Ellen Birkett Morris’s 96 word microfiction, “Shopping”, will appear in the second issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 1, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2020). Ellen graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “Shopping”?
I wrote “Shopping” in the early days of the pandemic and the piece reflects a lot of the powerlessness I felt at that time. I hoped also to convey the sweep of history and how we are reminded from time to time that we are not in control.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Characters with strong fears or desires who need my help to voice them.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
Going small and focusing on my family or the task at hand. Trying to make something like eating my cereal into a meditation of sorts.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Let your mind associate and pick the strongest words and images you can to tell the story.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I hope they provide comfort and a point of identification for readers.
Ellen Birkett Morris is the author of the collection of short stories, Lost Girls. Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Antioch Review, Notre Dame Review, South Carolina Review, and Santa Fe Literary Review, among other journals. She is a winner of the Bevel Summers Prize for short fiction. Morris is a recipient of a 2013 Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council in support of her fiction. You can find her at: instagram.com/ellenbirkettmorris/, ellenbirkettmorris.ink/, twitter.com/birkett_morris, and facebook.com/ellenbirkettmorriswriter/.