Joanna writes short stories and flash fiction. Her work has been published in magazines and anthologies. And also has been translated for European audiences. She won a short story category for the City Lit’s annual ‘Between the Lines’ publication. She has had work published by English PEN and organised multi-translation of poems from the Chinese as part of an international human rights project. She created TubeFlash in association with Transport for London, pairing London Underground stations with Brooches and inviting writers to produce Flash Fiction stories inspired by either the station or the brooch resulting in a diverse and imaginative anthology of work. As part of National Short Story Week she has run ‘Telling Tales & Taking Tea’ events to promote short story reading in a number of venues in her local area. She runs The Casket of Fictional Delights an online literary website that showcases short stories and flash fiction by writers from across the globe. Many of the short stories are recorded as audio Storycasts and published on iTunes as podcasts.
Joanna Sterling in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?2004
What do you love about Short Stories?Short stories allow you to dip in and out of characters’ lives, create new characters, play with them and discard them if they don’t work.
Do you write in other forms?I write flash fiction, I enjoy the discipline involved in minimal word counts and I’m working on a novel.
What distracts you from writing?Everything and anything.
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?When I’m not writing I’m antique hunting especially vintage jewellery. I have an ever growing collection of brooches, but I’m a magpie and will buy things that are unusual and catch my eye. I’m also a keen gardener and use the time I spend messing about in my garden as my thinking time.
What is your favourite book?My favourite series of books has to be the Mapp & Lucia novels by EF Benson, his observation of upper middle class society in small town 1930s cannot be surpassed. Each time I read them I’m transported back completely and am totally absorbed in their petty rivalries and crises.
Who are your favourite writers?I like the classics so it has to be Jane Austen, Anthony & Fanny Trollope but I also like Mary Wesle, and
Where is your dream location?A secluded garden seat with a cup of tea.
What one item would you put into Room 101?Polystyrene, I don’t like it when food comes in it, makes the food taste dreadful, I don’t like it when used as a packing material, there are other better options. Worst of all it can’t be recycled.
Do you have any advice for new writers?Stick to one point of view, in a short story with limited words there is not the space to introduce a second view point. It will distract and may well confuse the reader.
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