The Writing Shed
The Art of Being
Meeting Caroline Jenner

Meeting Caroline Jenner

Winner of the flash fiction category, Hysteria 2022
caroline jenner writer

I’ve been interviewing writers just like you and me since 2012. I started with written interviews called the Thursday Throng, and maybe at some point I’ll bring that archive over into Substack. Since 2020, I changed it to a podcast. The important thing about these conversations is that these are people who have had the courage to put their words down on paper (metaphorical or otherwise). I find I learn something from all of the lovely writers and authors I speak to, I hope you do too.

This month my guest is Caroline Jenner, winner of the Flash Fiction category of Hysteria 2022 and published in Hysteria 9. Her winning entry is titled ‘At peace with myself in the midst of the chaos of half started projects. I suspect this is a sentiment many writers would like to adopt, I know from my own experience that I would certainly love to be at peace whilst all around me are the things I believe I must do!

Caroline is a retired English teacher and would be short story writer. She lives in South London and particularly enjoys the challenge of micro fiction and exploring the concise nature of a complete story in a few words. Her work has been published by Free Flash Fiction, Sweetycat Press and Pure Slush. She has been longlisted for the Retreat West Monthly Micro Fiction Competition, and shortlisted for Globe Soup, Cranked Anvil, Writers Magazine, Secret Attic and in 2021 came second in the Hastings Writing Room Two Halves Flash Fiction Competition.

In this month’s episode Caroline and I talk about:

  1. You can read and listen to the recording of Caroline’s story on the Hysteria website.

  2. Teaching English seems to be more about formatting letters and punctuation. You don’t need to be a creative person to teach English as it’s mostly about teaching techniques and facts to pass exams.

  3. Towards the end of her career she ran the after school creative writing club and this was the spur she needed to start writing herself.

  4. A complete story doesn’t necessarily have an ending, but it does have a natural stopping point.

  5. Writing novella in flash, a form of serialised flash fiction where each chapter is a complete, discreet story. The aim is for the whole to create a bigger picture and explain how lives, challenges or events hang together.

  6. How nothing written is ever finished in the mind of the writer, it can always be improved, embellished, revisited.

  7. The value of writing prompts for inspiration and ideas.

  8. How life is made up of lots of unfinished projects, and the chaos of normal life which is probably why Caroline’s story was loved by the readers.

  9. Knitting with words …

  10. The Arvon course was a seminal moment because it marked the beginning of being a writer, as well as an ending as Caroline had now retired.

  11. The value of having a critical eye cast over your work to help improve it, and how difficult it can be to critique someone else’s writing without impacting their enthusiasm.

  12. How all critique is really just opinion.

As mentioned in today’s episode

You can meet Caroline on Twitter @carolinejenner3

If you’d like to join me on The Art of Being, just leave a comment below.


The Writing Shed
The Art of Being
A podcast about writers and writing