Thursday, 10 May 2018

Micro Fiction Competition Winners!

Before we announce the winners of the micro fiction competition, I want to apologise about a technical issue that meant all of my lovely emails I sent out to authors who entered our micro competition or submitted to the anthology did not send. 

As usual, there were hundreds and hundreds of submitters. We always send out an email to let people know whether or not they've been accepted via a link to this blog where the announcement is made. Only one set of emails actually sent; the rest were bounced back as a failed delivery. Obviously my mail box was working to Bank Holiday rules.

Apologies again if you haven't received an email, but you can find out if you're in the anthology or were shortlisted for the micro competition by checking out our previous blog post.

Without further delay, it's time to announce the results of this year's micro fiction competition!

Again, I want to thank our judges for doing such a stellar job of reading through all 600 entries, narrowing it down to just 24, and then again to only 10. Thank you to Kevlin Henney, Ingrid Jendrzrjewski, Angela Readman, Rob Walton, Brianna Snow, and Anne Patterson. 

I also want to thank everyone who submitted, and to congratulate again all of the authors who made the shortlist -- that, in itself, is a huge achievement. The quality was very high, and this made for a very tight race to the finish.

First Place:
The Birth of the Baptist by Fiona J. Mackintosh

Second Place:
Pull by Charmaine Wilkerson

Third Place:
A Nice Bit of Linoleum by Rachael Dunlop

Highly Commended Stories:

Fifth Grade by Lisa Ferranti
Death of a Friend by Amanda O’Callaghan
Forgetting, Remembering by Catherine Edmunds
Things I Never Saw Again After You Dumped Me By Text Message by Rebecca Field
1990 by Alan Beard
Louise by Elaine Dillon
White Lies by Anita Goveas

Congratulations to all of the authors of our winning and highly commended micros! 

All of the stories are published below, will appear on our website in due course, and will be published in this year's National Flash Fiction Day anthology! We hope you love these micros as much as we do!

First Place:
The Birth of the Baptist
Fiona J. Mackintosh

Slide the 100 lire coin into the slot. Watch the lights flare, the fresco spring to life, Ghirlandaio’s pinks, blues, and greens. Watch your girl in denim shorts stare upward, lips parted, eyes roaming over the ancient stone wall. See her smile at St. Elizabeth reclining, at the wet nurse suckling the infant John the Baptist. And when the coin runs out and the chapel snaps back into darkness, know that you too are just the forerunner, that one day she’ll leave you in your own private wilderness with the taste of locusts and wild honey bitter in your mouth.

Second Place:
Charmaine Wilkerson

When their fathers went to the cockfights in the next parish over, the girls begged rides from the neighbour boys. While their dads wiped flecks of blood from their faces, the girls left their shoes and dresses on the sand. While the boys watched, rapt and rigid, from the powdery shore, the girls plunged, head first, into the warm saltwater, pulling through the waves, pulling through their fear of sharks, pulling through the sting of rays, pulling against lactic acid and breathing in gulps of their future as champions, their ticket away from this island.

Third Place:
A Nice Bit of Linoleum
Rachael Dunlop

The smell of lavender floor wax accompanies her out of the house. She’d rather have linoleum in the hall but parquet has more cachet, he says. She sniffs at her cardigan cuffs. She could have tucked them better into her housecoat this morning. At the greengrocer’s she runs a nail along the silky gills of a mushroom and inhales, longing for a life lived in the leaf-mould litter of a forest floor, peaty earth under her stockinged feet. Failing that, she thinks as she drops the mushroom into a torn-cornered paper bag, she’d settle for a nice bit of linoleum. 

Highly Commended Stories:

Fifth Grade 
Lisa Ferranti

Fifth grade was the year we giggled through the school nurse’s explanation of menstruation. The year boys were not separated from girls, and Jimmy M. fainted, fell at my feet. The year we ogled bare-breasted fertility statues at the art museum. Told we were forbidden to touch. I waited for the teacher to round the corner, pointed my finger a baby’s breath from the carved stone. I swung my hair, tried to catch Jimmy’s eye. Fifth grade was the year I learned to say without saying: Dare me?The year a blue-blazered security guard grabbed my arm.  

Death of a Friend
Amanda O’Callaghan

When she met her gaze, that last time, she remembered the mouse. Once, standing on the back verandah, night sunk deep into the trees, she’d heard the sound of bird’s wings, wheeling close. She knew it was the owl; she’d seen it, days before, perched on the sheeny muscle of ghost gum, turning its domed head. But this time, she could see nothing. There was only the lethal fold of feathers, swooping down, close to the grass. Then, a tiny creature carried aloft, shrieking from its miniature lungs, the shape of its outrage borne away, beyond a pitiless moon. 

Forgetting, Remembering
Catherine Edmunds

The gulf between us is a river in spate. We nudge each other when the snoring becomes intolerable, but our arms remain empty. 

You go up for an afternoon nap, and don’t come down again. The paramedics ask me my name. I don’t know any more.  

Later, I iron all your shirts, your socks, ties, hats, documents; I iron the bedsheets and spray them with starch until the river has subsided. I lie on the hot, alien sheets and scorch my back and buttocks until I remember my name.

Things I Never Saw Again After You Dumped Me By Text Message
Rebecca Field

My toothbrush. My spare contact lenses. That Bob Dylan album I lent you. The old Iron Maiden T-shirt you gave me to sleep in at your place. My Fight Club video. Your housemates, except for that one time I saw Dave in Fulton’s Frozen Foods and he blanked me. Your house cat – I wonder who fed him once I wasn’t there anymore. You in the morning with the shakes, thinking about your next drink. All the money I lent you to go out drinking without me. Best of all, that look my mother would give me when I mentioned you.

Alan Beard

Girl in a Blockbusters smelling of Shake ‘n’ Vac, stares blankly in her soft plumpness and soft permed hair at the pop video playing. Vanilla Ice. She thinks of customers’ lives, their homes as they return last night’s film: Ghost, Petty Woman. Evenings ahead with her husband watching videos, maybe this boy who hangs around, chats to her between customers. Does she even like him? He has big brown eyes. He says put on heavy metal. Ugh, she says, not likely. She’s old fashioned, likes the Carpenters; the woman starved herself to death, but sang beautifully before she did.

Elaine Dillon

The thunder that meant the end of summer sent us running inside, just as the rain started hissing on the path. Fat drops topped up the paddling pool.

We sat in the doorframe and dared Louise to do something we wouldn’t, for fear of a leathering.  

She pulled off her swimsuit and exploded over the threshold. The grass licked her heels and her fine hair soaked dark against her back, as she sprinted towards the leylandii and launched herself through, like she was diving into a deep pool.

We sat with our mouths open and a towel across our laps.

White Lies
Anita Goveas

It's a tradition for Block B, Mary Gee Hall to eat together every Sunday. The first week of the Easter holidays, there's only three students eating lentil spag bol.
Shaven-headed Angus and curvy-hipped Lei are touching feet under the table, and mumbling about their individual plans for the week to their kitchen-mate. Peony-faced Kate cries at wildlife documentaries and once filled Lei's bed with rose petals for Valentine's day.
Leicester University is teaching them essay-writing, what happens when you put a black sock in with your whites, and that what you don’t say is more important than what you do.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Micro Fiction Competition and Food Anthology Announcements!

Good afternoon, flashers! 

We are now in our seventh year of National Flash Fiction Day! As always, both our micro fiction competition and annual anthology encourage hundreds of you to send us your best flashes, and this year was no different. Both competitions were incredibly fierce this year, but I can finally share with you all some news!

Micro Fiction Competition Shortlist

This year we had around 600 entries for our micro fiction competition, where we asked you to write a story of 100 words or fewer on any theme. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our brilliant judges who had the rewarding but difficult task of whittling these 600 entries to a shortlist of just 24 stories: Angela Readman, Anne Patterson, Briana Snow, Ingrid Jendrzrjewski, Kevlin Henny, and Rob Walton. 

We'd also like to thank you all for submitting! 

Without further delay, here's this year's shortlisted authors and titles:

Alan Beard1990
Rachael DunlopA Nice Bit of Linoleum
Wes LeeConch
Amanda O'CallaghanDeath of a Friend
Lisa FerrantiFifth Grade
Carmen MarcusFirst Date
Catherine EdmundsForgetting, Remembering
Alison WoodhouseHome Fires
Victoria RichardsI remember her in espadrilles
Gaynor JonesLadybird, Ladybird
Elaine DillonLouise
Jan KaneenMy Teenage Son Defining Words Just Before I challenge his use of Possessive Pronouns
Jeanette DaviesPrimigravida at the Day Centre
Charmaine WilkersonPull
David CookRevenge, Via Handicrafts
Lucy GoldringSchool Run
Noa SivanSign Language
Clare O'BrienSuspension
Graham W. HendersonTen Minute IQ Test
Fiona J. MackintoshThe Birth of the Baptist
Shirl WeirThe Haves and the Have Nots
Jan KaneenThe Last Six Things I’ll Have Done by the Time You Wake up
Rebecca FieldThings I Never Saw Again After You Dumped Me By Text Message
Anita GroveasWhite Lies

Congratulations to all of our shortlisted authors! The judges have already chosen the winning stories, and a further announcement will be made once all of the scores have been collated. The winning and highly commended flashes will be published on our website and in this year's flash fiction anthology.

NFFD Food-themed Flash Fiction Anthology

Again, this year our anthology editors have had hundreds of incredible flashes to read and choose from, making selecting 50 stories for the anthology extremely enjoyable, but equally tricky. 

Myself and this year's co-editor, Alison Powell, challenged you all to write flashes of 500 words or fewer responding to the theme of Food, and were so spoilt for choice! There were numerous delicacies for us to sink our teeth into, and so many different responses to the theme. We feel that this anthology is going to be something really special.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Alison for all of her hard work in helping me choose our top 50 stories. 

And so, here are our anthology authors and their flashes:

Philip CharterThe Change
KM ElkesLate Blackberries
Nan WigingtonFamous Last Meals
Nuala O'ConnorSponge
J. E. KennedyAn Offering
Frankie McMillanThe Happy Eggs from Podomosky
Ingrid JendrzrjewskiOn the Wabash
Jude HigginsThe Ways of the Flesh
Alicia BakewellRipening
Joanna CampbellGingerbread
Nadia StoneYaya's Pips
Charlotte WührerShipwreck Feast
Diane SimmonsA Picnic in the Park
Sylvia PetterOysters
Judy DarleyCornish Gold
Sal PageA Fifteen Stone Woman, with a Six Stone Daughter Who Will Not Eat, Writes Shopping Lists
Christopher M DrewA Turn of the Tide
Sarah EvansThe Word Eater
E. P. ChiewFor the Love of a Bagel
Rachael DunlopBorder Line
Emily DevaneThe Apple Seekers
Anna RymerEight Weeks Old
Helen RyeMe ‘N’ Claudz Of A Friday Night Down The Chippy And The Oasis Bar
Emma HardingSay It with a Cake
Anne SummerfieldOnly Now Can I Think of All The Things I Should Have Said
Olga WojtasScottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Sophie van LlewynHi, Dad, How've You Been?
Sharon TelferCaramel Baby
Ioanna MavrouWeekends in Waianae
Gay DeganiTroy Mills
Jan KaneenSour
Sara ChansarkarMango Pulp
Claire PoldersA Tasting of European Chefs
Ros WoolnerMake a Wish
Stephanie HuttonNourishment
Jacqueline SavilleIt's Not Her
FJ MorrisThe Root of It
Damhnait MonaghanHabits
A. E. WeisgerberKnoxville
Poppy O'NeillThe Creator is Disturbed at Her Vanity
Jennifer HarveyThirteen
H Anthony HildebrandEwei
David CookThe Shock Of The New Breakfasts
Kymm CovenyPopcorn
Deborah MeltvedtFarmer's Market
Erica Plouffe LazureThe Italic
Laura PearsonNot Love, Not Carbohydrates
Gemma GovierBass Drums and Trumpets for Tea
TM UpchurchPlum Skin
Abi HynesHow to Eat a Grape

Congratulations to all of our authors! The full line-up with stories from guest authors will be announced at a later date, as well as the title and cover reveal!

Thank you all, as always, for supporting National Flash Fiction Day! We can't wait to announce the winners of the micro competition and to serve up our food-themed flash anthology!

Meanwhile, if you're planning an event for National Flash Fiction Day on or around Saturday 16th June, please don't hesitate to email us at with all of the details, and we'll help shout out about it! 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Deadlines for this Year's Micro-Competition and Food Anthology are Fast Approaching!

Submissions for National Flash Fiction Day 2018 are now open, but the deadlines are coming up fast! 

You have until Saturday 17th March 2018 to send us up to three micro fictions on any theme for our Micro fiction competition. That's less than a week left! These must be 100 words or fewer. More details about the micro competition are here:

Our 2018 anthology submissions are now open too, and we hope you're hungry! From now until Saturday 31st March 2018, you can send us up to three 500-word on this year's theme: Food! The anthology will be edited by award-winning writer, Alison Powell, and National Flash Fiction Day Co-Director, Santino Prinzi. Your stories must be 500 words or fewer. 

We're looking for stories inspired by and about whatever's on your plate. We're ready to salivate over your sentences, to savour the subtle flavours of your subtext, to devour your delicious dialogue. Sweet, sour, savoury, sharp, tangy, rich, or rotten. Serve us up some scrumptious tales and tantalising treats with tasty twists. Are we all becoming too healthy? Or is suet the main dish of the day? Has a friendship been ruined by raw chocolate? We're looking for full-fat, jam-packed flash fiction with an aftertaste we won't forget. Feel free to interpret the theme of "food" however you wish, but your flashes must fit the theme in some way. 

More details about the anthology are here:

We can't wait to read your flashes!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Happy National Flash-Fiction Day 2017!

Hello everyone,

Yes, it's here again. This is the sixth National Flash-Fiction Day (and they said it wouldn't last). 

As ever, there are a number of events happening all over the UK and beyond, details of which you can read on our website at

Earlier in the year, we ran our micro-fiction competition, and you can read the winning stories at

We also took submissions for our anthology, Sleep is a Beautiful Colour, which you can now buy online at Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions. The book also includes all the competition winners, as well as wonderful stories from some of the best flash-fictioneers in the world. 

The anthology will also be on sale at the launch, this evening, as part of the UK's first ever Flash-Fiction Literary Festival, in Bath. Details about that are online at

And, last but not even a little bit least, we are once again flooding the internet with flash-fiction with our FlashFlood. You can read the stories as they appear on our blog ( but also through our Facebook and Twitter feeds. And, don't worry, the stories will remain on the blog after tomorrow, along with over 1000 stories from previous issues.

Once again, it will be a massive day to celebrate the smallest prose fictions, and thanks must go to all who help organise the day, and all of you for your support in writing and reading and taking part in the day.

Special thanks to my co-Director Tino Prinzi, without whom the day wouldn't have happened. 

And that's enough of me. The Flood is now flooding, the day is unfolding before you. So go forth and Flash!

Calum Kerr

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Cover Reveal!

Welcome to Sleep is a Beautiful Colour: National Flash Fiction Day 2017 Anthology, edited by Santino Prinzi and Meg Pokrass.

We are currently very busy proofreading the anthology, and the feedback from our proofreaders has been outstanding! They're all very excited about this anthology, as are we, and we hope you are too! We'll let you know when the anthology is available to purchase.

For the full line-up of authors and their flashes, see the list below:

Robert ScotellaroA Sky Full of Ghosts
Catherine EdmundsMolly and the Toe-rag
Simon SylvesterSoup Stone
Sandra ArnoldThe Quick and the Dead
Heather McQuillanIridescence
James CoffeyClose Encounters
Victoria RichardsAino Yehudi 
Kevlin HenneyDIY
Sophia HolmeRehabilitation
Joy MannéStabbed
Robert LopezInto My Own Parade
Mary Lynn ReedThe Thieves Are Coming. They Are Taking It All
Jonathan TaylorNot a Horror Story
Jenny WoodhouseStepping Out
Steven MossGabriel
Peter WortsmanBliss Street
Sharon TelferNever Going to Fall for Modern Love
Marie GethinsUnseen
Bobbie Ann MasonThe Girl in Purple
Conor HoughtonThe Great Forgotten Language
Rupert DasturIt All Ends
Tim StevensonA Thousand Years
Miranda KateFriends
Nuala Ní ChonchúirBunnahabhain
Michael LovedayLet Them Know Me By My Teeth
Lex WillifordHorsewhip
Sophie RosenblumA Terrier’s Limits
Mark Connors
Gary Duncan
Free Hugs
Steve TuffinThe Sun on the Dash
Diane SimmonsDancing Partners
Gary PowellMissing
Rachael DunlopTeeter, Totter, Tattle-Tale
Gay DeganiAnamnesis
Helen RyeSleep Is A Beautiful Colour
Christopher M DrewThe Fisher King
David O’NeillTin Can Phones
Stuart DybekFog
David StewardTwenty-Five Seconds
Nod GhoshExactly the Way You Are
Matthew Thorpe-ColesIt’s M.E., Not You
Megan CrosbieBig Responsibilities
Joanna CampbellBreathing
Danielle McLaughlinLet Robot Lawnmower Work. Enjoy Your Life!
Sophie van LlewynThe Skirt
Erica Plouffe LazureOn The Way Out
Pamela PainterVacation Dog
Clare PoldersSwing State
Paul CurrionHappiness
Calum KerrWho Came?
Zoe MurdockLiving Alone with Derrida
Meg PokrassTenders
Anne SummerfieldOn the Track You Tasted Blue
Etgar KeretThe Most
Judy DarleyFascinate
Angela ReadmanLegs in the Air, We Think about Spring
Anna Nazarova-EvansThe Boy at a London Bus Stop Who Took 
My Photograph in the Summer of 1999
Santino PrinziThey Keep Calling My Ex-Husband Brave
Judi WalshCarousel
Lindsay FisherHow Traveller Boys Love
Ingrid JendrzejewskiThe Complete and Incomplete Works of Lydia Davis
Jason JacksonAna and Jose-Ramon
Robert ShapardWeather Girl
KM ElkesThe Way We Lie
Jane DugdaleMilk and Money
Claudia SmithStartled
Kirsty CowanMrs Livingstone’s Artist
Adam TroddI Am My Own David Attenborough
Jude HigginsThere’s No Such Thing as a Fish
2017 National Flash-Fiction Day Micro Competion Winners
Brianna SnowFifth Grade
Stephanie HuttonGeology of a Girl
Sherry MorrisAs Liquid is Poured
Catherine EdmundsBrave
Sally SysonMermaids
Kayla PongracFireflies in the Backyard
Sacha WaldronFawn
Jennifer HarveyMango
Christina TaylorThe In-Between Hour
Alison WassellThe Smoking Circle

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Anthology Title and Full Line-Up Announcement!

Assembly of the 2017 National Flash Fiction Day anthology is well underway. The theme for this year's anthology is Life As You Know It.

We're thrilled to announce that this year's anthology will be called Sleep Is A Beautiful Colour, taken from a brilliant and funny story by Helen Rye.

We've also managed to include a series of commissioned stories from a range of wonderful writers. We're sure you'll recognise some of these writers, and that you'll be as excited as we are about their appearance in this year's anthology! The full 'line-up' is below, with all the incredible stories you'll be able to read.

We will be launching Sleep Is A Beautiful Colour on National Flash Fiction Day (June 24th) at the UK's first Flash Fiction Festival taking place in Bath. If you are organising a flash fiction event for National Flash Fiction Day, please get in contact with us so we can promote your event!

Without further ado, welcome to life as we know it...

Sleep Is A Beautiful Colour

Robert Scotellaro A Sky Full of Ghosts
Catherine Edmunds Molly and the Toe-rag
Simon Sylvester Soup Stone
Sandra Arnold The Quick and the Dead
Heather McQuillan Iridescence
James Coffey Close Encounters
Victoria Richards Aino Yehudi 
Kevlin Henney DIY
Sophia Holme Rehabilitation
Joy Manné Stabbed
Robert Lopez Into My Own Parade
Mary Lynn Reed The Thieves Are Coming. They Are Taking It All
Jonathan Taylor Not a Horror Story
Jenny Woodhouse Stepping Out
Steven Moss Gabriel
Peter Wortsman Bliss Street
Sharon Telfer Never Going to Fall for Modern Love
Marie Gethins Unseen
Bobbie Ann Mason The Girl in Purple
Conor Houghton The Great Forgotten Language
Rupert Dastur It All Ends
Tim Stevenson A Thousand Years
Miranda Kate Friends
Nuala Ní Chonchúir Bunnahabhain
Michael Loveday Let Them Know Me By My Teeth
Lex Williford Horsewhip
Sophie Rosenblum A Terrier’s Limits
Mark Connors
Gary Duncan
Free Hugs
Steve Tuffin The Sun on the Dash
Diane Simmons Dancing Partners
Gary Powell Missing
Rachael Dunlop Teeter, Totter, Tattle-Tale
Gay Degani Anamnesis
Helen Rye Sleep Is A Beautiful Colour
Christopher M Drew The Fisher King
David O’Neill Tin Can Phones
Stuart Dybek Fog
David Steward Twenty-Five Seconds
Nod Ghosh Exactly the Way You Are
Matthew Thorpe-Coles It’s M.E., Not You
Megan Crosbie Big Responsibilities
Joanna Campbell Breathing
Danielle McLaughlin Let Robot Lawnmower Work. Enjoy Your Life!
Sophie van Llewyn The Skirt
Erica Plouffe Lazure On The Way Out
Pamela Painter Vacation Dog
Clare Polders Swing State
Paul Currion Happiness
Calum Kerr Who Came?
Zoe Murdock Living Alone with Derrida
Meg Pokrass Tenders
Anne Summerfield On the Track You Tasted Blue
Etgar Keret The Most
Judy Darley Fascinate
Angela Readman Legs in the Air, We Think about Spring
Anna Nazarova-Evans The Boy at a London Bus Stop Who Took 
My Photograph in the Summer of 1999
Santino Prinzi They Keep Calling My Ex-Husband Brave
Judi Walsh Carousel
Lindsay Fisher How Traveller Boys Love
Ingrid Jendrzejewski The Complete and Incomplete Works of Lydia Davis
Jason Jackson Ana and Jose-Ramon
Robert Shapard Weather Girl
KM Elkes The Way We Lie
Jane Dugdale Milk and Money
Claudia Smith Startled
Kirsty Cowan Mrs Livingstone’s Artist
Adam Trodd I Am My Own David Attenborough
Jude Higgins There’s No Such Thing as a Fish
2017 National Flash-Fiction Day Micro Competion Winners
Brianna Snow Fifth Grade
Stephanie Hutton Geology of a Girl
Sherry Morris As Liquid is Poured
Catherine Edmunds Brave
Sally Syson Mermaids
Kayla Pongrac Fireflies in the Backyard
Sacha Waldron Fawn
Jennifer Harvey Mango
Christina Taylor The In-Between Hour
Alison Wassell The Smoking Circle