Interview With Rachel Singh, Summer 2022 Flash Fiction Runner-Up

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

I'm excited to interview Rachel Singh, one of our runners-up in our Summer 2022 Flash Fiction contest. Before you read our interview, make sure you read her story Cosmos then come on back.

First, here's a bit about Rachel:

Rachel Singh is a writer who grew up in Florida and now lives in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from Emory University in 2020 with a BA in English & Creative Writing. She has written blog posts for The Atlanta History Center and news articles for Paste Magazine, and her fiction work has been published by WOW! and Still Point Arts Quarterly. More of her creative projects can be found on her website,, and you can also connect with her on Instagram at @rachelsinghsong. She is currently at work on a collection of short stories.

---- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: Congratulations on winning runner-up in our Summer 2022 Flash Fiction contest! You captured the rise and fall of a friendship perfectly in your story. What inspired this idea? 

Rachel: I started out with the contrasting definitions of the title word, “cosmos”—how this word can refer to a type of flower but also the stars, and how dissimilar these things are while sharing the same name. This led me to think about a bond in which I could parallel that relationship of stark similarities and differences, and I decided to project it onto a childhood friendship. I feel the relationships formed with people you grow up with are so weighted by all the things we don’t yet understand about ourselves, particularly in the case of this story, self-image, and cultural identity. 

WOW: What an interesting insight that really makes me think, actually. The themes that jumped out to me in this story were self-acceptance, identity, and social perception, especially when growing up. Were those the themes you intended to capture in this story? And do you commonly write along those topics? 

Rachel: These are exactly the themes that I was attempting to capture, so I am glad that it worked out! Previously, I have found discussing my identity in my writing was too difficult, but as I’ve gotten older, I have realized that these conversations matter most to me, and perhaps that was why it was harder to pin them down. Lately, I have started to incorporate storylines related to my relationship with my heritage into my work. 

WOW: I love how our writing changes as we get older. I saw you graduated from Emory University with a degree in English and Creative Writing. What lessons did you take away from creative writing courses that still remain with you? 

Rachel: I feel that I learned a lot about how to maintain writing as a vocation from my professors. Doing warm-ups, giving yourself writing prompts, and just keeping a journal are exercises I’ve taken from my writing courses to challenge myself creatively and keep writing as a daily habit. I feel that workshopping also made me more in tune with what is excess and what is essential to the story while editing. Most importantly, my professors stressed how the structure of workshop won’t be there forever, and it is the continuous commitment and practice of writing that really matters. 

WOW: Yes! Commitment means so much when it comes to writing. I'm so glad to see you with us again! What, if anything, has changed about you and your relationship with writing since we last spoke to you

Rachel: I am so glad to be back! I think that having my work published by WOW! expanded my confidence as a writer and has encouraged me to experiment with flash fiction more, which I was always intimidated by previously. I also believe that I have started to ask tougher questions of myself when writing, sending myself back into childhood and considering how certain experiences shaped me. I am so grateful for the opportunities that WOW! provides for creative output. 

WOW: Those are the kind of questions that help us evolve as a writer! You say in your bio you are working on a collection of short stories. How is that going? 

Rachel: Some days are more productive than others, but it is exciting to be working on stories that are in conversation with each other rather than a stand-alone piece. I would like for the themes to expound upon ones featured in “Cosmos,” and feature narrators that are grappling with similar struggles of perception as women of color in a world where we are constantly contorted by social and aesthetic expectations. What is most exciting about this project to me is the ability to ask recurring questions within each story, but present different characters who confront the same issues in myriad ways.

WOW: I can't wait to see your collection come out. Congratulations again and please do keep in touch!


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top