“Understanding and release”: An Interview With Guest Reader Myfanwy Collins

by Shasta Grant See all Guest Readers
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What themes do you find yourself frequently writing about? What themes are you drawn to when reading?

I frequently write about approaching the world from a place of trauma. When I’m reading I’m not drawn to themes so much as I am drawn to the writer’s vulnerability.

Where do you get your story ideas?

Usually I get my ideas from words or phrases that pop into my head. Sometimes ideas will come to me as I’m writing in my journal. Rarely (perhaps even never?) have I had a fully-fledged idea roll out of me. I start with whatever comes to me and see where it goes.

What do you think makes a good story? What could a writer do to make you keep reading? What is something that might make you stop reading?

What makes a good story is the writer’s ability to be vulnerable and not hold back out of fear. A story that begins without too much throat clearing or attempts at cleverness keep me reading. Cliched themes and phrases would stop me from reading.

What kind of story would you love to see in the queue this week?

The best piece of flash fiction I know is not actually flash fiction. Instead, it’s the final paragraphs of James Joyce’s “The Dead.” The entire story rests in those moments and those moments are the entire story. I would love to see something like that–a piece of writing that captures a pivotal moment which brings the reader to a moment of understanding and release.


About the Reader:

Myfanwy Collins lives in West Newbury, MA. She is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories. She works for a software company that works with publishers and she is on the steering committee of the Newburyport Literary Festival. She wrote her Master's Thesis on Flash Fiction. For more information, please visit her at www.myfanwycollins.com

About the Interviewer:

Shasta Grant is the author of the chapbook Gather Us Up and Bring Us Home (Split Lip Press, 2017). She was the 2016 SmokeLong Quarterly Kathy Fish Fellow and she won the 2015 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, matchbook, MonkeyBicyclewigleaf, and elsewhere.