Short fiction has become a contestant’s livelihood in the Hemingway-Pfeiffer short fiction contest hosted by the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum.
The contest, open to undergraduate students at both public and private institutions in the state of Arkansas boasted a roll of forty-four entries with eleven institutions statewide. This year’s winner was Hendrix College sophomore, Emily Hill with her story “A Fossilized Union.”
“My story is about a woman whose husband wakes up after taking a nap for twenty years, their life before the nap, and their reactions to his awakening,” said Hill.
Hill has had writing experience throughout her entire life some that were structured stories and others the daydreams of a young mind.
“I wrote a lot when I was little, mostly because I didn’t know or care if what I was writing was good. But, I guess when I hit puberty I stopped writing creatively altogether — making art became a painfully intimidating process for me as I got older and became more affected by definitions of “good” or “bad” art,” said Hill
She explained that when she first attended Hendrix College she took a Short Fiction course where she “Re-fell in love with creating stories,” she said, “It was the first and still one of the only, classes in which my homework was always done early, and I began to crave making stories as good as the ones to which we were exposed.” Said Hill.
Hill is an author of fantasy and intrigue taking some inspiration from the writings of Miranda July and Aimee Bender.
“I love surreal and whimsical themes, so whenever I hear about or think of something strange I make a note of it, then whenever I write I have a long list of topics and phrases to piece together. Most of all I like writing about very strange women. Even though writing is infuriatingly meticulous, it is so satisfying to create this little well-constructed puzzle for others to work at and connect to. That’s what I love most about reading, so that’s what I love most about creating for others,” said Hill.
Hill, like many authors loves symbols and the ability to create “something out of nothing,” she said, “because I think that’s how we all see the world. Isn’t it so great when an author sees something like you do, and you get that brief little feeling of connection to a work of art like that?” said Hill.
Although a decorated author, Hill admits she does not write too often. She is a young woman with many interests.
“I also enjoy talking to strangers, going on road trips, finding or making good food, and reading interesting, topical, scientific magazines and journals,” explained Hill.