Christine Mackley knows the power of a short, evocative sentence.
The Gordon woman has won several short story competitions, now one of her works – a 1500-word story Fair Fight – will be published in this year’s national anthology Award Winning Australian Writing 2016.
“[With] a novel, you can get away with a few things here and there not being right, because you’ve got all those other words that can make up for it,” Mackley says.
“But in a short story, every word has to be there for a reason.”
She said short story writers need to think about the five senses, and how to evoke an emotional response, with each sentence.
But the most important tip she can give to budding writers is: “Get other people to critique your work”.
“Even accomplished writers need other people to read their work,” she said.
The best way to do this is by joining a writers’ group, Mackley says.
She says she spent weeks working on Fair Fight to perfect it.
“I threw the idea out there, but I needed to do a lot of hard work – that was tough for me. It didn’t come naturally. So it’s really nice to be published.”
Award Winning Australian Writing 2016 was launched last Wednesday.
It is available at bookstores or at melbournebooks.com.au.