SALAMANDER Bay author, editor and publisher Morgan Bell encourages writers to “get involved” in the local and online writing scene.
“Join a writing group, in person or online (try facebook.com/groups/flashfictionchallenge/) and get involved with your local writers’ centre and writers’ festivals,” she said.
“If you can’t afford workshops, volunteer.”
Morgan certainly embraces her suggestions.
She has been a regular volunteer at the Newcastle Writers Festival since its inception and has also honed her skills by writing online reviews and blogs.
She currently works as the Social Media Content Manager at Hunter Writers Centre, integrating her love of the written word with her vast social media experience.
Morgan is particularly drawn to flash fiction, a genre that embraces paring back a story to its essential elements.
Her debut collection is called Sniggerless Boundulations, a title that came to her in a vivid dream.
The book’s stories cover a broad spectrum of subject matter ranging from bizarre medical conditions, conniving cops, nonchalant students and a secret garden.
The short story format also suits her technical writing background.
“Coming from an engineering report background, I tend to not like padding. A little story is rewarding when it is both rich and spare,” she said.
“I think reading and storytelling are pursuits that shouldn’t be limited to people with long attention spans,” she told News Of The Area.
For new writers, Morgan recommends taking small steps.
“Start small. Start with flash fiction, it is a gateway drug. And read aloud when editing,” she said.
Morgan’s hardcover version of Sproutlings: A Compendium of Little Fictions is the latest success in her innovative approach to writing and publishing.
The original paperback anthology was made possible through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that raised over $2,000.
Morgan recommends that self publishers “invest in professional artwork for your book cover; it shows you have confidence and pride in your work,” she said.
For local residents, Morgan recently conducted a writing workshop at Tomaree Library and hopes to establish a monthly writing group.
Sniggerless Boundulations and Sproutlings: A Compendium of Little Fictions are available via Amazon.
By Jo FINN