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INTERVIEW WITH MYNA CHANG, 1ST PLACE WINNER OF OUR SPRING 2021 FLASH FICTION CONTEST


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Myna Chang writes flash and micro. Her work has been selected for Best Small Fictions, Fractured Lit, X-R-A-Y Lit Mag, and The Citron Review, among others. She has been nominated for Best Microfiction, longlisted for the Wigleaf Top 50, and named a finalist for the New Millennium Writing Award. She is the winner of the 2020 Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction. Myna lives in Potomac, Maryland with her family. Read more at MynaChang.com or @MynaChang.

interview by Marcia Peterson

WOW: Congratulations on winning first place in our Spring 2021 Flash Fiction competition! Can you tell us what encouraged the idea behind your story, “An Alternate Theory Regarding Natural Disasters, as Posited by the Teenage Girls of Clove County, Kansas?” Such a great title!

Myna: I started this story in one of Tommy Dean’s “Flash Perspectives” workshops. My goal was to encapsulate an entire year or era in a way that only the main characters could see. The prompt reminded me of the summer a devastating hailstorm wiped out most of the wheat in my rural county and how that changed everything for all of us.

WOW: What key elements do you think make a great piece of flash fiction?

Myna: My favorite flash stories invite the reader into the piece, almost in collaboration with the writer. I love the way some stories stick with me, leaving me to ponder the various layers and meanings that are revealed with a close read. In those pieces, the information that is left unsaid is, perhaps, more important than what is included.

WOW: Can you tell us what projects are you currently working on? What can we plan on seeing from you in the future?

Myna: I’ve written several flash and micro stories set in the shortgrass prairie region of the US. I’d like to organize a collection of these stories, but first I have to write a few more to fill in the gaps. I’m also reading for two great publications, Uncharted Magazine and Janus Literary, and managing a speculative fiction discussion group.

WOW: On your website, you joke that you are “powered by coffee and donuts.” So we’d love to know what are your favorite kind of donuts and coffee drinks?

Myna: I wish I could tell you my favorite donuts were the ones my grandmother made when I was little, but honestly, they weren’t very good. My preference is a plain glazed donut with a huge cup of strong black coffee.

WOW: Simple is often best (though I can't make myself do black coffee, unfortunately!). Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Myna. Before you go, do you have a favorite writing tip or piece of advice you can share?

Myna: Connecting with others in the literary community has helped me more than anything else. A writing partner, critique group, or network of flash folks on Twitter can give you a boost of energy and help you stay motivated. The best part is meeting other writers because writers are fun!

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For more information about our quarterly Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Essay contests, visit our contest page here.

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