Write By The Sea caught up recently with our 2022 Flash Fiction prize winner Pierre Perera to find out about his winning experience. His story is very encouraging, particularly for writers who may be coy about entering writing competitions. As well as winning in his category of Flash Fiction, Pierre won our best overall writing prize for 2022. So take your lead from Pierre and send us your Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Poetry or Memoir/Personal Essays. The closing date is 4th June so enter soon.
Pierre Perera: I discovered Write By The Sea through a writers Facebook group. I had been writing for several years and at the time had only sent out a couple of pieces with little success, so you can imagine the pleasant surprise I experienced when I received the email saying I had been chosen as the Flash Fiction category winner!
I feel that flash gives an opportunity to create brief windows into new places, and I’m thankful to the WBTS Festival for including this form in their competition. It’s not every day someone supports you for writing about a news interview at the end of the world.
The piece I entered was one that came to me quite out of the blue, the title first and then the story, which is the complete opposite of how it normally turns out, with me sweating and straining to find a couple of words which sum up the thing I’ve just written. I could say a lot about concerns about the global situation and anxieties about climates both political and environmental, but I think what inspired me most was people reaching out. That’s something we can all understand.
Reading at the festival was a strange experience for me; I’ve never had to give a reading to such a big audience, let alone via Zoom! Whilst I was sad not to be there in person, it was amazing to hear the other winners’ pieces, their different styles and stories, the way they crafted words and worlds I couldn’t begin to imagine. And it was equally as amazing when, a few weeks later, I received a hand-carved trophy in the post – the one I hadn’t been able to see on the day due to a webcam malfunction!
The Write By The Sea 2022 competition was the first writing contest I ever placed in, let alone won, and the trophy will always have pride of place on my desk. So don’t be afraid to enter, you never know where your writing may take you!