Winning Short Story: The Dad Sweater by Joshua Collins

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Watch THE DAD SWEATER:

Story performed by actor Sean Kaufman

Get to know writer Joshua Collins:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Joshua Collins: In a short synopsis: its about realizing one’s self worth based on ‘social-titles’, in a culture where self worth is measured by ‘what you’ve done’. Nothing worse than getting older and feeling like you’ve wasted your entire life on bad ideas and failed attempts at even mediocre success. Our culture’s unintended pressure of being ‘somebody’. And being a ‘somebody’ for someone else.

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in?

JC: Mostly comedy. But more like ‘dramedy’.

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?

JC: Life Crisis

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

JC: At the moment, because I’ve seen too many to remember, I’d say THREE COLORS TRILOGY: BLUE by Kieslowski.

MT: How long have you been working on this story?

JC: Not too long, but the subject matter I’ve been tackling for some time.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

JC: No, like film, there’s too many. But I’d pick INFINITE JEST for the top spot followed by THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA.

MT: What motivated you to write this story?

JC: My own crisis. Pieces of me (self-loathingly so).

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

JC: Jeez… uh, can I have a ‘dinner party’ ??? David Foster Wallace, Keith Haring, Banksy, Jean Baptiste Basquiat Salinger, and let’s throw Hunter S. Thompson in there too. Thom Yorke would provide the musical ambience accompanied with Zbigniew Preisner. With stand up comedy provided by Doug Stanhope. But it would be BYOB and over with by 10 p.m. on the dot. I like sleep.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

JC: Directing film.

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

JC: Who doesn’t want to hear their work read aloud??? It’s priceless and motivating as it is rewarding.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

JC: I’m no place to give advice but a writer I love once said something like, ‘write and keep writing until it doesn’t suck.’ . That changed my life.

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