INTERVIEW: ALISSA NUTTING
What's the one short story that best exemplifies what a short story could be as opposed to what one should be?
“The Sandman" by E.T.A. Hoffman: it shows you can write a great story by picking out a few Russian-nesting-doll-fears from your own psychoses then pinning them together as plot events. You can and you should.
When you're wearing your editorial hat, what's the one thing a piece absolutely positively has to have to catch your interest?
It needs to have a few unique molecules somewhere in its makeup. If you think of the slush pile as a giant mustache, I'm interested in the wild hairs--whatever's sticking out in the opposite direction, whatever's strangely coarse and bright gray when everything else is a blend of brown.
What advice would you give a beginning writer about submitting her work to a literary magazine or an anthology for the first time?
Don't be like a parent of four children who only loves the two kids that went to law school...always celebrate when you complete a work and send it out for consideration instead of when it gets accepted. Be proud of everything you create no matter what it does or doesn't go on to do.
ALISSA NUTTING is author of the novel Tampa, the short story collection Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at John Carroll University.