue that path?
Julie: My choice to go to college at this stage of my life was primarily to get an English degree in Linguistics and/or Literature because, ultimately, I want to teach a couple of college courses. As I was getting further into my studies I noticed that the classes I liked the most were the writing classes and when your teachers tell you that you have a talent, it encourages you to pursue it. I changed my major to creative writing and that is where I want my focus to be when I have my own classroom. My ultimate goal is to publish a novel.
WOW: We’d also love to know more about your writing routines. Could you tell us when and where you usually write? Do you have favorite tools or habits that get you going?
Julie: My writing rituals vary depending on what I am writing. I write a lot of poetry as well as short stories. When I am writing a poem I listen to loud hard rock music. I know it's weird, but the music and the lyrics of my favorite artists create something inside of me that I can't really explain. My passion for poetry actually came from music. When I write a short story the scenery is very different. I need quiet. I will either sit in my house or outside on my swing. My husband put the swing up just for my writing. I don't have any special time of the day that I write. It is just something that strikes me. I get the urge and just do it.
WOW: Those are interesting writing rituals! Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Julie. Before you go, can you share your favorite writing tip or advice with our readers?
Julie: You're welcome! It was my pleasure and thank you for everything. I think the biggest bit of advice I can give the readers and aspiring writers here would be to just do it. What I mean is; when you are scared or shy and feel you are not ready to share your writing with everyone, just do it! Once you start submitting your stories for other people to read and you get feedback from professionals, you will gain so much confidence. I would like to wish the best of luck to everyone. Thank you.
Our Fall 2015 Flash Fiction Contest is currently OPEN
For details, visit the contest page.