Interview with Rachel Singh, First Place Winner of Fall 2021 Flash Fiction Contest

Tuesday, March 08, 2022
Rachel Singh is a writer and artist who loves assembling, whether she is working with strings of words, moving images, or yards of fabric. She is drawn to an array of art forms including literature, fashion, film, and dance, but not singing, which, despite her last name, she avoids at all costs. She has written blog posts for The Atlanta History Center and news articles for Paste Magazine. Fiction writing has always been her first love, and she’s slowly beginning to share her work in that realm. More of her creative projects, including short films, can be found on her website,, and you can also connect with her on Instagram at @rachelsinghsong. In the real world, you’re likely to spot her in coffee shops or bookstores across her home base of Atlanta, GA.

interview by Marcia Peterson

WOW: Congratulations on winning first place in our Fall 2021 Flash Fiction competition! What prompted you to enter the contest?

Rachel: I’ve always been a very solitary writer, working alone and keeping my writing to myself, mostly because I was afraid to share it with others. I’ve also often struggled with sticking to a word count, so I felt that this Flash Fiction contest was a great creative challenge for me as I become more committed to writing. WOW! also seemed like such an encouraging community of writers that I felt comfortable entering. I feel so lucky to have my story be read and appreciated.

WOW:  So glad the you decided to enter! Can you tell us what encouraged the idea behind your story, “Rotations?”

Rachel: Over the years I’ve worked a couple waitressing jobs, and the story follows a waitress through a seemingly everyday shift. The core of the story is about wanting to be seen in an environment where you’re often rendered invisible. Expounding upon that, I wanted to tell a story from a perspective of someone who meets so many people in a day, people that are coming from so many different places and perceiving all that movement while you feel a bit stuck. I also wanted ‘Rotations’ to crux upon the sentiment that people can change your day in seemingly light ways, and I thought it would be interesting to tell a small story that revolved around a much larger force, in this instance, the sun.

WOW: You mention fiction writing as your first love, though you have a variety of artistic interests. How do you juggle the different types of projects that you do? Anything you can share about the process?

Rachel: The truth is I am still trying to figure out the answer to that question myself. I think it is important to go where your creative instincts lead you, and for me, sometimes that’s towards the written word, other times towards film. Art these days is rarely confined to one medium. During the early days of the pandemic, I got much more into writing because it was hard to believe that there was a world in which I could make films again, although lately I’ve circled back to screenwriting. Whenever I get overwhelmed while switching between disciplines, I try to think about different forms of writing as exercises to improve my writing in general. As for needlework, I’ve been crocheting since I was a child and find it to be relaxing I moved from crocheting to sewing because I wanted to make clothes for myself, and it’s a great skill to have to make the items you have last longer. Overall, I think its beneficial to have more than one artistic hat, even if it’s just a hobby, because often the skills in one medium may lend themselves to another. Sewing has taught me so much about patience and attention to detail that I think has made me more committed and focused as a writer.

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

Rachel: I’m currently reading Notes from a Black Woman’s Diary, a collection of short stories, plays, scripts, and novel excerpts by writer, activist, and filmmaker Kathleen Collins. I watched her pivotal film 1982 Losing Ground for the first time last year, which led me to her short story, ‘Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?’ and I happened across Notes in a local bookstore, so I feel like a lucky chain of events have led me to more and more of her work. Her career as a multi-disciplinary artist is so inspiring to me, so I think its triumphant that people are collecting her work for more people to read and experience, especially since she died very young without much exposure. I love talking about her whenever I can.

WOW: Great recommendation and thanks so much for chatting with us today, Rachel. Before you go, do you have a favorite writing tip or piece of advice you can share?

Rachel: I took an acting class in college in which my professor gave me the best storytelling advice I’ve ever gotten, which was to inhabit a moment, and I think its important perspective for a writer to attain. I feel the biggest universal challenge for writers today is the number of distractions that can arise, pressing or trivial. Just sitting with a moment and really leaning into it to develop a character, a story, or a scene is a piece of advice that stayed with me and had a hand in shaping the flow and story arc of "Rotations."


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


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