Short Story Competition 2016 | An interview with Steven O’Brien

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Attention all entrants! With only a month until our Short Story Competition 2016 closes, we spoke to our editor, Steven O’Brien, for some tips on how to write a good short story and advice on how to make your entries stand out!

What are you currently reading?

The Old Ways by Robert MacFarlane and The Beast by Paul Kingsnorth. Both deeply English narratives.

What is your favourite short story and why?

The Dead by James Joyce, for its’ sweep, symbolism and epiphany.

Which writer’s work can you always rely on to inspire your creative process?

Robert Holdstock.

If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only take three books, which three would you take?

The Wild Places by Robert MacFarlane, The Four Men by Hilaire Belloc and Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.

What advice can you give entrants to the Short Story Competition 2016?

Keep it tight, crisp and inventive. Let economy be your watchword – you don’t necessarily have to write to the word limit.