Rowan McCandless, winner of the 2018 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize, was recently interviewed by Malahat Review volunteer Stephanie Harrington for our January e-newsletter. Together, they discussed the hermit crab essay form, settler euro-colonialism, and writing about trauma in Rowan McCandless' winning essay, "Found Objects."
SH: What advice would you give to other writers, especially young people, who are writing about traumatic incidents?
RM: Given that this kind of writing can be triggering, I suggest having a good support system in place to draw comfort or strength from, when and if need be. I know for myself that I can only write in a state of calm and being centred, and meditation and mindfulness rituals help with that. It’s essential for a writer to consider their readiness; if you’ve reached a point in your healing that enables you to examine the event. I think that it’s crucial to consider self-care and pacing when writing about traumatic experiences and to recognize that at any point in the writing you can pack up and put the story away.
Look for "Found Objects" in our upcoming Spring 2019 Issue 206.
Read the full interview on our website: tinyurl.com/yd7fusnd