Clare enjoys collaborating and trying new things. She has had short stories, poetry, flash and children’s fiction published and comes with a useful cross form understanding. She sees judging Hysteria 2015 as a chance to commit to reading lots of new writing and to gain a new, very useful skill.
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
I used to have a milk phobia
Are the names of your characters important to you?
I think that names are crucial. Having the wrong name really nags away until you find the one that sits well with the story and allows the character to speak truly in my experience. Names and how they alter our perceptions, expectations and empathy is generally a really fascinating area.
Do you think there is any elitism attached to the different genres of books, both in the fiction and non-fiction worlds?
Yes, elitism exists, particularly in relation to writing by women. Men could write about certain subjects and it would be seen as literary fiction but from a woman it may be labelled differently. Ultimately the labels are there for marketing purposes but this does feed into the idea that some kinds of writing are more intellectually worthy than others. This also applies to use of national or regional dialect within writing I think (luckily for me the Hysteria 3 judges didn’t discriminate against use of dialect!). Personally I read broadly and ignore the labels as much as possible.
Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?
I’ve been told I look like Imelda Staunton playing Vera Drake, Emily Watson and Janis Joplin so I’m not sure who would play me. In an ideal, imaginary world Isabelle Huppert or Julieanne Moore….although I’d probably want to play myself!
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Write what you need to write and don’t be influenced by elitist or market influences.
Finding Clare Archibald
You can also meet Clare on Twitter by the name of @Archieislander.