This week, Eithne Cullen interviews Linda Parkinson-Hardman, who is an author and digital change management consultant. She’s spent over 20 years providing help, support and information to women having a hysterectomy and also runs the Hysteria Writing Competition.
EC: How would you describe your work to someone new to it?
AN: I’m a rather eclectic writer, with topics as broad as writing, happiness, health and digital transformation, because that’s the field I work in. Fiction hasn’t really been my thing to date, but who knows what might happen in the future?
EC: Can you tell us a bit about your latest project?
AN: The Hysteria Writing Competition originally started as a way of supporting the work of The Hysterectomy Association, which closed last year. I decided to carry on running it to help other writers who have maybe not yet been published.
EC: What inspired you to become involved with writing in the first place, and what inspires you now?
AN: I’ve always been a writer, but I didn’t realise it could be a profession until I wrote my first book about women’s health. That was when I knew I had something to say that other people wanted to read.
EC: The last print issue of Write On! explored the theme of Building Communities: Worlds and Words. Can you tell us a bit about how you use words to build the worlds and the communities you want your readers to engage with?
AN: Community means different things to many people. In my world, it’s all about empowering people to be the best they can be by creating communities of interest around the topics I’m interested in; whether that’s health, business or happiness. I suppose I’m looking to help a broader group of people connect with themselves, so they can connect with their community too.
EC: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?
AN: I’ve found the word procrastination usually means I don’t yet have all the relevant information. As soon as it comes along, the work I’ve been frustrated with just seems to flow. Now, I let myself off the hook and go and do something else instead. ?
EC: Can you tell us anything about future projects?
AN: Hysteria has had a couple of years off; the last one was Hysteria 6, so I’m keen to see if it still has an audience and interest. If so, I think my future projects may be around more writing competitions and definitely more writing, as I’ve just started a new blog focused on Office 365 user adoption.
EC: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?
AN: Dobbie, but only after he caught the sock! Imagine popping in and out of here, there and everywhere at will. That could provide enough inspiration for a dozen novels and stories!
Hysteria Writing Competition
Here is the all-important link for the Hysteria Writing Competition: healthyhappywoman.co.uk/hysteria-writing-competition/
Linda Parkinson-Hardman says:
The Hysteria Writing Competition originally supported the work of my social enterprise, The Hysterectomy Association. The Hysterectomy Association closed after 22 years in 2019 and all content was moved to my blog.
The purpose of the competition is to showcase entries that appeal to all my visitors. I accept entries in any genre except erotica or horror.
In light of the coronavirus crisis, there is no charge to enter this competition and entries can be uploaded in .doc, .docx, .rtf or .txt format. No other file formats will be accepted and entries made using them will be disqualified.
There is a £25 prize for the winners of each category. Nine additional entries will be included in the Hysteria 7 anthology to be published in November 2020.
- Short story – maximum 600 words
- Flash fiction – maximum 100 words
- Poetry – maximum 12 lines
- Under 16’s – any genre above
Eithne Cullen is the poet in residence for the competition and you can find out more about that here: https://healthyhappywoman.co.uk/hysteria/hysteria-2020-april-writing-challenge-with-eithne-cullen/
Community means different things to many people. In my world, it’s all about empowering people to be the best they can be by creating communities of interest around the topics I’m interested in; whether that’s health, business or happiness.