Walk, Listen, Create

Sue Dawes has had one story longlisted and one shortlisted in the WLC flash fiction competition, ‘Walking Home’. The first, ‘Home is where the heart is buried‘ was originally a much longer prose poem about loss and remembrance. The inspiration for the second story, which has been shortlisted: ‘Unpicking the thread‘ (which will appear in a chapbook) came from a workshop led by EL Rhodes. The exercise involved writing about a walk and incorporating random words given during the writing process. This was a great way of changing the direction of the story, and thinking about unusual ways to use the random words as descriptions. Not all of the words ended up in the final draft but they certainly shaped it.

Failed Haiku

After a Haiku workshop, led by Tim Gardiner, at her community writing group Colchester Writenight, Sue started to write some senryū*, hoping to use them in the novel she’s writing. For this haibun published in Failed Haiku, she coupled senryū with short prose.

*A senryū is a Japanese short poetry form, often consisting of 17 syllables written over three lines, and is quite similar to a haiku, except it tends to focus on the human condition rather than nature.

Flash Flood 2021

This little re-told fairy tale by Sue Dawes appeared in Flash Flood, which is a yearly online publication, comprising of flash fiction stories posted every ten minutes throughout National Flash Fiction Day (24 hours). This year it was the 26th June. The word limit was 300 words, and it was a challenge to balance the original tale with a twist.

Janus Literary Anthology

Spring 2021Janus Literary Story Prize Anthology Cover photo

Credit: “In Peril” by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1879) (Public Domain)

Sue’s story Salt tears was recently published by Janus Literary, in their Spring anthology, which can be accessed here. The idea for the story came from an exercise, penned over ten years ago. Sue used the deadline to rewrite the story, which she felt had been missing something. The theme ‘the dark, wild sea’ meant there were no barriers to how deep and dark she could go.

Language Evolves

Sue recently won the ‘Language evolves’ speculative short story competition, hosted by Cardiff University. It wasn’t just a matter of creating a story but also imagining how humans learned to speak.  Cardiff offered some free workshops with links to papers written about the subject to spark ideas. Sue wrote about olfactory communication, imagining what it must be like for an outsider, with this dominant form of communication, to view our society.

More information can be accessed here

The story will appear in the Summer issue of the New Welsh review

Winter Chill Anthology


Sue Dawes’ flash fiction ‘The Undertaking’ has now been published in the Museum of Walking’s Winter Chill anthology.   The idea for ‘The Undertaking’ came after Sue read a fascinating internet article about the life of a mortician, which then led to further research and the question: ‘What if?’ which is always a great place to start a story. It began as a much longer piece about a man who could only find love in death and was then reduced to flash fiction.  The challenge was balancing the uncomfortable description of the studio and mortuary procedures, whilst leaving enough details of the crime for it to work.