Ali Said

Ali Said is a mixed-race, gay writer. Born in Dagenham, he went to school in the UAE before returning to London for university. He has since lived in places as different as New York and Cairo but is now back in South London. Ali’s writing focuses on multicultural interactions, and the many different ways in which we find our own path. His stories have been listed for several prizes and he can be found on Twitter @AliSaidWrote
AIDEN SHAW’S PENIS, the title story of this anthology is a celebration of the unexpected ways that art (in the broadest sense – in this case a porn magazine) can help break free from the censorship imposed upon us externally, and which we impose on ourselves. It is about finding your own truth and learning how to live it.


To find out a little more about their work, we asked Ali the following questions…

What inspires your work?

My mixed (in many ways) heritage. The interaction between the culture we’re given and the one we find for ourselves is very interesting to me. Good writing should reflect the many-sided nature of people’s personalities, rather than put people in boxes. Travel and South London are two big inspirations, too (which often means ideas come to me while squashed onto the Northern Line).


Tell us a bit about your writing process…

Ideas usually come to me as a single image or a single line first, I then build a story around that image. I always write the first sketch, and partial draft, by hand before moving to the computer. I recently discovered a wonderful paper-style tablet (the ReMarkable) and I now do all my initial drafts on it. I then force myself to cut out a lot of words before sending it to my first two readers, who are always my partner and my mother.