Zooming Around by Allison Symes

It is with great pleasure that I welcome author Allison Symes back to the blog to discuss her work and how the use of tecnology has developed her writing career.


Many thanks, Val, for inviting me back to your blog. It was lovely to chat about my writing journey back in March. https://www.valpenny.com/post/my-writing-journey-by-allison-symes. I mentioned then my writing journey had been a funny but interesting one and I am glad to say there has been progress in unexpected ways since then.

Let’s turn back the clock a year or two. If you mentioned the word Zoom to me then, I would have thought of it in two ways. Firstly, it is a delicious ice lolly (for younger readers, it was a lolly with sprinkles on the top). Secondly, it is a fabulous word to get out in Scrabble especially if you did what I managed recently - get the word out with the Z on the double letter score!


But Zoom has made a huge impact on my life in the last eighteen months. Thanks to it, I’ve taken part in an international writing summit back in March (the Share Your Story Writing Summit). Now this was led by a Canadian writer and it simply wouldn’t have been possible for me to go to this if it had been an in-person event. I was interviewed for this, carried out a Power Point presentation for it as well, and learned so much from doing this. It also led me to set up an author newsletter. I needed to have a giveaway to take part in this summit and for that I realised I needed an email list of my own and the best way to do that was by having my own newsletter. (For more details see my website at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com - the giveaway is a pdf file full of tips on flash fiction and some free stories too).


Secondly I’ve given a couple of Zoom talks, one about my writing journey, and the other about the craft of writing flash fiction. I hadn’t anticipated public speaking even two years ago. In the last six months, I’ve given two talks and have another due at the end of July, which I’m looking forward to delivering. I hope to do more in future.


I’m also delighted to announce I will be appearing in print for the first time later this year for non-fiction work. I am contributing a chapter to Wendy H. Jones’ Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion For Writing. To date my non-fiction work comprises of my Chandler’s Ford Today, Authors Electric, and More Than Writers posts so I am especially thrilled to have something in this line coming out in print. I look forward to being able to share more details on this as and when I can later in the year. I’m also going to be running a workshop later this year and look forward to sharing more details on that on social media in due course.

All of this is thanks to the flash fiction writing as is my new title. Title? Oh yes. I’m now a contributor to Mom’s Favorite Reads (yes, US based) and I am their “flasher queen”. I like that. My first piece for them appeared in the June 2021 edition and the link for it can be found at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Moms-Favorite-Reads-eMagazine-June-ebook/dp/B096BGP93Q/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Moms+Favorite+Reads&qid=1624302878&sr=8-1


Best of all, the magazine is free so go on, give it a try!


I’m also now involved with a flash fiction writing group connected to the Association of Christian Writers (I’m their Membership Secretary) and that has been great fun.

Am I so glad to have discovered that form of writing?

Oh yes. The funny thing is I found it entirely by accident but it has given me two books to my name (From Light to Dark and Back Again and Tripping the Flash Fantastic) so I guess it is a good accident to have! I had been writing standard length short stories for a while (1500 words plus) for online magazine, CafeLit, and Bridge House Publishing (I often appear in their anthologies) when CafeLit issued a 100-word challenge.


My first thought was you have to be kidding me. There’s no way you can tell a proper story with a proper beginning, middle and end in that tight a word count. My second thought was go for it, Allison. You have nothing to lose. They wouldn’t have issued the challenge if it were impossible. I went with my second thought and am so glad I did.


Am I looking forward to more Zooming around (both on screen and in person)? Oh yes. The writing journey is never a static one and I’m looking forward to what comes next for me - I’m happy to “dash with the flash” and promote the form, always!

The Author


Allison Symes, who loves reading and writing quirky fiction, is published by Chapeltown Books, Cafelit, and Bridge House Publishing. She is a member of the Society of Authors, Association of Christian Writers, and Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. She blogs for Chandler’s Ford Today often on topics of interest to writers - http://chandlersfordtoday.co.uk/author/allison-symes/ and now also blogs for Authors Electric, the Association of Christian Writers More Than Writers blot spot, and contributes to online magazine, Mom’s Favorite Reads.

Her two flash fiction collections are From Light to Dark and Back Again and Tripping The Flash Fantastic. See her Amazon Author Central page at http://author.to/AllisonSymesAuthorCent for more on these and the anthologies where her work has appeared.


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