Bill Trippe–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I have a small office next to my attic. It’s a very old house and a very modest office, but I have a table to write and shelves for my books.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I do almost everything on the computer. I maintain files of story ideas, then build from that. In writing workshops (including some I facilitate) I write in a few favorite notebooks, always in pen, as I hate the feel of pencil for some reason.

What is your routine for writing?

I work full-time, so I write in the early morning. I try to get an hour in each weekday then perhaps two hours on one of the weekend days. I have to use some of that time for submissions and correspondence, so it’s not all productive writing time.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I have been writing since college, which I started 40 years ago this month. I did a BA in English and an MA in Writing, but then raised a family. While I did quite a bit of professional writing over those years, including co-writing two technical books, I only returned to creative writing in earnest in November of 2014. I finished a novel and have written a number of short stories in that time.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I imagine someone who, like me, loves short fiction especially. I read widely, but nothing is more satisfying to read than a well-crafted short story. I hope that my stories evoke that kind of response in my reader.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I look for germs of stories all of the time, including in my reading, anecdotes I hear about, things in the news. The story here, “First Day,” was inspired in part by something that happened to a teacher I know but then I took the action of the story much further. If I am blocked, I read old newspapers and look for some interesting story or detail. The opportunities are endless.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I sing choral music and have begun to sing with an a capella group. It’s fun but it’s also a new intellectual challenge, honestly. It forces me to think in a way I rarely have.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

I like thinking through the arc of the story—who the characters are and what is propelling the action of the story. When I find something that I think is real and compelling about them, I feel that I can move the story along. It’s very satisfying though sometimes it involves a lot of sitting and staring at the wall.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

I think we all have rich experiences and ideas to tap into. When I teach writing, I encourage students to mine their experiences and to find the stories in them. As to the publishing process, prepare for things to take a long time and to get many rejections before you find places that will publish your work. If it helps to have a community of writers, seek one out. There are many venues.


Check out Bill’s work in the issue Volume 3, Issue 2 (Pushcart Nominee).



Announcing The Magnolia Review Ink Award for Volume 3 Issue 2

When I was kindly asked by Suzanna to be the judge for the ink award for the Volume 3 Issue 2 of the Magnolia Review I replied, I’ll give it a go. I thought picking a winner would be easy enough. Sure, I’d have a winner in no time. But as I read the first piece, a concrete poem, “Early Spring in the Woods” by Wilda Morris, I realised picking a winner wouldn’t be so easy.
I continued to read with the theme balloons featuring strongly. The writing interspersed with Leah Givens‘ beautiful colour photographs of balloons. I continued to read. Who would have thought balloons would bring up so much? There were notable reads like the comic, “The Book Harvest” (Dom Fonce, writer; Vincent Butka, penciller; Jared Burton, inker and colorist; and Kaleena Spackman, letterer), complete with word balloons. The haunting “Ghosts” by Rachel Edford. “First Day” by Bill Trippe had me invested in the characters and bursting out laughing. “Hypnophobia2 #1357″ by Ellie White shocked and lingered.
But the one piece of writing that really struck me was “” The story never loses sight of what it’s about, broken, complex characters. “” really engaged me as a reader, paying wonderful attention to detail and character. At times it is not what is said but implied that works so well. It’s full of humour and at the same time, the story never loses sight of real life and the people in it. 
So yes, drumroll please, the Magnolia Review Ink Award goes to Buffy Shutt for “” An excellent, thought-provoking piece of writing! Thanks to Buffy for such an engaging read and thanks to all the authors for putting their writing out there for us to read. Thank you for such a good issue.
Taidgh Lynch is a poet from the South West of Ireland. When he is not attending the MFA in Writing programme at the University of Saskatchewan, he likes to eat sushi, cycle, and go to gigs. His absolute all time favourite writer is Elisabeth Bishop. Find his writing in Bare Hands Poetry,The Poetry Bus, and Boyne Berries.
Read the Volume 3 Issue 2 here.

2017 Pushcart Nominations

I am so proud of our 2017 issues, and it was very difficult to choose only six pieces for the Pushcart Nominations. Congratulations!

The Old Familiar (Equivalencies 7=7) by Devon Balwit (Volume 3, Issue 1)

Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head by Holly Day (Volume 3, Issue 1)

In A Dark Time by Kirie Pedersen (Volume 3, Issue 1)

First Day by Bill Trippe (Volume 3, Issue 2)

Hypnophobia #1357 by Ellie White (Volume 3, Issue 2) by Buffy Shutt (Volume 3, Issue 2)