Jane Copland is from Wellington, New Zealand. After spending her early years almost entirely underwater, she broke a national record in the 200m breaststroke at eighteen and moved to Pullman, Washington to take up a swimming scholarship at Washington State University. Receiving her degree in English in 2006, she moved to Seattle with every intention of working in publishing. Instead, she found herself in tech, which led her to London three years later. She now lives in Reading with her husband, son and large German Shepherd.
Jane began writing aged four, sent swiftly to the headmistress’s office to share her story about a rescue on a mountain. At seventeen, her flash fiction piece placed third in a national Tandem Press competition for under-eighteens and was published in the resulting anthology. However, she only began writing again in earnest in 2019. Since then, her work has been published in Ellipsis Zine, Spelk and Virtual Zine. She was shortlisted in the inaugural Nobrow Prize, the 2020 Fresher Prize, the London Independent Story Prize and the forty-ninth New Millennium Writing Awards.
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: I’ve written three of my most successful flash pieces whilst standing next to the power sockets in my kitchen. On each occasion, this has been an accident. The computer sits there charging, and on each occasion I got up to type some notes and ended up writing stories that were picked up very quickly for publication.
So… the corner of the kitchen island, next to the drawer with the old rubber bands.
Q: What is the least interesting part of writing for you?
A: Trying to work out the timing, timeframe and pace. I find this frustrating when the story is begging to be told, but won’t work until/unless I get those right. It’s one of my weaknesses as a writer.
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: Teleportation. See below.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Always. It’s beautiful, peaceful, warm and only an hour from the city of Auckland. I could sit there and write forever, and the wine isn’t bad either. Every time I leave, I know it’s a mistake.
The children’s centre sat at the bottom of rickety steps descending from the end of the cul-de-sac. Dark brown brick set on an uneven weedy lawn – it was begrudgingly funded by the council. Everything was rationed and short-changed to the degree that visitors paid 50p for bitter, gritty coffee and the central heating hadn’t …