Saturday, 25 June 2016

Happy National Flash-Fiction Day

Yes, it's finally here, after all that waiting, the 5th (can you believe it?) annual celebration of the small story-form we all know and love.

Now, I know that you, like me, might be a little worse for wear after the last couple of days, and 2016 has taken a toll on us all, but today is not a time to worry about that. It's a time for Flashing!

Things kicked off earlier in the week, with a workshop in Winchester, and today we have events running all over the UK.
  • In Oxford, Virginia Moffatt will be flash-writer in residence all day at the Albion Beatnik Bookstore.
  • In Manchester there is a workshop being hosted by Verbose in Fallowfield. 
  • In Cardiff there will be an Art and story event at the Chapter Arts Centre.
  • In Southampton there will be a flash workshop at the Art House.
  • And in Bristol there will be a workshop, a walk, and an evening of readings and the launch of our anthology.

Details of all these can be found at

And that's not all, as that webpage will tell you, on Sunday, in Dublin, you can join in Big Smoke's Flash Dash, on Monday we have an evening of readings in Manchester, again hosted by Verbose, and on Tuesday, in Belfast, you can learn to write flash with Paul McVeigh!

As mentioned above, at the Bristol event we are also launching this year's anthology, A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. But if you can't make it to Bristol, the book is available on Amazon in:
Paperback -
and, Kindle -
(change the to your local ending for your country's version of the store).

And, if that wasn't enough, the Flash is currently Flooding from our online journal, and through our Facebook and Twitter feeds - a story every 10 minutes for the whole 24 hours.

But wherever you are, and whatever you're doing, a big thank you from me and the team for all your support for NFFD. We never expected to be here for our 5th, and it's all thanks to you.

So, Happy Day and Happy Flashing!

Calum Kerr
National Flash-Fiction Day

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Flash Walk - Bristol: LINE UP!

Interested in our Flash Walk in Bristol this Saturday? Want to know the line-up of stories? Sure you do!

·   The Harbour Festival by AA Abbott

·    Harbouring Friendship by Diane Tatlock

·    Johnny Pencloud by Juliet Hagan

·    Altitude by Judy Darley

·    On Pero’s Bridge by Holly Atkinson 

·    Your Name is Pero Jones by Ingrid Jendrzejewski 

·    Dolphins by Lucho Payne 

·   A Thousand Words by Gemma Govier

·    Will There Be Pirates? by Lynn Love 

·   Singing Out Loud by Mark Rutterford 

It's set to be a great event! For more information, follow this link here to the Facebook Event Page: Flash Walk.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Anthology Kindle Edition, Events, and More!

Kindle Edition

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash-Fiction Day 2016 Anthology is now available to purchase on Kindle!

For more information, and to purchase the Kindle edition, check out this link here: Kindle Edition.


We have a huge range of events happening for National Flash Fiction Day this year, including workshops, flash walks, and readings.

For a full list of events to get involved with, check out the Events page on our main website by following this link here: National Flash Fiction Day events.

Running an event not listed here? Drop us a line and let us know and we'll share it with the world!

and More!

FlashFlood, our online journal which publishes a flash fiction every ten minutes or so throughout National Flash Fiction Day itself, is still open for submissions! We're looking for flash fiction of 500 words or fewer. For more information, checkout FlashFlood submission guidelines.

Friday, 17 June 2016

OUT NOW! A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology.

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology is out now! 

To purchase the paperback edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. The Kindle version of the anthology will be available soon.

We hope you enjoy reading the anthology. It really is mighty...a book full of star quality flashes!

'An anthology of flash-fictions to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day (UK), showcasing the very best on offer in this small literary form. The tales cross genres from horror to romance, from fantasy to dark reality, but each one will cause a new star to shine in your imagination. Authors include: Sarah Hilary, Angela Readman, Claire Fuller, Paul McVeigh, Santino Prinzi, Nik Perring, Meg Pokrass, Michelle Elvy, Tim Stevenson, Debbie Young, Kevlin Henney, Nuala Ní Chonchúir and NFFD Director, Calum Kerr.'

Monday, 13 June 2016

The Box of Stars Beneath the Bed - Cover Reveal

Well, I've spent all day with my crayons. I've done my best to stay inside the lines (I had my tongue peeking out of the corner of my mouth, and everything) and now have a finished cover for your viewing delectation.

So, here it is, hope you like it. On sale for National Flash-Fiction Day on 25th June 2016.

More information about all events at

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Anthology Title and Full Track Listing

Well, the anthology is now fully assembled, and we hope it will be available for sale online before the day. We can now reveal that the title will be A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed, taken from Jon Stubbington's story.

We've also managed to include a series of commissioned stories from a range of wonderful writers - some familiar names, and some up-and-coming writers. The full 'track-listing' is below, with all the wonderful stories you'll be able to read.

As well as online, we'll have copies of the book at the launch event in Bristol on NFFD itself. More information about that, all the other events, can be found on the website at

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

Before the Sun Comes Up                                Tim Stevenson
Miss Scarlet in the Shed                                    Tracy Fells           
Cold Hands                                                       Rhoda Greaves
Ambush                                                             Richard Holt       
Outsider                                                             Laura Huntley     
Theseus in Belleville                                         Anne Elizabeth Weisgerber
Bocca Baciata                                                    Ruth McKee        
Health and Pleasure, Glorious Sea!                  Sharon Telfer      
Gingerbread                                                      Virginia Moffat
A Marionettist’s Musings While on a Park Bench         Charley Karchin
Bubblegum Barbie                                            Emily Devane      
Lifer                                                                   Adam Trodd       
Shirts – A Fable                                                R J Dent
Sam, 29                                                              Martha Gleeson
Three Kids, Two Balloons                                KM Elkes            
Who? What?                                                     Ashley Chantler
Pub Quiz                                                           Alison Wassell
Sushi and Kitty Cats                                         Kaitlyn Johnson
Desert Blossom                                                 Annie Mitchell
Premiums                                                          Ian Shine             
Misunderstanding                                             Vivien Jones        
Wakes Week                                                      David Hartley      
Burning Faith                                                    Frankie McMillan
Pigeon English                                                  David Cook         
Kittiwakes                                                          Catherine Edmunds
The Door Closes                                               Kevlin Henney
Clippers                                                             Debbi Voisey      
I Go on the Morrow to Murder the King         Joy Myserscough
Special Delivery                                               Calum Kerr         
Grains                                                                Joanna Campbell
Panda                                                                 Fat Roland          
Fish Supper                                                       Laura Tickle         
The Vineyard                                                    Catherine McNamara
What We Threw Into The Lake                       Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
The Pleasure Principle                                      Rob Walton         
Onion                                                                Damhnait Monaghan
My Aunt Aggie                                                  Paul McVeigh      
A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed                      Jon Stubbington
A Collection                                                      Diane Simmons
Kelly Loves Traffic Light Jelly                         Jeanette Sheppard
Yellow                                                                Nuala Ní Chonchúir
424 Likes                                                           Jennifer Harvey
Manspreading                                                   Marie Gethins     
Wake Up                                                            Oli Morriss          
When Dreams are Large and Tusked                Ingrid Jendrzejewski
Ten Things that Happened After My Funeral   Santino Prinzi     
What the Therapist Said                                   Jude Higgins        
Gregor Samsa Quits the Track Team                Beverly C. Lucey
Honesty’s Not the Best Policy                         Brendan Way       
Orphans                                                            Chris Stanley       
And the Red Flower                                         Nina Lindmark Lie
One Last Pickup                                               Sarah Hilary         
Sunday Morning                                               John Holland      
About Unemployment and Rats                      Bernard O’Rourke
Captain Strix                                                    Zoe Gilbert         
Latchkey                                                           Fiona J. Mackintosh
Lips                                                                   Nik Perring         
Map Reading                                                    Jane Roberts        
How to Make Lolo                                           Michelle Elvy       
Family Values                                                 Jonathan Pinnock
Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night          Claire Fuller         
Hornet’s Nest                                                    Sally Burnette      
The Taste of Sock and Rubber                        Cathy Bryant       
In the Café                                                        Sherri Turner       
On the Invisibility of the Deaf                         Debbie Young
Flying Ant Day                                                 Judy Darley          
Marzipan Bride and Groom                             Sal Page
I Believe in You                                                 Meg Pokrass        
When She Was Good                                       Safia Moore         
Injuries in Dust                                                 Poppy O’Neill     
We Can Be Asteroids                                        FJ Morris             
Purple with a Purpose                                      Amanda Saint      
Little Ghosts                                                     Jan Carson           
The Night Life of Wives                                  Angela Readman

National Flash-Fiction Day 2016
Micro-Fiction Competition Winners

The Jumper                                                                      Anne Patterson
A One-Word Yet...                                                          Ingrid Jendrzejewski
Storm                                                                                Gemma Govier
Jessie Learns How to Keep A Secret                               Alison Wassell
Illumination                                                                      Judi Walsh           
When Words Aren’t Enough                                          Lucy Welch          
Christmas                                                                         James Watkins
Always One                                                                      Tracy Fells           
Notes                                                                                Elaine Marie McKay
Energy Efficient, Extremely Slim, Easy to Install          Ed Broom           

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Anthology 2016

Well, we've finally made it through to the other side, and now we are able to announce the stories which have made it into this year's National Flash-Fiction Day anthology.

We received nearly 500 stories (168,000 words, or thereabouts) and these are the 50 which made it in. So, if you were unsuccessful, please take comfort that it was a difficult decision from a large field of excellent work. The ones that we picked are the stories we felt would make the most compelling compendium, and a great snapshot of current flash-fiction.

To those of you who made it in: Congratulations!

As well as the stories listed below, the anthology will include the 10 micro-fiction competition winners, plus a range of commissioned stories from some truly exceptional writers.

The anthology doesn't have a name yet, but we hope to announce it very soon, and it will be on sale on National Flash-Fiction Day at the event in Bristol (and possibly elsewhere) as well as online in paper and e-book formats.

Anyway, with no further waffle, here are the stories which will soon be printed up and bound for your edification.

Adam Trodd     -     Lifer
Alison Wassell     -     Pub Quiz
Amanda Saint     -     Purple with a Purpose
Anne Elizabeth Weisgerber     -     Theseus in Belleville
Bernard O'Rourke     -     About Unemployment and Rats
Catherine Edmunds     -     Kittiwakes
Catherine McNamara     -     The Vineyard
Charley Karchin     -     A Marionettist’s Musings While on a Park Bench
Chris Stanley     -     Orphans
David Cook     -     Pigeon English
Debbi Voisey     -     Clippers
Diane Simmons     -     A Collection
Downith Monaghan     -     Onion
Emily Devane     -     Bubblegum Barbie
Fiona J. Mackintosh     -     Latchkey
Frankie McMillan     -     Burning Faith
Ian Shine     -     Premiums
Ingrid Jendrzejewski     -     When Dreams are Large and Tusked
Jan Carson     -     Little Ghosts
Jane Roberts     -     Map Reading
Jeanette Sheppard     -     Kelly Loves Traffic Light Jelly
Jennifer Harvey     -     424 Likes
Joanna Campbell     -     Grains
John Holland     -     Sunday Morning
Jon Stubbington     -     A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed
Jonathan Pinnock     -     Family Values
Joy Myserscough     -     I Go on the Morrow to Murder the King
Jude Higgins     -     What the therapist said
Judy Darley     -     Flying Ant Day
K M Elkes     -     Three Kids, Two Balloons
Kaitlyn Johnson     -     Sushi and Kitty Cats
Laura Tickle     -     Fish Supper
Marie Gethins     -     Manspreading
Martha Gleeson     -     Sam, 29
Michelle Elvy     -     How To Make Lolo
Beverly C. Lucey     -     Gregor Samsa Quits the Track Team
Nik Perring     -     Lips
Nina Lindmark Lie     -     And the Red Flower
Poppy O’Neill     -     Injuries in Dust
Rhoda Greaves     -     Cold Hands
Richard Holt     -     Ambush
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan     -     What We Threw Into the Lake
Ruth McKee     -     Bocca Baciata
Safia Moore     -     When She Was Good
Sal Page     -     Marzipan Bride and Groom
Sally Burnette     -     Hornet’s Nest
Sharon Telfer     -     Health and Pleasure, Glorious Sea!
Sherri Turner     -     In the Café
Tracy Fells     -     Miss Scarlet in the Shed

Vivien Jones     -     Misunderstanding

Monday, 6 June 2016

In Dublin on Sunday 26th June 2016? Come to FlashDash!

As a part of this year's National Flash-Fiction Day celebrations, Big Smoke Writing Factory are presenting FLASHDASH on Sunday 26th June 2016!

You can get involved by reading your stories at this event, enter their 105-word competition, or just come along and enjoy listening to some brilliant flash!

For more details about the event, how to submit writing for the competition, and if you'd like to be considered to read at the event, please check out the Facebook event page here.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Come to Bristol for National Flash Fiction Day 2016!

Only three weeks to go until it's National Flash Fiction Day! On Saturday 25th June 2016 we have lots of events going on in Bristol to celebrate! Oh, and they're all FREE! 
In the morning (10:30–12:00) we have a Flash Walk around Bristol city centre and harbourside, with site-specific flashes being read by trained actors along the route. We're also looking for submissions, so do send your flash fiction to us for our Flash Walk! You can find out more details about the event and submissions by checking out our Facebook event page here
In the afternoon (13:30–16:30) we have a workshop at Bristol Central Library led by award-winning writers Alison Powell and Ken Elkes. You can find details here about the workshop. 
And in the evening (19:00–22:00) at At the Well on Cheltenham Road, Bristol, we’ll have flash readings from local and not-so-local writers: Alison Powell, Calum Kerr, Diane Simmons, Freya Morris, Jude Higgins, Judy Darley, Ken Elkes, Kevlin Henney, Pete Sutton, Tim Stevenson, Tino Prinzi and Tom Parker. You can find more details here about the evening event. 
It's set to be a great day to celebrate flash fiction in Bristol this year, so do come along for the ride!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

NFFD 2016 Competition Results

Well, it only seems a little while ago we were announcing the longlist for our 100-word micro-fiction competition for 2016. And it was. But now, without having kept you waiting for too long, we're pleased to present the winners.

As I said in the last post, we had over 500 entries for this year's competition, and a word of thanks must go to the judges - Cathy Bryant, Kevlin Henney, Cathy Lennon, Angela Readman, Tim Stevenson and Rob Walton - for their hard work in reading through and making the difficult decisions.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and remember, if you weren't successful this time, there will be plenty more chances for you to be involved with National Flash-Fiction Day. Just go to the website at to find out more.

Below are a list of the top ten stories, and below that we have shared the stories so you can see for yourselves what great winners we have. Please join us in congratulating these fine writers!

First Place Winner: ‘The Jumper’ by Anne Patterson

Second Place Winner: ‘A One-Word Yet Possibly Longer-Than-Necessary Personal Essay Dedicated to My Soon-to-Be Ex-Boyfriend Who Doesn't Believe Me When I Tell Him I Can Write Something This Short That Sums up Everything There Is to Say about Our Relationship, Our Future Together, and His Allegedly Legendary Sexual Organ’ by Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Third Place Winner: ‘Storm’ by Gemma Govier

Highly Commended Stories:
‘Jessie Learns How To Keep A Secret’ by Alison Wassell
‘Illumination’ by Judi Walsh
‘When Words Aren’t Enough’ by Lucy Welch
‘Christmas’ by James Watkins
‘Always One’ by Tracy Fells
‘Notes’ by Elaine Marie McKay

‘Energy Efficient, Extremely Slim, Easy to Install’ by Ed Broom

First Place Winner: 
‘The Jumper’ 
by Anne Patterson

I fell in love with a jumper last Christmas. A wool-nylon-mohair mix picked up after the Christmas do. On the bus home, I slipped it on. Mmm; aftershavy, inky, lagery with a touch of exercise. If it were a scent it would be ‘Office Party’. A group email might have led to a request to pop it into internal mail, so I hung on. I kept it in bed; close in winter; further away in summer; like a lover.  This Christmas, I’ll wear it. Underneath I’ll wear nothing. If he asks for his jumper back I’ll give it to him.  

Second Place Winner: 
‘A One-Word Yet Possibly Longer-Than-Necessary Personal Essay Dedicated to My Soon-to-Be Ex-Boyfriend Who Doesn't Believe Me When I Tell Him I Can Write Something This Short That Sums up Everything There Is to Say about Our Relationship, Our Future Together, and His Allegedly Legendary Sexual Organ’ 
by Ingrid Jendrzejewski


Third Place Winner: 
by Gemma Govier

First there was the shock of soft raindrops on my cheeks and nose, then cold, damp shoulders, thighs, knees.  I felt if I ran I could protect my warm skin.  It even rained inside my mouth as I pushed against the wind.  Finally, with misted glasses, I am sodden.  My socks squelch in my shoes.  I slow down my pace.

When you finally said you were leaving, I was calm.  It's not being wet, you see, it's the process of getting wet.

Highly Commended Stories:
‘Jessie Learns How To Keep A Secret’
by Alison Wassell

‘She’s a secret scribe,’ teased Jessie’s mother. Fuzzy and mellow from her first wine Jessie took poems from the box under her bed and offered them as a birthday gift. In the morning they lay in a pile beside her egg and soldiers. Jessie’s mother kissed the top of her head.

‘I liked the one about the old lady best,’ she said. This was how Jessie learned that no place is truly secret, nobody to be trusted. The old lady poem had not been among those offered.

Jessie keeps her poems in her head now, where they can’t be found.

by Judi Walsh

It’s dark, and the bus is late. In the house opposite, the woman talks with big gestures. The man turns his glass, half a revolution at a time. He shouts and starts to leave. As he brushes past, she folds into her seat like she has a slow puncture. She wipes something from her face: a tear, or spittle perhaps? The bus arrives. “Oi, missy!” the driver shouts, and I flash my card at him, racing upstairs to the back. I just manage to see her, arms extended, mouthing something, no, singing something, twirling by herself.  

‘When Words Aren’t Enough’ 
by Lucy Welch

He was like too many words crammed into a box.  He'd come into the cafe every morning for breakfast with all those words tangled together behind his eyes.  The P of Pain looping round the S bends in Loss, caught within the sharp angles of the A of Anger.   He'd do the crossword and I'd imagine him looking through clues for the key to let the words out.  He'd leave it behind, unfinished.  One day we worked on it, all the staff, to the last square, and gave it back next morning.  That was when he first sang for us.

by James Watkins

First we dug a hole in the snow. Mama stepped into it naked; we filled snow back in around her feet. She put her arms out and Papa draped tinsel all around while I tied back her hair. We hung a bauble from each nipple and I looked for the fairy to tie to her hairband. I couldn't find it, but attached a small figurine of the Virgin Mary instead.

On Christmas Day, Tom Raye the competition judge declared that ours was certainly the most desirable tree and, according to Papa, had thought so every weeknight for the last month.

‘Always One’ 
by Tracy Fells

There’s always one. The nutter on the bus. An old lady, with tight white curls like finger rolls, takes the seat behind you. She starts plaiting your hair. Bit of a cheek, you think. What if your religion prohibits plaits? What if hair plaiting sets off your narcolepsy? Her breath smells sweet like pineapple chunks. You twist round to point out how she needs a licence to do that, lady! She moves to another seat, but her fingers still fiddle at the back of your neck. The other passengers shift and stare, as if you’re the one.

by Elaine Marie McKay

She placed the first of them where he would see, then turned from the starkness of its expectation. Later, with taciturn understanding, he wrote on the square of paper in uncomplicated letters. DOOR.

In time, the house was a patchwork of butter-coloured spaces that he filled with the concrete of - FRIDGE, CHAIR, TELEPHONE, SANITARY TOWELS.

For him, scouring the chaos of domesticity, stripping it back to its very foundations so that it could be marked with simplicity, became soothing.
In the evenings, he relaxed, sitting close to her amongst their words, stroking her hair, drinking sweet tea from CUPS.

‘Energy Efficient, Extremely Slim, Easy to Install’ 
by Ed Broom

Trap 3 rasps like Hitchens in hospital before I twig that he’s pulled the old cough ‘n’ flush and bounding off the blocks so I slam the bolt and make like Bolt and flick my belt to give him the Six Nations and I’m rinsing when he dead-legs me down on the tinned Ambrosia tiles but I weeble up to double pump his eyes with naturally derived lemon mint hand wash and Haystacks him into the unfavoured middle Armitage Shanks leaving yours truly to dress, wash and claim my rightful appointment with the Dyson Airblade VI. It’s a great drier.

NFFD 2016 Competition Longlist

Hello Flash-fans,

Well, we're just one month away from the Day itself, and what better time to announce the longlist of stories selected by our judges from this year's Micro-Fiction competition.

These are the stories which were voted most highly by a consensus of the judges, making them the best stories out of the over 500 entries we received. Congratulations to those listed below, and to those who didn't make it: thank you for taking part and supporting National Flash-Fiction Day. Competition was fierce and we hope you will try again, and possibly take part in the other NFFD activities.

And so, with no further ado, in alphabetical order, here is the longlist:

‘A One-Word Yet Possibly Longer-Than-Necessary Personal Essay Dedicated to My Soon-to-Be Ex-Boyfriend Who Doesn't Believe Me When I Tell Him I Can Write Something This Short That Sums up Everything There Is to Say about Our Relationship, Our Future Together, and His Allegedly Legendary Sexual Organ’ by Ingrid Jendrzejewski
‘Absence’ by Richard Holt
‘Always One’ by Tracy Fells
‘By ear’ by Sharon Telfer
‘Christmas’ by James Watkins
‘Energy Efficient, Extremely Slim, Easy to Install’ by Ed Broom
‘Epidemic’ by Alice Ruth Pickersgill
‘Flounder’ by Joanna Campbell
‘Gone to War’ by Frances Gapper
‘Illumination’ by Judi Walsh
‘Jessie Learns How To Keep A Secret’ by Alison Wassell
‘Notes’ by Elaine Marie McKay
‘Past Caring’ by Freya Morris
‘Play away’ by Linda Grierson
‘Saved for Later’ by Jonathan Pinnock
‘Send Later’ by Adam Trodd
‘Somewhere in between we all must choose. Enough diesel to move frontways or Limp back to Dada. Make the choice. He’s waiting with his fingers curled tight. ’ by Caroline Grebbell
‘Storm’ by Gemma Govier
‘Swing’ by Chris Connolly
‘The Birth of the Baptist’ by Fiona J. Mackintosh
‘The Cartographers’ by Jon Stubbington
‘The Father of Octopus Wrestling’ by Frankie McMillan
‘The Jumper’ by Anne Patterson

‘When Words Aren’t Enough’ by Lucy Welch

Congratulations again to all who made it through. We're collating the final results now, and hope to announce the winners and runners-up later today.