Finalist in the 2022 Nick Adams Short Story Contest
Read the story: My Treadmill is an Angel
More about Léo Remke-Rochard:
- Junior at Beloit College
- Majors: Creative Writing and French
- Hometown: St. Paul, MN
ACM: What sparked your interest in writing, and how did you get started writing fiction?
Remke-Rochard: I became interested in writing after listening to Amerikkka’s Most Wanted by Ice Cube in middle school. I wanted to write raps. But writing raps was incredibly difficult so I tried at poems that wouldn’t be considered raps. My mom encouraged me to go to what was then called the Soul Sounds open mic, now the Re-Verb open mic, facilitated by TruArtSpeaks (founded by Tish Jones). After going once, I instantly knew I had to return. The open mic contains a feedback component in which performers can allow the audience to converse about their piece. There, the community was generous enough to see me as a member of it, offer me insight as to how to perform, strengthen my writing, perfect my craft and consider the world in new ways. In college, I wrote my first short story in Professor Francesca Abbate’s intro writing class. Those were the jumping off points. This year, my interest in the short story form was accentuated by a fiction class I took with Professor Chris Fink.
ACM: How have you developed your writing while you’ve been at Beloit?
Remke-Rochard: A combination of incredibly intelligent teachers, and incredibly miserable social experiences at Beloit College have simultaneously helped my writing become what it currently is. I’ve become both more aware of what my writing looks like on the page, and different ways I could consider what my body is in the world. Concretely, I have gained a better understanding of how to edit, of what constitutes a story, an awareness of authors I hadn’t read, and of more ways in which punctuation can be deployed. More ambiguously, I have learned the world is more complex than I anticipated and it’s important to be in your head, but if you stay in there too much, you might stop trusting what’s outside of it.
I am grateful to have been shortlisted, and sincerely congratulate the winner of the 2022 Nick Adams Short Story Contest.