Episode 441: Writing an Experimental Short Story Collection – Interview with Terena Elizabeth Bell

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Terena Elizabeth Bell. We’ll be talking about experimental fiction and her book of short stories, Tell Me What You See.

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In this episode Terena Elizabeth Bell and I discuss:

  • How she merged images and text and other ways she experimented in her stories.
  • Her advice for managing your mental health when writing about difficult topics.
  • What it means to write what you see and how she applied it to her writing.

Plus, her #1 tip for writers.

About Terena Elizabeth Bell

Terena Elizabeth Bell is a fiction writer. Her debut short story collection, Tell Me What You See (Whiskey Tit), publishes Holiday 2022. Short stories, poetry, and journalism work have appeared in The Atlantic, Playboy, MysteryTribune, Santa Monica Review, Saturday Evening Post, and more than 100 similar publications throughout the US, the UK, Ireland, and Spain. Short fiction has won grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

She is a 2021 NYFA City Artists Corps winner, a 2018 Arlene Eisenberg Award winner, a 2018 Azbee Award of Excellence winner, and Centre College’s 2014 Distinguished Young Alumna of the Year. Lead editor of the Writing Through the Classics series of books on fiction craft, she has taught creative writing independently and through the New York Society Library, Woodlawn Children’s Home, and Bowling Green State University.

From 2005 to 2015, Bell served as CEO of an international translation company and, in 2012, was appointed to President Barack Obama’s White House Business Council by US Representative John Yarmuth. She holds a BA in English from Centre College and an MA in French from the University of Louisville. Originally from Sinking Fork, Kentucky, she lives in Manhattan, where her landlord once was Philip Roth.

You can find her on her website or follow her on Twitter, TikTok, buymeacoffee.com, and medium.com.

Tell Me What You See

Tell Me What You See is a collection of ten experimental short stories about the January 6th invasion on the US Capitol, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, the increase in Alzheimer’s cases, and other news events from 2020 and 2021. 

Written in both word and image, pieces from the collection have been called “​​inventive and topical and fresh, emotional, chaotic, and important” by The McNeese Review, “timely, relevant, and interesting” by The MIssouri Review, and “cool” by The Baffler. Title story “Tell Me What You See” is also a 2021 New York Foundation for the Arts City Artist Corps winner.

If you decide to check out the book, please do so via this Amazon Affiliate link. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 441

(Right-click to download.)

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