El Rhodes picture

In conversation with El Rhodes, Hysteria 2022 writer in residence

El Rhodes was a finalist in Hysteria 2020, a reader for Hysteria 2021 and is very gamely still speaking to me and will be this year’s Hysteria writer in residence. El is an archaeologist who writes short fiction and creative non-fiction. In 2021 she won The Phare ‘Write Words’ Short Story prize, The Intrepid Times ‘Reunions’ travel writing award, and the Nan Shepherd prize. Recent work can be read in Janus Literary, Fictive Dream, Twin Pies Literary, and The Cabinet of Heed.

Listen to the interview

Key takeaways from this episode:

  1. El is a prolific writer and has had 99 acceptances for publication since she started writing in 2020.
  2. She feels she had a lucky break at the beginning of her creative writing career as the first four things she wrote were all picked up. Then she got a rejection, but by that time was hooked.
  3. She has spent time as a carer for her father leaving the paid labour market to look after him.
  4. As the winner of Phare’s ‘Write Words’ Short Story prize in 2021, she will be the judge in the 2022 competition.
  5. She started writing after a story she wrote on Twitter went viral.
  6. El’s Twitter account is a mix of short stories, writing, tales from life, archaeology and politics.
  7. She runs courses for the Crow Collective on writing creative non-fiction.
  8. Her archaeological specialism is prehistoric tattoo’s
  9. She came to archaeology via a career in theology, social sciences, and women’s studies.
  10. Most archaeological work is done at a desk; reviewing finds, writing reports and analysis.
  11. Although she has only just discovered short stories and flash fiction, she has been a writer for over 30 years through her work.
  12. Most writing formats have a shape that is instantly recognisable. For example, the press release vs the poem.
  13. When she’s starting a new creative piece she starts with the story she wants to tell, then works out who it is for, and finally decides which form is the best of telling it to her audience.

Mentioned in this episode:

Meet El

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If you have any general questions or comments for El or the show, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

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