Microinterview: Clementine E. Burnley

Clementine E. Burnley’s 85 word microfiction, “Inheritance”, will appear in the third issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2021). Clementine graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.

Clementine E. Burnley

1. What inspired the story “Inheritance”?

This story is a response to a workshop prompt to have remembered, meaningful objects convey all the information the reader receives. Tommy Dean ran that workshop for Bending Genres. I had no idea what was going to happen when I started to write but I found the perspective of a new father came to me and was a strong driver for the story. I find working under a constraint can produce unexpected results.

2. What inspires you and your writing?

Pretty much anything and everything around me. When I experience art, it takes me out of the everyday, away from all the stuff that’s not going the way I want it to go. I want to make those spaces for other people to share.

3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?

That’s a hard question. I think writers and artists work really hard and are necessary, especially now.

We translate the world. In that process of translation I try to fully experience the bits of the world I’m in touch with, through all my senses. Something always flirts with my eye, tongue, or ear. That keeps me connected to a very micro-level part of the world, which is working perfectly, even when other parts are not. So work, and people. People keep me going.

4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?

Experiment. Reggie Moore (genius pianist I know from Berlin) told me: Try to fail in interesting ways. Connect to other people who want to experiment too and make stuff alongside them.

5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?

I’m really interested to learn about what other people are doing in writing and art. Tag me on Twitter, or Instagram, and lets chat.

Clementine E. Burnley is a migrant mother, writer, and community organizer. She loves to walk in the Scottish Highlands. Her work has been shortlisted in various short story competitions and most recently, nominated for a Pushcart Prize. At the moment she’s a Reader in Residence at Smokelong Magazine, and a Contributing Editor at Barren Magazine. You can read her flash pieces in the National Flash Fiction Anthology 2020, Bath Flash Fiction Anthology 2020, and Barren Magazine. Find her on clementineburnley.com, Instagram: @Ewokila, or on Twitter: @decolonialheart.

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