Today on our blog we have a Q & A with writer Farhana Khalique, who will be leading a workshop on EXPLORING THE UNCANNY at our online flash fest this afternoon
What made you choose this particular topic for your session?
I chose “the uncanny” because I thought it would be a fun topic, which also covers a lot of aspects relevant to Flash Fiction. As well as more overtly uncanny things such as those associated with the supernatural or strange, the uncanny could be anything familiar that’s rendered unfamiliar or startling in some way. Given that a lot of successful Flash works well when it has a fresh or unique perspective on things, I thought it would be interesting and useful to encourage participants to go through good examples of such stories, and related writing exercises where we can explore similar techniques to those used in these stories.
What do you hope participants will get out of it?
I hope that participants will engage with the reading and discussion tasks, and then have a go at the writing tasks. The main thing is to follow what they are naturally drawn to, or “haunted” by, and to write as if they are playing/no one is looking. This is a good way to find and stay true to our own unique perspective and voices, which will in turn give our writing its own unique flavour.
Do you have a favourite piece of writing that reflects this topic? Either your own or someone else’s.
Some of my favourite pieces of writing that reflect this topic are Freud’s essay on “The Uncanny”, and fiction that I like that often has uncanny elements include the flash fiction of Elisabeth Ingram Wallace, and Carmen Maria Machado’s short story “The Husband Stitch”.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on writing flash fiction and short stories, as and when a particular idea that I like comes to me, hoping to have enough for a collection one day. I also read submissions for SmokeLong Quarterly and I read and edit for Litro Magazine – so please send us your stories!
Where can we find out more about you and your writing?
You can find out more about me and my writing on Twitter and Instagram at @HanaKhalique and on my website at farhanakhalique.com