WOW: Dawn, congratulations on placing in the top ten! What inspired you to write Lucky?
Dawn: I guess I was reflecting on all the things in life we take for granted – the basic skills we’ve managed to grasp, our jobs, our cars, our love lives. We’re actually very lucky to have all these things. I was also thinking about how privileged I feel to have family and friends who, like Laurie Mae, don’t fit the general mold - the love and insights mentally disabled people can offer is often awesome.
WOW: That’s so true, and it’s what gives your story an endearing quality. We also appreciate how you managed to reveal so much about your two characters in such a short space. Did you do a lot of editing to manage the word count?
Dawn: I believe my first draft was about 1000 words, and I was a bit dismayed at the prospect of cutting it in half. But, as often happens, the result of doing this can be a stronger, clearer piece of writing.
WOW: Yes, it worked here. You did a fabulous job with editing, and you’ve shown that practice pays off! In your bio you mentioned that you have short stories in numerous US magazines and an anthology in the UK. Could you tell us about your overall experience with submitting your works?
Dawn: Well, it’s not as frightening as it used to be! I have developed a thicker skin and am no longer quite so gutted by rejections and take long waits in my stride. There’s nothing like the fantastic feeling of actually selling a story and getting paid!!
WOW: Thicker skin definitely helps, and so does a sale! Would you recommend any books on the craft of writing to help aspiring writers?
Dawn: I enjoyed the energy and advice in Stephen King’s On Writing. But nothing beats reading the sort of stuff you aspire to write, and belonging to a good critique group.
WOW: Well, we’d say you definitely show energy through your contest writing. What’s the best aspect about writing for contests in general?
Dawn: It’s wonderful to be placed in a competition, totally gratifying to know that your work has been read and judged and understood. Competitions can really give beginners like me something to aim for.
WOW: Isn’t it just wonderful to feel understood, especially through our writing? Has writing always been a part of your life or have you transitioned into the field through your own doing?
Dawn: I have always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t actually start writing regularly and working seriously at it until 4 years ago.
WOW: That’s often the case as we work our way through life and find the direction that suits us best. Do you have any long-term goals in mind for your writing? Any books bubbling through your mind or future works?
Dawn: My big ambition is to complete and publish a novel.
WOW: Well, you’re certainly on the right track, and we wish you luck in your endeavors! Do you have any parting words for our readers?
Dawn: Yes, keep writing and keep sending stories and articles out! Don’t give up, and continue to learn about the craft of writing, whatever point you’ve reached in your career.
WOW: That’s sound advice for any level of experience in the realm of writing. Thanks so much for your time.
If you haven't already, check out Dawn Wingfield's story, Lucky.
To read other contestants' stories, visit our Winter 2007 Flash Fiction Contest Winners Page.