My short story reading tips would include all the usual suspects, from Poe and Chekhov through to Oates and Munro. I also think it’s important to seek out authors whose work resonates with your personal experience, and your own aspirations as a writer. For me, that would include Eden Robinson and Steven Heighton. Their debut story collections (Traplines and Flight Paths of the Emperor) were hugely inspiring when I first started writing seriously.
I should have a lot of writing tips, since I teach Creative Writing, but it’s hard to pin down a single nugget of bonafide wisdom. I believe in work ethic, and graft. Sarah Hall once told me in a workshop that a writer should be like a dog with a bone: get ahold of something and don’t let go. I think that’s very true. We all need a little tenacity, and single-mindedness – although sometimes you might have to bury that bone for a while, too, and dig it up later.
Tyler Keevil grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and in his mid-twenties moved to Wales, where he now lives. His short fiction has appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies in Britain, Canada, and the U.S. His story collection, Burrard Inlet, was nominated for the Wales Book of the Year, as well as the Edgehill Story Prize, the Frank O’Connor Award, and the Rubery Book Award. One of the stories from the collection, ‘Sealskin’, was recently awarded the Writers’ Trust of Canada / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. His first two novels, Fireball and The Drive, were also both nominated for the Wales Book of the Year and both received the Wales Book of the Year People’s Prize. Among other things, Tyler has worked as a tree planter and ice barge deckhand, as well as in factories, restaurants, video stores, and shipyards; he currently lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire.