Getting into writing – an interview with Marie Gethins

Marie Gethins

Dear Zero Flash

Thanks so much for asking for a few of my thoughts, such as they are, on writing. Flash is one of my favourite genres.

What got you interested in writing/publishing?

While I always enjoyed writing, but I suppose I first thought about it seriously when I did my BA in English and I moved from there to medical writing and travel journalism. A dear friend nudged me into fiction in 2011. While I’ve always been a voracious reader, writing fiction seemed a very scary prospect until he pushed me into trying it.

What are your happiest memories in your writing career?

I think we all need validation to keep us going. Sharing any success with those few, die-hard supporters that have been there throughout the journey is always a joy. It is equally exciting to hear their triumphs and to be with them at their important moments—readings, receiving awards, etc.

How do you handle success and failure?

Anyone working in the arts is secretly masochistic. Rejection is a part of the artistic life. Also, I find that things tend to run in spurts, both the lows and the highs. Having a good support group around during the lows to remind you of the highs is important.

One social media aspect that continues to surprise and enrich me is the amazing generosity of the Twitterati, especially the flash community on Twitter. They are stalwart champions of every success and swift to provide encouragement. I’ve met so many virtual flash friends via Twitter. It’s also a great space to find new flash to read.

Advice/Tips

Find what works for you and have the confidence to stick with it.

Marie Geth­ins’ work has fea­tured in The Irish Times, 2014/15/16/17 National Flash Fiction Day Anthologies, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, NANO, Litro, The Lonely Crowd, Wales Arts Review, The Incubator, Firewords Quarterly and others. She won or placed in the British Screenwriters Awards, Dorset Fiction Award, The Short Story, Tethered by Letters, Flash500, Drom­i­neer, The New Writer, Prick of the Spindle and 99fiction.net. Other pieces listed in The London Magazine, Australian Book Review, Boulevard Emerging Writers, Bath Short Story Award, Bristol Short Story Prize, Brighton Prize, Fish Short Story/Flash/Memoir, RTE/Penguin com­pe­ti­tions and others. Marie is a Pushcart, Best of the Short Fictions nominee and a recipient of the 2016 Frank O’Connor Bursary mentorship under Zsuzsi Gartner. She lives in Cork, Ireland and has a Master of Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford.

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