Updated: Sep 17, 2022
Hi Theresa, Thank you for taking time to talk with me about your writing experience. You and I met at a writing workshop many years ago.
1. What drew you to writing flash fiction? What other styles have you worked on or are curious about?
I’ve always been drawn to short stories; I was intrigued when I discovered flash fiction and saw how a story could still be conveyed but in fewer words (e. g. 1000 words or less). Much of what I learned and liked about flash fiction is that the story is revealed more by what isn’t said. Most of my writing was flash fiction for 4-5 years. It was during the latter part of that time when my writing interests turned to hybrid forms of writing/genres. I discovered the Best American Experimental Writing anthologies and was amazed to see the degree of unconventional forms. These days, my writing interests lean more toward the personal essay and exploring how to intersect memoir and journalism.
2. What are you working on now? Do you have any other projects in the works that you’re excited about and want to discuss? What styles are you interested in learning?
Until recently, I hadn’t written much for two years. I had ideas running through my mind but couldn’t get motivated to write. It feels good to be writing now; I’m processing a series of unexpected events. This writing is happening when I’m breaking through several strongholds. I’m not sure where this writing will lead, but I hope to extract threads that help to convey something universal for any potential audience.
3. Where do you draw your ideas from? What inspires you?
Ideas that I’ve used in my writing have come from observations and interactions in day-to-day life, especially through my professional work. I work in a correctional facility and manage a variety of educational programs. Working with incarcerated individuals is such an eye-opening experience because it shows how complex the human condition is. I’ve never written directly about any particular individual in the facility; instead, I look at how their experiences represent something more universal. It’s those discoveries that have shown up in my writing.
4. What can you share about online publishing that you learned from your experience? Talk about your process in deciding when a piece is ready to be published?
Publishing in online journals requires a lot of research to become familiar with what those journals are looking for. I’ve yet to come across any magic formula for knowing when a piece is ready for publication. It comes down to what I intend to accomplish with my writing. Lately any writing I do related to publishing needs to resonate with my readers and help foster a sense of community.
Theresa Dozier was born in Washington, DC and has lived most of her life in Maryland, except for a brief hiatus on the Gulf Coast. In her thirty-three years of public service and has been managing educational programs in a correctional facility for the last 12 years. Theresa has also worn the hat of Adjunct Associate Professor of Writing for the last fifteen years and enjoys helping students discover new ways to sharpen their writing skills. These days, Theresa’s writing aims to explore ways to intersect memoir and journalism.
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything.” — Vincent Van Gogh
—Post written by © Amanda L. Mottorn, 2022, author of Finding Moksha: One Woman’s Path in Uncertain Times and Artist at Modern Moksha Designs & Publishing.