Leigh Claire Schmidli Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize
Congratulations to Leigh Claire Schmidli on the selection of her short story “Grow Heavy” for the Fall 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize! “Grow Heavy” will be published in Issue 19 of The Los Angeles Review.
“Subtle, tender, poignant, this story delivers an emotional wallop in just a few pages. A gorgeous evocation of loneliness, of the delicate yearning for connection, for contact, at the same time as it pursues larger notions of manhood. Lovely and deeply memorable.”
—Megan Abbott, Fall 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Finalist Judge
We asked Leigh Claire to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her. She replied:
For me, “Grow Heavy” speaks of gentleness and strength together, of loss and longing, of the inner life—a small obsession, a memory—that arises and allows the days to move on, of the flickers of light that filter through.
Writing can be so solitary and slow. Often, in the quiet, just me, I begin to wonder why I’m doing this work. But then I remember what happens when I read someone else’s story and it resonates with me. I experience a connection. Some combination of aesthetics and narrative ignites, and I can feel for those characters, I can miss them after the last page, and I can recognize their narratives in the real lives around me. For me, publication means connection. It’s the possibility that, after many long and lonely days of writing, these characters I’ve been wrestling with—their emotions, their ideas and journeys—they might go off into the world and touch someone.
Leigh Claire Schmidli grew up along Midwestern plains, but now lives with a view of woods-covered hills—orange in fall, purple in spring. She writes poetry, fiction, and essays, loves to read work with lyrical leanings, and cooks meals with a man who calls her Lucy. Her first published piece—a work of flash fiction—recently came out in Carve Magazine.