Winning Short Story: Held Up by Bree Katz

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Held Up by Bree Katz

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Bree Katz:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

“Held Up” is about a woman who realizes how unaffected she’d be at the news of her boyfriend’s death.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

This story is primarily a work of nonfiction.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Happy breakup!

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen the original – nay, the ONLY – Star Wars trilogy. It’s a good thing DVDs were invented when I was still a child, because I was drastically testing the limits of my mom’s VHS tapes. (Cue contractually obligated grumbling about “kids these days and their consarned streaming services; now get off mah lawn!”)

5. How long have you been working on this story?

I wrote this particular version of the story in about two hours shortly before the submission deadline, as I have apparently learned nothing since my undergraduate days. I have, however, needed to make some kind of creative hay out of a night that proved to be a catalyst in dumping my now ex-boyfriend ever since it took place three and a half years ago.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

There are many contenders, but I compulsively re-read Pale Fire every few months or so and feel newly humbled by Nabokov’s facility for wordplay and characterization every time.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Making this story public was somehow less embarrassing than talking to a therapist about relationship issues that obviously linger three and a half years after I ended the relationship.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Larry David. There would be something comforting in having dinner with a guy who seems to understand flesh-burning levels of awkward the way I do.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an avid skier and hiker who has bagged twelve 14,000-foot mountains and has several more on my list. I’m also into photography – how else am I going to prove I actually climbed those fourteeners?

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I was between “big” projects. My life was in too much upheaval to get a proper start on the novel I’d outlined. Creative stagnation is no good, either, though, so when I got the email notification about the contest, it was just the inspiration I needed to crank my gears.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t worry about how much your first draft is going to suck. Just get the words out there. Editing is a special hell all its own, but once you reach that stage, you’re partway through. If you obsess over making the story perfect before you even sit down to write it, you’ll never get started.

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