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'An accidental short story writer'

28 August 2023

‘I think I'm a bit of an accidental short story writer. Most of my education took place in the US and my desire to write really crystallised while I was over there doing a BA. At the time I studied, the model I absorbed for a writing career was that you hone your craft learning the art of the short story and then you, effectively, graduate to writing novels...

What I like about short stories is that they offer infinite possibilities for play. Experimentation in a novel can get exhausting, but the brevity of the short form means you can attempt some zany things and not overstay your welcome in your readers' heads. That's kind of how they function for me: as playgrounds and laboratories to try things out, test ideas, discover answers I didn't expect, and explore.'

Malachi McIntosh, former editor of the magazine Wasafiri, whose first collection of stories, Parables, Fables, Nightmares is published by The Emma Press in September, in the Bookseller.