Meet First Place Flash Fiction Winner, Susan Moffson!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Susan Moffson is an aspiring writer continuously honing her craft through classes at the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver, CO, and her wonderful writing group, the Quillers. She has been working in the field of international development for nearly 20 years, much of that time spent living and working overseas in Africa. The past 6 years she has worked for a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Jhpiego, the lead partner in a consortium implementing a global health project called the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP). She has written several work-related blogs about the positive impact of this maternal and newborn health program on the lives of many women, children, and families and has realized she is a journalist at heart. She continues to write fiction, pulling from her time abroad, to capture the incredibly rich and varied cultures she has been fortunate to experience.

interview by Marcia Peterson

WOW: Congratulations on your first place win in our Fall 2016 Flash Fiction competition! What inspired you to enter the contest?

Susan: I heard about it from somebody in my writing group, the Quillers. I loved the stories I saw published on WOW and used those for inspiration.

WOW: Can you tell us what encouraged the idea behind your story, The Shiny Black Shoes? It’s a compelling piece that I imagine you’ve drawn from some of your work experience.

Susan: Thanks! Yes, I worked in Rwanda and when I would go to the University town of Butare, outside the capital, I saw lots of street kids and learned about their daily struggles. Seeing those kids really affected me I think because I was feeling maternal at the time and eventually got pregnant with my first child, a daughter. I guess I thought it was important to show the myriad of issues they face, and how a holistic approach is needed to help them.

WOW:  I think you captured that well in your story. What’s your revision process like? How much editing did you have to do on your flash fiction piece?

Susan: I workshopped this piece with my writing group, which was hugely helpful. It took me a while to capture Kosera (main character’s) point of view in a consistent way.

WOW: It's interesting to hear how your winning entry came together with some group feedback. Do you have any writing goals in mind for the rest of the year?

Susan: I just want to continue writing about my time in Africa (and elsewhere)- in the comfort and freedom of fiction (versus memoir)- to convey the complexity of life and challenges there, as well as the beauty.

WOW: Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Susan! Before you go, can you share a favorite writing tip or piece of advice?

Susan:I know it’s a bit cliché but I always come back to writing what you know. I feel like there are details you can incorporate from having lived things that seem fresh and interesting to others!


Our Spring Flash Fiction contest is OPEN
For details and entry, visit our contest page.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Susan--After I leave this comment, I will read your story. Because of your experience, I'm intrigued. Decades ago, I worked in a residential facility for abused and neglected children. I got the privilege of working with the babies, and saw lots of failure-to-thrive infants. The NGO you work for sounds fascinating.

Thanks for doing the interview, congratulations, and good luck with your future writing endeavors.

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