Finalist in the 2022 Nick Adams Short Story Contest
Read the story: Last Child
More about Elizabeth George:
- Senior at Knox College
- Major: Creative writing
- Minors: German and Business & Management
- Hometown: Springfield, IL
ACM: Do you have plans after graduation?
George: My father and his siblings own and operate a small business their parents founded in the 50s, and after graduation I will continue working there and learning the business, as I have every summer and winter break since graduating high school. I’m looking forward to getting back: to interacting with customers, to working alongside people who already know and like me, to occupying the same spaces my grandparents had occupied.
I’ll still be writing, of course, though if I’m published it’d have to be pseudonymously, as there already is a popular novelist by the name of Elizabeth George (and her first name isn’t even Elizabeth, it’s Susan).
ACM: What sparked your interest in writing, and how did you get started writing fiction?
George: The usual thing, I suppose: I read a lot as a kid, and I did that thing kids do where they create movies in their heads when they have nothing else to think about, on a road trip or while falling asleep or whatever. Now where the impulse to start writing these things down as structured, coherent narratives is a mystery to me. It just seemed like the thing to do, I guess. I’ve been writing notes and outlines and such since I was fifteen, but the actual writing only started in college.
ACM: How have you developed your writing while you’ve been at Knox?
George: The main thing I’ve developed was a sense of restraint. As a younger writer/pre-writer there was a kind of boisterousness about my work and ideas that slightly older me can only shake her head at: improbable plots, everybody too quick to shout or fight or get candid and spill everything to one another. Also, there was too much of me telling the reader what’s going on rather than suggesting, offering options for interpretation. Which is to say, I’ve learned to write with a lighter touch.