The Oldest Street in England, Wells, Somerset.
I received a phonecall during the week to tell me that I’d been short-listed for the Wells Literary Festival Short Story Award. I was shortlisted for the same last year, and though I didn’t win, I had a very groovy time down in Wells. Definitely worth a detour if you ever get the chance.
I’m often asked what ‘kind’ of writer I am. The truth is, I don’t see myself as a ‘novelist’ or a ‘short story writer’, ‘playwright’ or a ‘poet’. I see myself as a writer and believe that a writer should be able to (at least) try all written forms.
I write and enter short story competitions for the following reasons and it is good for me to have this list at hand – in case I ever question myself.
a) Being shortlisted encourages and motivates – when such stuff is difficult to come by in the writer’s life.
b) I can get published in literary magazines.
c) Money, if I win.
d) It keeps me on my toes and hones and polishes my craft.
e) By writing stories I build up a portfolio – ready to go in case I’m ever offered a collection.
f) It gives me an edge when applying for bursaries, residencies, funding etc..
g) It might bring the attention of publishers.
h) Short stories are something I can work on when time is limited.
i) An agent once told me that it is important to build up your writing ‘credits’.
j) Agents are human and sometimes don’t trust their own judgement, so wins and commendations give you that ‘seal of approval’/credibility.
k) Short story writing is a better displacement activity than making a cup of tea.
M) Having good writing credits help when applying for writing jobs.
p) Writing short stories reminds me that I’m a writer.
From Ireland, Sue Healy is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre, London, a full-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. Her book on theatre literary management is published by Routledge, December 2022.
Sue is an award-winning writer for stage, TV, and prose writer.
Her current project, a 6x60minute TV series, is under option. She is under commission with Lone Wolf Media, producers behind PBS’ “Mercy Street”, to co-write the pilot and treatment for a six-part TV series.
Her most recent stage-play, Imaginationship (2018), enjoyed a sold out, extended run at the Finborough and later showed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Her previous stage productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s short plays have been performed at the Criterion (Criterion New Writing Showcase), Arcola (The Miniaturists) and Hackney Attic (Fizzy Sherbet Shorts).
Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm.
Sue has won The Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award, Meridian Prize and has been published in nine literary journals and anthologies including: The Moth, Flight, Tainted Innocence, New Writer, Duality, HISSAC, New European Writers. She has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from annual artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy.
An academic with a PhD in modern theatre history, specifically the Royal Court Theatre, Sue has presented her research internationally. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She has a PhD in modern theatre history (Royal Court Theatre) and is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumnus.
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September 21st, 2012 at 16:01
Congrats, Sue, on being short listed. May I ask if you have or ever had an agent.
September 22nd, 2012 at 09:23
Congrats Sue you’re a writer!Oh wait you’ve been a writer all along.Love yeah,can’t get enough of yeah.Muuuuuahhhh (My vain attempt at a kiss.)
September 24th, 2012 at 14:55
Nice… being recognized as a writer. I love the photo and believe it has been in movies, if I am not mistaken.
September 24th, 2012 at 18:57
I admire your persistence and professionalism!