How to be a writer without ending up sozzled, behind bars or insane
Saturday, June 02, 2012
'Used to Be' review
I've recently been moaning about the lottery of competitions, but of course I'm thrilled whenever I get anywhere in one. Mind you, when I do I tend to find it's with stories I feel less satisfied with: stories in which the 'message' is too obvious, or simple, or the form too conventional, for my own purposes. It's no surprise, I suppose: there's always going to be a danger that when you're trawling through hundreds or thousands of stories, the more obvious things are going to rise to the surface. So I was staggered and delighted when 'Used to Be', which I consider one of my more ambitious stories, won third prize in the 2008 Raymond Carver competition, and I'm now pretty chuffed to have found this review of it by Rio Liang in the Carve blog's Spotlight series.
Elizabeth Baines is a writer of prose fiction and plays. Her collection of short stories, Balancing on the Edge of the World (2007), and her novella, Too Many Magpies (2009), are published by Salt. In 2010 Salt also reprinted her first novel, The Birth Machine. Elizabeth has won prizes for her stories and plays including a Giles Cooper Best Radio Play Award and received Sony radio nominations.