Stefanie’s short story, Eel, has been shortlisted for the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, she tells us a about the inspiration behind the story.
My short-listed story, Eel, started life as an exercise in writing historical fiction, as part of Jonathan Kemp’s Genre Creative Writing class at Birkbeck. I guess you’d call it a rite-of-passage story, about a young boy who finds a monster eel in the New Zealand bush and sees its capture as a way to impress his older brothers. I have a real affection for this subject, because the idea emerged from one of my Grandad Archie’s tales about his West Coast childhood, which included near-drownings and fierce battles with eels and brothers.
I was surprised and delighted to be shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. I’ve had such an amazing time on the Creative Writing MA and this has been a timely boost to my confidence as I come to the end of the course and continue to work on my novel.