Frances Koziar’s 58 word microfiction, “Cast Away”, will appear in the first issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 1, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2020). Frances graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “Cast Away”?
As a person lacking more privilege than most, social justice work is by necessity a part of my life, because it’s my life and my rights that I’m fighting for as well as the rest of marginalized peoples. I wrote “Cast Away” in a single sitting with no prior thought, but it came out of my experiences as someone who has (literally and metaphorically) looked into the windows of other people’s homes at privileges I don’t have, and while there is oppression and loss and trauma in that moment, there is resilience and strength and beauty in it too.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
I am inspired by myself and my own resilience, by memories and moments of love, and by strength, but I write because I am a writer—it is what I do, part of who I am, and something I have been doing since 6th grade and have committed to on a weekly basis since 12th. I love that narrative allows you to show the complexities of ideas like beauty and oppression and hope.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
Love, in its broadest sense — my relationship with myself, the beauty of the outdoors, my feline family, writing, experiencing new things, tasty food.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
To microfiction writers: consider the length of your story. Some stories are incredibly powerful at only 10 words, and adding more doesn’t actually add value, while some are best at 100 or 1000 or 10,000.
To writers generally: a) It often takes ten years to really start getting published, so arguably perseverance is the most important skill of a successful author; b) Write regularly, even if only in small amounts; and c) Be bold and intentional about representation. Do you have at least 50% women? Do you have characters who are trans, non-binary, disabled and differently abled? Because upholding one group upholds us all, and everyone matters.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
Writers have an incredible amount of power to change people’s perspectives, and I want to use that power to be inspiring from a human rights perspective, as well as to remind people that there is always hope.
Frances Koziar has publications of prose and poetry in 30+ literary magazines, and is seeking an agent for a very diverse NA/YA fantasy novel. She is a young retired (disabled) academic, a social justice advocate, and a microfiction editor at “101 Words”. She lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Website: https://franceskoziar.wixsite.com/author.