Melissa Herman's story, "In the Name of Love," won 3rd place in our Fall 2006 Flash Fiction Contest. And if you read the story, you can see that Melissa had such a unique take on our prompt that we had to ask her about the inspiration behind it. Here's what Melissa had to say:
WOW: Melissa, what inspired you to write, In the Name of Love?
MH: I am a horror writer so most of my fiction tends toward the darker side of human nature. It was a challenge to turn such an innocent object- a cheerleader's pom pom- into something less than pure. I knew I needed a strong woman who could handle this bizarre situation. I was really quite excited and proud of the finished product.
WOW: As you should be. Your piece was riveting! It seems like you've done this before... have you entered many writing competitions?
MH: I have entered several writing contests over the past couple of years. I've entered the Writer's Digest competitions- both the short story and the new genre contest. I also research the Web looking for contests that focus on the horror genre like the Bards and Sages contest. There are several sites that I use which is how I found out about WOW as well.
WOW: That's great. We love the support from our sister sites. They all help us to get the best possible entrants for our contest, such as yourself. Which reminds me... you have quite an impressive resume, from your work with NPR, MSNBC, and The Chicago Tribune. Can you tell our readers what kind of work you did for them?
MH: I submitted an essay, "One Day in February," to the National Endowment for the Arts project Operation Homecoming. Though my piece was not published in their anthology, my piece was used frequently to promote the project. I read a portion of it on NPR and it was published on their Web site. The Chicago Tribune and MSNBC also published it. This summer I went to LA to participate in a documentary about the project as well.
WOW: Congratulations! That's quite an accomplishment, as is winning our contest. Can you tell us how the experience of entering WOW! Fall 2006 Flash Fiction has been for you?
MH: I enjoyed being part of this contest. The prompt was fun and writing flash fiction was a great challenge. Being a quarterly contest, the wait is negligible and you ladies kept us well-informed of the process. Not to mention, WOW is a great opportunity for women to have their work recognized by their peers. It's a great community!
WOW: Thanks Melissa for the kudos, and we wish you the best of luck in your writing career. Hopefully, we will have you back soon to freelance for WOW!
If you haven't read Melissa's entry yet, check it out here: http://wow-womenonwriting.com/5-fallcontestwinners.php