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You Need to Know Sarah Kuntz Jones

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

People always ask about our instructors and what makes them tick, so we’re happy to focus this week’s STLWW interview on writer, Sarah Kuntz Jones. Sarah is teaching “Writing the Short Story” for our spring session and we think you’ll enjoy her thoughts on writing and the writing life. Check out her official bio, too.

When did you start writing? I started writing in eighth grade–at least that’s what I remember. I wrote a short story, a jazz-age mystery, for Mrs. Weissflug’s class, and I’ve been thinking about stories and writing ever since.

What surprises you about writing? What’s the hardest part?  What surprises me most about writing is how it rewards risk-taking.  Every time I think of something crazy–like a 21st-century girl waking up in her apartment to find John Wayne sitting on her couch–and I think “I can’t do that!,” then a voice says “Why not?”… that’s when I come away from my notebook or my laptop the most satisfied with my work.

What work are you most proud of and why? I am most proud of a piece that appeared in The Summerset Review, forever ago now. It’s set in rural Illinois in 1948, and I loved doing the research for it, as well as relying on memories of my grandparents and how they spoke and movies I love from that era.

What are you working on now? There are no shortage of writing projects in my life at the moment. I am getting ready to start the third draft of a novel project. I am also working on some stories that I see as being a part of a collection of interconnected short stories and flash fiction pieces.

If you could give only one piece of advice to new writers, what would it be? The piece of advice I would give new writers is to create a discipline, a practice, if you’re serious about writing. That practice not only should include writing every day, if possible, but also reading as much and as often as you can.