Friday, 5 April 2013

Flash... aha!

'Tis the season to be flashy, with various contests around in the run-up to National Flash Fiction Day on June 21st.

I was chuffed to get one of my short, shorts if not exactly in Smokelong Quaterly, at least on the back of one of their giveaway candy cigarette boxes. I know: WTF?  The stories had to be under 40 words

Here's the story:
All day he’d been hunting for that screwdriver, his grubby fingers blunt amongst the sharp things. Nothing.
At nightfall, he scattered a trail of screws in likely corners, and waited.
Finally his patience paid off...

So anyway, those competitions:

The first is from the lovely people at Flashtag, Manchester, part of the Chorlton Arts Festival. You may remember, I won this one last year with 'Two Swans' - which is now in the excellent (and freely downloadable) Listerature II anthology. This year they want 400 words by 26th April on the fairly all-encompassing theme of: Past, Present, Future.

The second is Writing on the Wall's 'In the dark' competition - 500 words by 6th May. What I don't like about this competition is that all entries have to be posted to their site, which means they're technically published if you ant to send them somewhere else.

 I can't pretend either of these offers much reward to winners except a lovely warm feeling, some literary freebies and the chance to go on and on about it on their blogs.  But the third - The Bridport Prize - offers a whopping £1000 first prize for the best 250word flash - deadline  31st May.

There's an excellent guest post by Vanesse Grebbie on the Bridport Prize site, and she also has a fun flash fiction exercise on the Writers & Artists site.

You might also like to read about the most quoted six-word stroy ever written: Hemmingway story explained


  1. What a pity I missed the competition for 40 word stories. I would have submitted this one:

    There was a young guy from Uganda
    Who crossed a rhino with a panda.
    The result wasn't auspicious,
    Though it tasted delicious,
    Once he'd smoothed down its horn with a sander.

    or perhaps:

    There was an old Boer in Rhodesia
    Who wandered around with amnesia.
    He was in such a bad way,
    When it changed to Zimbabwe,
    He was granted free euthanasia.

    Too political?


    1. Call me picky, but they're more limericks than stories aren't they? In which case, you may be interested in this earlier post: Filthy Limericks... or not.

  2. p.s. Don't let's be formal, you can call me Q!