Twelve Days of Giving Reason Nine: NANO Was My First Publication – Hillary Leftwich

NANO Fiction: So NANO Fiction was your first publication. What issue were you featured in?

Hillary Leftwich: My story, “Runt,” was featured in Volume 7 Number 2.

NF: Were you familiar with flash fiction before reading NANO? How did you first get interested in flash as a form?

HL: I was familiar with flash fiction during my masters program, but nothing of the likes of NANO. I first got interested in flash fiction when I read Seamus Scanlon’s “The Long Wet Grass,” after he won the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Competition. His story captivated me and I wanted to read more of the form.

I read anything I could get my hands on. I researched and bought literary journals that showcased flash and devoured them. I also read a lot of the top flash fiction writers like Kathy Fish, Sherrie Flick, Sean Lovelace, and Steve Almond, just to name a few. There is a lot to learn still, and I’m constantly researching and reading. Then I discovered NANO Fiction. I first read Volume 7 Number 1 and found myself going back to it constantly. It is lovingly earmarked and worn. I knew after reading it the first time that my goal was to get published in NANO. The stories are on a whole other level. It was such a surreal experience when I was accepted. I called my mom, my dad, and all my friends. I was running around my house like a mad woman shouting. I was beyond excited. I still am.

NF: What’s one word that describes what it’s like getting published in NANO?

HL: Ecstasy.

NF: How has your writing changed since your publication in NANO?

HL: My writing has changed dramatically because I am solely focused on flash now. I was interested and curious about the form previously, but now I am hooked, and I don’t foresee the obsession ending. If I’m not writing flash I’m reading flash. Once you find your voice you have to keep rolling with it.

NF: What can we expect next from Hillary Leftwich?

HL: I would love to be published again in NANO Fiction again and maybe one day become part of the staff. That would be a dream come true. In the meantime, I am working on getting more of my flash stories published and have been honored to be a contributor for other journals that showcase flash since my publication with NANO Fiction. I have also been very lucky to become part of The Conium Review’s editorial staff as a fiction editor, so not only do I get to write flash but I get to read flash submissions as well. Being constantly surrounded by flash is incredible for me, and I want to thank NANO Fiction for being the catalyst for my writing. What a truly unbelievable opportunity. So, thank you.

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