On Tuesday, we published the winner of our September Selects Sudden Stories category: “The Woman in the Tree” by Lisa Beebe! First, read this terrific winner, then get to know the writer herself below in this submitter spotlight!
Congratulations on winning in our first September Selects series! Do you often work with short forms or do you prefer longer fiction?
I’m interested in both. I’ve written short fiction for many years, and I have a few YA novel drafts in various stages of completion. I’m currently querying agents with a middle grade novel I’m really excited about.
What does your writing process look like? We’re always interested in the different approaches to drafting and editing.
My writing process is pretty messy, and it changes depending on my mood. I use a notes app on my phone as a journal, and I tend to write whatever’s in my head. Sometimes, an entry turns into the rough draft of a story. I also use paper notebooks and flowy-ink pens, because I like making little drawings and sketches as I write. I read Lynda Barry’s book Syllabus a few years ago and found it really inspiring. She makes the creative process feel so playful.
Who are the writers who’ve been on your brain recently?
It’s been ages since I read it, but this week, I was thinking about Ben Loory’s story “The Duck.” It’s about a duck who’s in love with a rock, and toward the end, the duck throws the rock off a cliff. There’s a lot more to it—the story is very emotional. I think it popped into my head because the process of querying literary agents is so intense. Anytime I submit a piece of writing, it feels like I’m throwing something I love off a cliff and watching to see what happens.
What are you working on now? Any exciting projects you can’t put down?
I think any writer who spends enough time in Los Angeles eventually feels the urge to write a screenplay. After thirteen years here, I recently started outlining a comedy/horror feature. I can’t really watch horror movies, because I’m afraid of everything, so this takes me way outside of my comfort zone as a writer. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.