Jonathan Wlodarski is a graduate student in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Northeast Ohio University. His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Jonathan will be in residence at Write On May 7th through 14th. He will offer “Short and Strange: A Workshop on Twisting Reality in Flash Fiction.” Write On recently had the chance to talk with Jonathan about his writing and upcoming residency.
Write On: Where do you live?
Jonathan W: I live in northeast Ohio, in a suburb of Youngstown called Hubbard.
WO: What is your writing discipline like?
JW: I like to alternate between writing new things and revising; I’ll have bursts where I write two or three stories back-to-back, then I return to two or three stories I wrote earlier and revise them. Understanding that I need distance to rethink what I’ve already written—rather than agonizing nonstop in the hope of getting right immediately—is perhaps the best realization I’ve had about my process.
WO: Can you tell us about your current writing project?
JW: I’m working on a few different things: revising the last few stories in a collection I’ve been writing about fabulist ailments; writing some pieces that have been bubbling in my brain for the past few months which will eventually appear in my MFA thesis; and a collection of ekphrastic poems inspired by the imperial Fabergé eggs.
WO: Do you have a favorite place to visit in Door County or, if this will be your first visit, a site that you look forward to exploring?
JW: I’ve never been to Door County, but I’m a big sucker for ferries and islands, so I’m looking forward to Washington Island.
WO: Unrelated to writing, what is your favorite activity?
JW: My favorite outdoor pastime is looking for beach glass, so I hope I’ll find a piece or two on the beaches while I’m here.
WO: How did you become acquainted with Door County?
JW: I actually worked with two or three people from Wisconsin a few years ago who all raved about the beauty of Door County, so it’s been on my radar since then.
WO: How did you become involved with Write On?
JW: I saw an ad for Write On in The Writers’ Chronicle and leapt at the opportunity.
WO: What can people expect from your upcoming workshop?
JW: I created a workshop to blend the kind of reality-breaking fabulism I do with flash fiction, both of which are very popular in the contemporary literary scene—I’m hoping that participants walk away having a good idea about how to create an engaging, imaginative piece of flash.
WO: What advice can you give to aspiring Write On writers?
JW: Be patient. Sometimes the idea you want to put down on the page might not be ready to leave your head yet.