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Sunday, February 09, 2020

 

Interview with Meghan Beaudry: Q1 2020 Creative Nonfiction Essay First Place Winner

Meghan Beaudry began writing as part of her rehabilitation from brain trauma in 2014 and simply never stopped. Her work has been published in Hippocampus, Ravishly, Folks at Pillpack, and the Bacopa Literary Review. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017. In 2019, Ms. Beaudry was selected as a finalist in the Pen 2 Paper Creative Writing Contest and longlisted for the Master’s Review Short Story Contest. When she’s not writing, Ms. Beaudry can be found cuddling with her rescue dogs, drinking bubble tea, and teaching students ages three to ninety how to play the violin.

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WOW: Congratulations on winning first place in our Q1 2020 Creative Nonfiction essay competition! What prompted you to enter the contest?

Meghan: I am a member of the Binders Facebook group, which is a networking group for women writers. A member posted about WOW, so I decided to enter. To be able to learn from so many talented, experienced, and supportive female writers online has made such a difference in my own writing.

WOW: I happily related to first part of your essay, having a husband who deals with any scary bugs in the house, and then your story took a powerful turn. What inspired you to write this particular story?

Meghan: In this essay, I wanted to show the exact point in my marriage when I decided to leave. For me, that point was when I realized that my fear of staying in an unhealthy relationship had surpassed my misgivings about living alone. At my sickest, I was bedridden and couldn't be left alone for even an hour. I couldn't walk, drive, remember many details about my life, or even lift a coffee cup. Recovery meant learning to trust my mind and body again, including trusting my brain to make decisions to keep me healthy and safe.

WOW: Your essay was compelling and we're glad that writing has been part of your rehabilitation.  Can you tell us what projects are you currently working on? What’s next for you?

Meghan: I plan to eventually write a memoir about my experience with brain inflammation, but that is very far in the future. Currently, I'm working on a collection of linked short stories, which are all classic fairy tales retold with a twist. I hope to start querying agents before July 2020. I frequently write personal essays (mainly about my experience with brain inflammation and chronic illness). My essay about beginning to write as part of my recovery is forthcoming with Al Jazeera. It will be published on their website on May 10, which is World Lupus Day.

WOW: What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it?

Meghan: Last year, my New Year's Resolution was to buy no new books until I finished the ones I currently have in my To Be Read pile. Well, I made it almost to March. I typically have between thirty and forty books waiting to be read. I just finished Maragaret Atwood's The Testaments, which frequently kept me up past my bedtime. I'm about to start Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones. I love memoirs, novels, and especially short story collections. When choosing books to read, I look for original plots and colorful syntax.

WOW: Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Meghan! Before you go, do you have any tips for our readers who may be thinking about entering writing contests?

Meghan: If you're thinking about entering a contest, just do it! You'll never win if you don't enter.

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For more information about our quarterly Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Essay contests, visit our contest page here.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Sioux Roslawski said...

Maarcia--Thanks for doing this interview and giving us a link to Meghan's story.

Meghan--Congratulations. I enjoyed your story. Unfortunately, it's the story of too many women. Too many women have their spirits squashed down by men--like we squash bugs.

Good luck with your twisted fairy tale collection and your future memoir, and congrats for your win.

3:49 AM  

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