Saturday, 16 June 2018

Happy National Flash-Fiction Day 2018

Yes, it's here again. And this is a short bulletin just to bring you up to date on all that is happening today.

We have, of course, the FlashFlood which starts at midnight and runs all the way through the day. A story will be published every 10 minutes on the blog, with a few extras across the middle of the day, bringing you a total of 148 wonderful, new flashes for you to enjoy.

Over the 7 years of NFFD this journal has had nearly 420,000 views, and we would love to be able to get even closer to the magical half million mark, so please do share the stories across your media and bring the joy to the world.
 
We also have a number of events going on around the country, including the launch of the novella-in-flash Three Sisters of Stone by Stephanie Hutton in Hanley, Stoke. This is preceded by a workshop and more information is here. 

There will also be a workshop and reading in Gloucester,

Our friends over at TSS Publishing (theshortstory.co.uk) are today launching a project to catalogue and celebrate the best in British and Irish Flash-Fiction over the next year. More information about this is on their Facebook Page.

And if you are in the Bristol area, there is so much to enjoy: a Flash-walk, two workshops, a panel on competitions,and the launch of the new anthology. All the details for that are on the Bristol Flash Facebook page



Speaking of the anthology, Ripening, it is now available to buy in both paper and Kindle formats. And although we're biased, we really think you need a copy or two in your life. 
And, as ever, there will be people publishing flashes, sharing their work, and generally enjoying the day all around the country and across the internet. One of them could be you, so why not celebrate the day by joining in by writing, sharing, or reading. 

National Flash-Fiction Day has become a staple in the calendar and the wonderful things that happen on the day are a testament to the enthusiasm of all the great writers and readers who make up the community. We're grateful for you all.

Enjoy the day, and keep flashing!

Calum Kerr
Co-Director
National Flash-Fiction Day
[Oh, and one last thing. This year we have had to start using a new service to feed the FlashFlood to our Facebook and Twitter pages. It's untested and we have no idea if it will work. So, if it should fail, please do visit https://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.com/ - every 10 minutes if you're particularly dedicated - and share the links to the stories on your social media so we can ensure everyone gets their work seen by the world. Thank you! ]
Copyright © 2018 National Flash-Fiction Day, All rights reserved. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

National Flash-Fiction Day 2018 is nearly here.

In case you don't know, this year National Flash-Fiction Day will be on 16th June. And, as ever, we have a range of things going on. 
The main launch for the day will once again be in Bristol, where there will be a Flash Walk, two workshops (one by Alison Powell and one by me, Calum Kerr) as well as the traditional reading event in the evening - to launch the new anthology Ripenings (right - available soon) -  and the even more traditional visit to the pub afterwards. And there will also be a very interesting panel discussion on what competition judges are looking out for. So that's one not to miss. More details of all these are on the website.

 
Other events include a Flash-Fiction Workshop and Reading in Gloucester, a panel on entering writing competitions and submitting to lit magazines.in Stoke, and the launch of Stephanie Hutton's first novella-in-flash Three Sisters of Stone.

Details are also on the website.

And, as ever. If you have an event we haven't listed, do let us know at nationalflashfictionday@gmail.com.
As usual for NFFD, our journal FlashFlood will be opening it's gates for submissions. The blog journal provides a deluge of flash for the Day, and has now received over 409,000 views.

Submissions open at midnight tonight, and then stay open for just 7 days. All the stories will appear on the 16th, available via the blog, or our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Stay tuned to http://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.com/ to find out more.
And finally, on a more personal note, I have to announce that this will be my last National Flash-Fiction Day.

I originally set the day up way back in 2012 and could never have imagined how it - and flash-fiction in the UK - would have blossomed. There are now many amazing flash things happening and I am so proud of the part that NFFD has played in it all.

I have been helped across the years by many, many wonderful people - Tim Stevenson, Amy Mackelden, Kevlin Henney, the editors of FlashFlood, and too many others to mention. In the last few years, particularly, Santino Prinzi, has taken over much of the heavy lifting associated with NFFD and deserves all the medals.

For me, though, it's time for me to move on and see what's next. The future of NFFD is currently undecided but we'll let you know as soon as we know what it is. 
So, that's it for now. Be sure to check out the website, the blogs, the social media, and have a great day on the 16th.

Here's to another wonderful National Flash-Fiction Day.

Yours
Calum Kerr
Co-Director of National Flash-Fiction Day
 

Ripening: National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 2018 -- Cover Reveal!

We are thrilled to reveal the cover for Ripening: National Flash-Fiction Day Anthology 2018. 



This seventh annual instalment of the National Flash-Fiction Day (UK) anthology is overflowing with food-themed flashes. Satiate your hunger for fiction with these delicious stories by new and established flash fiction writers. The authors have cooked up a smorgasbord of entertaining, moving and tantalising flashes for your reading delight. From fudge to oysters, apples to mangoes, gingerbread to (of course!) cake, there’s something in this anthology for everyone to sink their teeth into.

Authors include: Tara Laskowski, Christopher Allen, Nancy Stohlman, Frankie McMillan, Meg Pokrass, Nuala O’Connor, Robert Scotellaro, Alison Powell, Kevlin Henney, Jude Higgins, Tim Stevenson, Angela Readman, Megan Giddings, Joanna Campbell, Diane Simmons, and NFFD co-directors, Calum Kerr and Santino Prinzi.

The editors are Santino Prinzi and Alison Powell.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Introducing the National Flash Fiction Anthology 2018

We're absolutely thrilled to be able to share the title of this year's National Flash Fiction Day anthology, along with our full line-up!

This year's title is borrowed from a stunning and moving flash fiction by Alicia Bakewell. 

The cover will be revealed in the near future, and below you can read the full line-up of authors who'll feature in this year's anthology! We can't wait to share all of these stories with you!


Ripening: National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 2018



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

Micro Competition Winners
Fiona J. MackintoshThe Birth of the Baptist
Charmaine WilkersonPull
Rachael DunlopA Nice Bit of Linoleum
Lisa FerrantiFifth Grade
Amanda O'CallaghanDeath of a Friend
Catherine EdmundsForgetting, Remembering
Rebecca FieldThings I Never Saw Again After You Dumped Me By Text Message
Alan Beard1990
Elaine DillonLouise
Anita GoveasWhite Lies

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:
Pull
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.



1990
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.



Louise
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.