May is National Short Story Month and the queen of the short story, in my opinion, is Canada’s own Alice Munro. I sent an email request to Alice just now, requesting an interview for my blog. Yes, I know what you are thinking. It is the longest of long shots, but since turning thirty and since recent events I have decided to take the chances I never would have taken before. What have I got to lose?
Alice grew up in Wingham, not so far from me. She attended the University of Western Ontario, studying English. She then became a wife and mother for many years, but after publishing her first story in UWO’s literary magazine, she was hooked and would write short story after short story, making a name for herself in Canada and around the world.
Her family started a bookstore in B.C. called Munro’s Books. She would later become writer-in-residence at Western and then at the universities of British Columbia and Queensland. She published her first book of short stories in 1968 and would go on to publish 15 more.
A while back I listened to an author-to-author interview, Margaret Atwood as interviewer and Alice Munro as interviewee. She is now a sweet old woman with decades of literary experience that I find highly inspiring. I love to listen to her wise words.
I can’t describe the feeling I had last year when it was announced that Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I was proud and pleased and inspired. I let the honour motivate me and drive me forward in my own dreams.
Since then I received an email from a writer friend who told me about the yearly Alice Munro festival held where she grew up and the short story competition put on in her name and honour. I have the summer to come up with the perfect short story, one which is going to set me apart. I would find it the highest honour there is to win an award with her name on it..
Okay, so I haven’t exactly come up with the winning story idea yet, but I am working it over, slowly in my mind. I have a lot going on right now, but this is important to me. Priorities.