Getting into writing – an interview with Hannah Persaud

Hannah Persaud

Hannah has been writing fiction for three years, and short stories are her guilty pleasure whilst editing her first novel. She recently won the InkTears Short Story Contest and was shortlisted for the Cambridge Short Story Prize. She won the Fresher Writing Prize in 2016 and has been published in numerous places. Hannah is represented by Laura Macdougall of United Agents and hopes to introduce her novel to the world very soon.

What got you interested in writing?

Reading got me into writing. I have been an avid reader since I was four years old. Born to two English teachers, books were part of the fabric of my childhood. In my teens I wrote a lot of tormented poetry but then various life events took over and I didn’t write any fiction again until three years ago, spurred on by my parents who had joined a writing group. I did an introductory writing course with Faber and fell in love. The rest is history.

Tell us a little about your chosen genre.

I don’t have a specific genre that I stick to – I have written horror, romance, sci-fi and ghost stories. The only genre that I don’t have much interest in writing is fantasy. I think that if a story is well written it shouldn’t need to be labelled and am heartened to see an increasing range of cross-genre fiction making its way to the book shelves.

What are your happiest memories in your writing career?

There are so many that I can’t count them, but the two biggest highlights so far have to be winning the InkTears Short Story Contest recently, and being offered representation by my agent Laura Macdougall (of United Agents).

How do you handle success and failure?

When facing rejection I mope for a few hours and then focus on sending those words out again somewhere else, or writing something new. New ideas for stories always cheer me up.  I celebrate success with sparkles J

What makes you write when you’re exhausted and your fingers ache?


What is your advice to young and new writers?

Spend more time writing than thinking about writing. Read widely. Share your work with others and be brave enough to ask for feedback. When you’re happy with it, submit it somewhere. There are loads of competitions and literary journals both online and off. And remember that all reading is subjective, so when you get rejected, don’t take it personally. What is a good fit for one reader will be a mismatch for someone else. Get on twitter – the writing community on there is amazing, and writing can be a solitary pastime. Also, there are many amazing writers on twitter and it’s a great place to read their work.

Are you a traditionalist or a digital? (paper or eBook)

Traditionalist. Though I do have a kindle now that I use for editing, it helps me to read my work in a different format.

Do you blog?

Not really.

Do you self-publish?


If you have a publication or promotion – tell us.

At the moment I am focused on final edits for my novel, which my agent and I are hoping to submit to publishers soon. I started writing the novel a year ago, so am very excited to send it out into the world.

Ellipsis Zine recently published a short story of mine here –

and you can read my story Cyfannedd Fach that won the InkTears Short Story Contest here


Here is the interview I did with InkTears and I am delighted to have been asked to be a judge for their next competition

I tweet from here @Hpersaud and my website is


Thanks very much for being interested in learning more about me!

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