Interview with Naomi Stevens: Summer 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Runner Up

Tuesday, February 06, 2024
Naomi’s Bio:
Nearly 79, Naomi is a great-grandmother who practices and teaches Astrology and Tarot. 

Having written for most of her life, she is thrilled to be short-listed in a WOW flash fiction competition and enjoys composing other short stories. Longer work in progress includes a memoir, a spiritual time travel novel (based on a personal experience) and a SciFi trilogy. She collects friends and holds an annual event to keep in touch with as many as possible. Her knowledge of all office procedures and her experience as a computer applications instructor, made it possible for her to self publish her book Understanding Your Birth Chart (A Beginner’s Guide to Astrology) which uses colour and imagery to simplify learning. 

Naomi has been published in newspapers and magazines, created computer training courseware and has written a short play for group production. Her proof-reading assignments include Jennifer Worth’s Call The Midwife. She had a regular column in Herts Lifestyle (Naomi in the Know) and from February 2015 to 2020, wrote, edited and produced monthly newsletters and bulletins for a local, not-for-profit group. 

She lives with her husband and 193/4 year old cat and her website is

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

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

Naomi: Picturing the action and hoping I managed to portray what was happening in the household. 

WOW: What did you learn about yourself or your writing while crafting this piece? 

Naomi: I discovered I work best when given limitations such as word count or submission dates. 

WOW: Isn’t it amazing how writing restrictions can somehow be so freeing? Your “spiritual time travel novel” sounds intriguing and in line with your interest in Astrology and Tarot. Can you tell us more about the novel? 

Naomi: The foreword to this novel covers a regression I experienced during Cranial Sacral Therapy. The events I witnessed during the regression are the first chapter. I don’t know if the remaining events in the following chapters actually happened, but within them, my present day me gets to communicate with the people in my past life. 

WOW: What an interesting concept! I hope you enjoy wherever the writing process takes you. What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it? 

Naomi: Right now, I’m inundated with a combination of voluntary work and making calendars to send to friends and relatives (something I’ve been doing for many years) so my reading material is magazines with articles and short stories. The last novel I read was The Way Back Home by Freya North. I love the emotion of her writing, and this was the third book of hers I’d read in succession. 

WOW: It’s such a wonderful feeling when you connect with a writer who inspires you like that. If you could give your younger self one piece of writing advice, what would it be and why? 

Naomi: Don’t let negative comments from others influence what you write. An anti-Semitic headmistress at my grammar school made me believe my stories were rubbish. 

WOW: That’s great advice, and I’m so glad you were able to overcome the negative comments you received! That’s such a challenge. Anything else you’d like to add? 

Naomi: I belong to two writing groups, one online, the other in person. Both have given me the confidence to go in for competitions. Being long-listed, then short-listed in your Summer ’23 Flash Fiction Contest, has given my confidence a tremendous boost. I intend to revisit my two previous WOW entries and make changes according to the critiques I received for them and then to resubmit them in the hope of repeating my Feed the Beast success. 

WOW: Excellent! Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughtful 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.


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