Meeting Sal Page – Hysteria 2015 Judge
Sal has a Creative Writing MA from Lancaster University and has been placed in several competitions and short- and long- listed in many more. In 20011 she won the Calderdale Short Story Prize and in 2013 the Greenacre Writers Short Story Competition. Sal has had published in various places. In print; The National Flash Fiction Day Anthologies 2012 and 2014, Jawbreakers and Eating My Words, Greenacre Writers Anthology Volumes 1 & 3, Stories for Homes and The Flash Dogs Anthology. Online; 330Words, Paragraph Planet, The Pygmy Giant and The Angry Hourglass.
She has written two novels, the second of which is now being submitted to agents.
Having entered many writing competitions over the past decade and a half she is intrigued by the idea of finding out about the judging side of them
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
Although my life is all about writing and cooking – I work as a nursery cook in the mornings – if I get another go around I’d like to be a jewellery designer who rock climbs at the weekends. Or a ukulele-playing high jump champion. Or an ice-sculpting stand-up comedian. Or a show-jumping chocolatier. Or a tap-dancing breeder of parrots. You get the idea.
How did you choose a title for your book?
Over ten years ago, while working in the worst job I ever had, I often referred to the boss as ‘Queen of the World’. I reclaimed this from the bad memories and made it positive in my first (as yet unpublished) novel, creating the character of Marjorie Queen, a woman who believes she can control the weather. From the very start ‘Queen of the World’ was the obvious title.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
- Choosing who-plays-who in the film of whatever you’re writing really helps to picture a character; their facial expressions and the way they stand, move and speak.
- Don’t worry too much about chapter one or paragraph one. Start wherever you like.
- Don’t wonder where others get their ideas from. Ideas are everywhere.
- Anything that is particularly funny, sad, interesting, intriguing or unusual. Those things you want to tell your best friend about. All writing fodder. Learn to recognise them. Think them through. Turn them on their heads. Pair them up. Make them live through your voice.
- Write loads, edit everything to within an inch of its life, submit to as many places as you can, embrace the rejections because they prove you dared to try, don’t ever give up, make up your own rules and above all, ENJOY!
Do you have any favourite resources you would like to share with our readers?
Twitter. I suppose it is really the doorway to all other writing resources.
When I joined over five years ago, I’d just finished my MA and wondered whether I would carry on with my writing. Despite being a great way of wasting time, Twitter brings me masses of information on competitions and other submission opportunities, more writing advice than I could ever have time to read & lots of like-minded people to chat to. The writing community of Twitter are extremely supportive of each other. If you tweet about getting something published or being placed in a competition, there will be people congratulating and retweeting you. And meeting someone in the flesh that you’ve known for ages on Twitter is a strange and special experience.
When I started writing in 1986, if someone had told me that I would be talking to other writers across the country and the rest of the world with such ease I would not have believed them. For future generations all this will seem normal but for me it is miraculous.
What is your favourite TV moment of all time?
The moment of realising that the BBC’s mockumentary, Ghostwatch – first aired 31st October 1992 – was fictional not factual. I think I was about half way through when I began to suspect. Very cleverly done though. I’m glad I watched it as an adult. I’ve heard from people younger than me who were more convinced by it and extremely scared. Wonderful stuff.
Finding Sal Page