Writing what You Know: An Interview with Gary Duncan

In this interview conducted by Stewart Ennis, Gary Duncan, founding editor of Spelk and author of You're Not Supposed to Cry, discusses the various forms of short story (and short short story, and short short short story!) that are gaining popularity both here in the UK and internationally. 

Inspired in his teens by working-class writers, Duncan has somewhat unconsciously followed a "write what you know about" ethos in his own stories. Citing David Gaffney's Sawn-Off Tales, Duncan describes a number of methods for writing short fiction. The key is to give the reader an opportunity to collaborate, he explains, using as an example a flash fiction he's written about bereaved parents: “Once you start explaining everything, you’re not really letting the reader do anything for themselves.”

Hear the interview in its entirety below (audio with a collage of photographs and video clips):

For more information about the book, please see the book page. We'll be celebrating the launch of the book at Waterstones Byres Road in Glasgow on 27 April at 7.30 pm. Admission is free and all are welcome (more details here). 

Vagabond Voices