Interview with Lynn Aprill, Runner Up in the WOW! Winter 2023 Flash Fiction Contest

Tuesday, July 25, 2023


Award-winning writer and educator, Lynn Aprill’s work has appeared recently in Copperfield Review Quarterly, Bramble, Willows Wept Review, and others. Channeling Matriarchs, her first chapbook with Finishing Line Press, was published in August 2021. She is ridiculously excited to retire in 2023 and begin her MFA program through Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. She resides with her husband and various dogs on 40 acres in Northeast Wisconsin. Her work can be found at


----------Interview by Renee Roberson 

WOW: I always love to hear where other writers get their ideas. Could you share what inspired the idea behind “It’s Time?” 

Lynn: I was taking a historical flash prose workshop with author Rebecca Meacham through Write On Door County this spring. Our assignment was to find a prompt as inspiration to craft one historical flash prose piece of 300-1000 words and bring it to the next class. As a former history teacher, I’ve always been fascinated with the Civil War era, and I stumbled upon a brief paragraph about an unnamed New Jersey woman who enlisted as a man and fought in the Civil War. She was injured in battle and promoted twice before her identity was discovered when she went into labor while on picket duty after the Battle of Fredericksburg. Using this brief description, I created the characters of Frannie and Will and the scene leading to her discovery. 

WOW: You’ve published a poetry chapbook titled “Channeling Matriarchs,” which one reviewer described in this way: “In the patriarchal society of the Bible, chances for a woman to be remembered at all depended largely on the fame of husband, father, brother. Through line, phrase, or sometimes single words, Lynn Aprill subtly reveals the feelings, thoughts, motives of 16 named or nameless women, giving them a life of their own.” What was the process of exploring and expanding on this very nuanced topic like for you as a writer? 

Lynn: I was raised in the Lutheran faith, so Christian Bible stories were part of my upbringing. As I grew older, I began to question the patriarchal point of view portrayed in the Bible and the lack of authentic female voices. My writing process included reading Genesis: A Living Conversation by Bill Moyers and The Harlot by the Side of the Road by Jonathan Kirsch, along with versions of these women’s stories found in other religious traditions (primarily the Hebrew Bible). After researching a particular woman through these resources, I would try to imagine her lived experience and capture her voice in a poem. It truly felt like channeling these significant female characters of Biblical tradition! 

WOW: Having initially focused on poetry in your creative writing, what drew you to the flash fiction genre? 

Lynn: Having taught high school English and history for 27 years, I have dabbled in all types of creative writing, as I think many English teachers do. Poetry and flash fiction have a lot in common, so it’s not a huge leap from one genre to the other. Flash fiction allows me to spend some time fleshing out characters and doing more with dialogue and storytelling than poetry does, so I really enjoy being able to make use of multiple genres depending on my focus. I’ve really fallen in love with the characters in “It’s Time,” so I may be working on expanding it into a longer piece in the future. 

WOW: On your website bio you mention the excitement over ordering books through Scholastic when you were a student. What were some of the book series you were hooked on back then? 

Lynn: Gosh, so many! I remember getting all of the Little House books in elementary school. I ordered every Encyclopedia Brown book I could find, which has led to a lifetime love of mystery and detective stories. The first poetry book I owned was called “There’s a Rocket in my Pocket.” During the summers, we would order the subscription to Scholastic’s Dynamite magazine, which my sister and I would read and reread all summer long. I’m so thankful that my mom encouraged literacy in our household. 

WOW: Besides beginning an MFA program, what other things are you looking forward to in retirement? 

 Lynn: I was accepted into the Billy Collins workshop at the Southampton Writers Conference this month, so meeting and learning from Billy Collins is immediately ticking a big bucket list item for me. I’m obsessed with genealogy, so that is another project I’ll continue to work on in retirement, along with traveling to places connected to my family history. Mostly, I’m looking forward to just sitting and enjoying my own backyard!

WOW: We appreciate you being here today, Lynn! Congratulations again and we hope you have a fabulous time at the Southampton Writers Conference.


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