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
Communication
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
Communication
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

Thursday, 18 May 2017

2017 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology!

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 over 500 stories, closer to 600 stories really (182,000 words, or thereabouts) and these are the 50 which made it in. So, if you were unsuccessful, please take comfort that it was a very 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, along with the full line-up. It will be on sale on National Flash-Fiction Day at the anthology launch at the UK's first ever literary festival devoted entirely to Flash Fiction, as well as online in paper and e-book formats. For more information about the Flash Fiction Festival, please visit their website: www.flashfictionfestival.com  Tickets are selling fast, so if you want to go you'll need to book soon.

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


Angela Readman Legs in the Air, We Think About Spring
Judy Darley Fascinate
Rachael Dunlop Teeter, Totter, Tattle-Tale
Adam Trodd I Am My Own David Attenborough
Anne Summerfield On the Track You Tasted Blue
Jane Dugdale Milk and Money
Helen Rye Sleep is a Beautiful Colour
Judi Walsh Carousel
Claire Polders Swing State
Lex Williford Horsewhip
Marie Gethins Unseen
Jonathan Taylor Not a Horror Story
Erica Plouffe Lazure On The Way Out
Catherine Edmunds Molly and the Toe-rag
Gary Powell Missing
James Coffey Close Encounters
Conor Houghton The Great Forgotten Language
Paul Currion Happiness
Kirsty Cowan Mrs Livingstone's Artist
David O'Neill Tin Can Phones
Nod Ghosh Exactly the Way You Are
Sophia Holme Rehabilitation
Jason Jackson Ana and Jose-Ramon
Mary Lynn Reed The Thieves Are Coming. They Are Taking it All.
Ingrid Jendrzejewski The Complete and Incomplete Works of Lydia Davis
Joy Manné Stabbed
Lindsay Fisher How Traveller Boys Love
Victoria Richards Aino Yehudi
Steven Moss Gabriel
Steve Tuffin The Sun on the Dash
Diane Simmons Dancing Partners
Christopher M Drew The Fisher King
Joanna Campbell Breathing
KM Elkes The Way We Lie
Sophie van Llewyn The Skirt
Jenny Woodhouse Stepping Out
Gary Duncan Free Hugs
Sharon Telfer Never going to fall for modern love
Matthew Thorpe-Coles It's M.E., Not You
Heather McQuillan Iridescence
David Steward Twenty-five Seconds
Miranda Kate Friends
Michael Loveday Let Them Know Me By My Teeth
Gay Degani Anamnesis
Megan Crosbie Big Responsibilities
Simon Sylvester Soup Stone
Rupert Dastur It All Ends
Sandra Arnold The Quick and the Dead
Anna Nazarova-Evans The Boy at a London Bus Stop Who Took My Photograph in the Summer of 1999
Zoe Murdock Living Alone With Derrida 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

NFFD 2017 Micro Fiction Competition Results!

Well, it feels as if it was only yesterday that we announced the longlist for our 100-word micro-fiction competition for 2017. 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 nearly 600 entries for this year's competition, and a word of thanks must again go to the judges – Anne Patterson, Kevlin Henney, Ingrid
Jendrzejewski, Angela Readman, Tim Stevenson and Rob Walton – for all of their hard work in reading through entries 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 
http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/ 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. Each story will also be published on the National Flash Fiction Day website and in our 2017 Anthology. Please join us in congratulating these fine writers!

First Place Winner: ‘Fifth Grade’ by Brianna Snow

Second Place Winner: ‘Geology of a Girl’ by Stephanie Hutton

Third Place Winner: ‘As Liquid is Poured’ by Sherry Morris

Highly Commended Stories:

‘Brave’ by Catherine Edmunds
‘Mermaids’ by Sally Syson
‘Fireflies in the Backyard’ by Kayla Pongrac
‘Fawn’ by Sacha Waldron
‘Mango’ by Jennifer Harvey
‘The In-Between Hour’ by Christina Taylor
‘The Smoking Circle’ by Alison Wassell


First Place Winner:
‘Fifth Grade’
by Brianna Snow

We learn that there are tubes inside of us with sleeping babies. One day, boys will wake them up. The babies will grow, open our bodies, and fall out. Until then, we’ll bleed—a baby’s death each month. Ms. Miller sits at her desk in the back of the room while the video plays. We turn to her to see if this is true. She’s holding her stomach with both hands. We look down and do the same.


Second Place Winner:
‘Geology of a Girl’
by Stephanie Hutton

Ella kept one pebble in her pocket and rubbed it down to sand, running the grains through her fingers. Stones sneaked in through holes in her shoes. Her legs turned to rock. She leant against the sisterhood of brick on the playground and watched girls skip together like lambs. A boulder weighed heavy in her stomach. She curled forwards by habit. Her head filled with the detritus of life.

A new girl started school in May with fire in her eyes. She whispered to Ella with aniseed breath ‘lava is liquid rock,’ then took her hand and ran.

Third Place Winner:
‘As Liquid is Poured’
by Sherry Morris

I visit far-flung friends who possess a dancing bear and a well-stocked vodka cabinet. We sit around the kitchen table in our coats, watching my breath form clouds. ‘At least the shot glasses are chilled,’ my friend says.  I’m grateful for their hospitality and anticipate the warmth that begins in my belly and spreads outward. We drink to our health, sing melancholy tunes about lavender fog and eat dark bread. I no longer feel the cold. I will stay here. I won’t be missed there. There, people are replaced like vodka bottles. The bear twirls on hind legs and claps.


Highly Commended Stories:


‘Brave’
by Catherine Edmunds

The man arrives in a car with dark windows. Father, who is brave, stands in the yard while the pigs squeal and run. The man pushes Father’s shoulder. The cockerel struts, the man raises his hand. Father shrinks.

I gather the others and we run down the stinking lane; I tell them Father’s play-acting, he’ll kill the man later. They like that. They’ve seen Father cut a squealer’s throat. I lead them away down to the mill race, into danger, but it’s just water, full of noise. Try to pick it up and it slips through your fingers.


‘Mermaids’
by Sally Syson

The mermaids are much uglier than anyone had anticipated, slimy-haired and scabby with barnacles. They haul themselves up onto the sea wall, stinking like a barrel of prawns, and lie flashing their tits at passers-by. They snatch at the ankles of the small boys who dare to pelt them with chips and cans. Their language is appalling.

On Friday nights, when the promenade glistens with broken glass and the splintered remains of cocktail charms pretty plastic mermaids in pink and green and blue they retreat to the shoreline and gather along the water’s edge, hissing in the dark.


‘Fireflies in the Backyard’
by Kayla Pongrac

In the summertime, when these little roving lanterns covet my backyard, slicing their way through the darkness one flight at a time, I step outside and I extend my tongue, snowflake-style, so that I can jar and lid them inside my stomach. How I want to glow, too—how I want to become both the illuminated and the illuminator. 


‘Fawn’
by Sacha Waldron

Taking the fawn had not been her initial intention. She was feeding it saltines from the palm of her hand, stroking his soft head. She liked the way his tongue felt on her skin. She was, she realised, running out of crackers and soon the deer would scamper off. Its run reminded her of a carousel – rising and falling.

She crouched down, opened her backpack and scattered some of the remaining crumbs inside. The fawn followed them. She zipped up her bag quickly. As she walked out of the park she could feel little hooves sticking awkwardly into her spine. 


‘Mango’
by Jennifer Harvey

Johnny tells me I’m sweeter than mango. He’s standing with his back against the wall, one foot up against the brickwork, like some fifties rebel.
            Yeah? You like exotic fruit, Johnny? If I had the guts, I’d say this. Walk on by all sassy, like I owned him. Meet his gaze and wait for a reply. 
            Your move, Johnny. 
            But he made his move already. Watched me sat in the canteen, licking mango juice from my fingers. 
            One finger, two fingers, three fingers, four. 
            Smiling, ‘cos he knew it was him I was thinking of.


‘The In-Between Hour’
by Christina Taylor

While you sleep I’ll kiss all the boys I shouldn’t kiss and wear dresses that scream ‘You’re not going out in that!’
            I’ll learn another language so I can talk about you behind your back. I’ll dye my hair blue then sneak out of the house to release the dogs. We’ll bark at the moon and set off car alarms. 
In that hour I’ll skinny dip in the river and count the goose bumps on my arms. I’ll fly round the sun and eat cake for breakfast. 
I’ll do all that but I’ll never say I love you.


‘The Smoking Circle’
by Alison Wassell

We lay in a circle on the field every afternoon, our heads together, school bags for pillows. She was the new girl, refusing to light up until we called her Goody Two Shoes. We stared at the clouds.
        ‘What would you do if you only had a week to live?’ someone asked. She answered first.
        ‘I’d write to everyone who’d hurt me. Tell them what I thought of them.’
        She was the one who developed a forty a day habit. The letter came sealed with a lipstick kiss. I suppose we all got one. I shredded mine without reading it. 

Friday, 12 May 2017

NFFD 2017 Micro Competition Longlist!

Hello Flash Writers!

Thank you all for your patience. Our annual competition attracts hundreds of entries from across the globe. This year we received nearly 600 entries to our Micro-Fiction competition, which is mindboggling! Wed like to thank you all for entering and sending us such marvellous, tiny tales!

Our special thanks go to our incredible judges: Anne Patterson, Kevlin Henney, Rob Walton, Angela Readman, Tim Stevenson, and Ingrid Jendrzejewski. They’ve done a terrific job reading through all of the competition entries. Compiling a longlist, and then selecting winners, was no easy task.

These are the stories which were voted most highly by a consensus of the judges, making them the best stories out of the 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 by title, here are the 27 stories that made the longlist:

‘1961, a snapshotby Kelly Davis
A Dying Fireby Chris Milam
alphaomegalullabylamentby Tony Curtis
As Liquid is Pouredby Sherry Morris
Braveby Catherine Edmunds
Confessionby Alison Wassell
Fawnby Sacha Waldron
Fifth Gradeby Brianna Snow
Fireflies in the Backyardby Kayla Pongrac
Geology of a Girlby Stephanie Hutton
Grown-Upby Alex Recce Abbott
How to Play Pianoby Sherri Turner
Keepsakeby David Mohan
Mangoby Jennifer Harvey
Mass Migrationby Mark Budman
Mermaidsby Sally Syson
Ministry of Quiet Enjoymentby Colin Watts
Peacockingby Mike Scott Thomson
Prince of Sidewalksby Chris Milam
Sistersby Debra Fertig
Still Countingby Sarah-Clare Conlon
The Barley and the Eggsby Simon Sylvester
The Bridgeby Joanna Michalak
The In-Between Hourby Christina Taylor
The Smoking Circleby Alison Wassell
Tinderfoodby Vince Love
When Two Grandfathers Meetby David Mohan


Congratulations again to all who made the longlist. We’re not going to make you wait long to find out who the winners are… Results will be published here tomorrow afternoon!