This Week’s Reader: Aliya Whitely

aliyaAliya Whitely is the author of  “Lydia Before”  which will be included in our upcoming anthology, SmokeLong Quarterly: The Best of the First Ten Years.


Born in Devon in 1974, Aliya Whiteley took a degree in Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University in the early 1990s and has been writing since then. She is currently living in West Sussex with her husband and daughter.

Her two comic novels, Light Reading and Three Things About Me, were published by Macmillan, and her speculative fiction has appeared in various publications, such as Strange Horizons, Word Riot, Smokelong, the Elastic Press slipstream anthology, Subtle Edens (co-written with Neil Ayres), and The Megazanthus First Book of Classical Horror Stories.

Her short stories have received much critical praise, from The Boston Globe to Tangent, and have garnered accolades such as The Drabblecast People’s Choice Award, runner-up in the Guardian’s Short Short Story competition, and runner-up in the McSweeney’s 13 Writing Prompts competition. In 2012 she was the runner up in the British Fantasy Society short story competition. Her first collection of fantasy stories, titled Witchcraft in the Harem, was published by Dog Horn Publishing in April 2013.

A Flash She Likes:

Seconds Are Ticking By” by Nik Perring

A Deal-Breaker:

A ‘deal-breaker’ would be a lack of lyricism in a piece of flash fiction. Every word has to earn a place, and reflect the meaning of the story.

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