Interview with Terri Mullholland: Winter 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Third Place Winner

Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Terri’s Bio:
Terri Mullholland (she/her) is a writer and researcher living in London, UK. Her flash fiction has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Ellipsis Zine, Litro, Mercurious, and Toasted Cheese. Her pamphlet of hybrid pieces, Weather / Patterns was published by intergraphia books in October 2022. When not writing she can be found curled up with one of her many foster cats and a good book. To learn more about Terri visit her website: or follow her on Instagram: @terri_mullholland

If you haven't done so already, check out Terri's award-winning story "Say It with Roses" and then return here for a chat with the author. 

WOW: Congratulations on placing third in the Winter 2023 Flash Fiction Contest! What excited you most about writing this story? 

Terri: When I realised I could bring some humour into it, particularly when thinking about the unfortunate 'accidents' that befall the men and how Sally always just happens to be involved somehow. In the first draft it was quite a serious story about domestic violence, but I think difficult subjects often work better with a lighter touch. I was trying to think of how the women could signal that they needed help in a way that wouldn't be understood by the men involved. It needed to be something outside the house, which is when I thought of the roses. 

WOW: Thank you for the insight into your writing process. What did you learn about yourself or your writing while crafting this piece? 

Terri: Before this interview, I went back through my old notebook where I'd drafted the original story and I was surprised at how much of the overall structure was there in the first draft and how I added to it in layers as I thought through each element. The character of Sally, in particular, really developed and it was like getting to know a new friend – I ended up feeling a real warmth towards her. I learned that it is important to trust the process of a story evolving and not to try and rush it. 

WOW: Trust the process – important advice for writers of all levels and genres. How do you juggle your research writing and your creative writing? Do you find the two intersecting? 

Terri: In my research, I'm really interested in the women's forgotten stories and giving a voice to those who have slipped through the cracks in history, and I find this also influences my creative writing. I tend to write a lot of female characters and I've written several stories recently that have a close female community at the core. I try and make time every day for my creative writing, even if it is just a few sentences. If I don't write for a few days I start to feel a bit out of sorts and can't work out why! 

WOW: Yes, I’ve also found that when I have a regular writing practice, it’s so mentally and physically noticeable when that practice is broken or paused. What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it? 

Terri: I've just finished Kirsty Logan's collection of short stories Things We Say in the Dark, which is a fantastic collection of feminist retellings of fairy tales. It was a great read and so inspiring. 

WOW: I’d love to check that one out. Thanks for the recommendation! If you could give your younger self one piece of writing advice, what would it be and why? 

Terri: Don't wait for the time to be right to start writing, and definitely don't wait for the Muse to descend, just sit down with paper and pen and begin. The words will come. 

WOW: Great advice. Anything else you’d like to add? 

Terri: Thank you so much for your thoughtful questions. It has been such an honour being part of the WOW! community of women writers. 

WOW: Thank you for sharing your story and your inspiring responses with us. Happy writing! 

Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, founder and editor-in-chief of Sport Stories Press, which publishes sports books by, for, and about sportswomen and amateur athletes and offers developmental editing and ghostwriting services to partially fund the press. Connect on Twitter @greenmachine459.


Renee Roberson said...

Terri, I really enjoyed reading your story and loved the theme and way you executed it so succinctly. Congratulations again!

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