12+ The Australian Writers' Centre ran a 29 Word Story Challenge in August 2019. The rules were: The story must contain exactly 29 words, begin and end with the same word, and include the names of at least two countries. With a lucky hyphenation, my repurposed We Need to Talk was spot on 29 words.
I recently blogged about Repurposed Writing (August 2019). In the post, I explained how I'd revisited a microfiction piece I'd written for a Twitter competition run by Meanjin Quarterly in 2017: We Need to Talk (November 2017).
The original microfiction story was 280 characters (with the Twitter hashtag #meanjin280) and 44 words long. Could I edit 15 words from it? Yes, thanks to the legitimately hyphenated "twenty-four".
We Need to Talk
Talk, now or never. Twenty-four hours from England to Australia, to white walls, antiseptic, tubes, wires, electronic beeps and the wheezing breath of my shrunken father. We never talk.
As my editor friend might say, all writing, long-form, short stories and microfiction, can do with a good edit.
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The Australian Writers' Centre blog (September 2019) reported they'd had nearly a thousand submissions for the 29 Word Story Challenge. And [proud puffing of cheeks] mine was one of their published favourites!
Do you like to dabble in or read microfiction? You may like this collection I reviewed for Writing NSW in 2017, Loopholes by Susan McCreery (Tall And True, October 2017).
© 2019 Robert Fairhead
N.B. You may also like to read my blog post on how I wrote the original microfiction piece: We Need to Talk (November 2017).
A middle-aged dad and dog owner, Robert is a writer and editor at Tall And True and blogs on his eponymous website, RobertFairhead.com. He also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads podcast, featuring his short stories, blog posts and other writing from Tall And True.
Robert's book reviews and other writing have appeared in print and online media. In 2020, he published his début collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story, and in 2021 Twelve Furious Months, twelve short stories written for the Australian Writers' Centre's Furious Fiction writing competition.
Outside of writing, Robert's favourite pastimes include reading, watching Aussie Rules football with his son and walking his dog.
He has also enjoyed a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.