AV: What was the inspiration for your story?
The inspiration for this story was a cottage and dock that I used every summer when I was kid. I wanted to explore the thoughts that kids have when they face something for the first time — whatever it may be.
AV: Had you been published before?
Tough question. I had a couple of short stories published a long time ago. I consider those stories to be published by a different person. I then had a very long gap between writing anything creative. I did have another story published at about the same time as “Scottie”.
AV: How did you feel when you won the contest?
I thought it was a joke when I got the call. Then I got very, very excited. My daughter took the brunt of my enthusiasm and did so with all of her 11 year-old grace: “That’s great Dad. No when are you going to write the story about space elephants and alien giraffes like you promised?”
AV: What advice do you have for other aspiring short story writers?
Take your time. Don’t rush to get finished. I think the best parts of my stories happen in the fourth or fifth revision when I finally know who my character is.
AV: What’s happened since your story was published? What’s new for you in your career?
I am working on the rest of the collection of short stories of which “Scottie” is a part. There are eleven short pieces and a novella to end the cycle. They are all set in the same location on the same day with intersecting story lines. I am getting very close to finished. I hope to have a manuscript done by August. Then I have to decide what I do with it
—Tim Ryan won the 2017 Alberta Views Short Story contest for his story Scottie.
For more information and to submit your entry to the 2018 contest, click here.