Skip to content

Oxford celebrated National Flash Fiction in style with its first ever Flash Slam (, which showcased this fabulous format with some of the performance and pizzazz of a poetry slam. Fourteen fabulous writers came from as far afield as Birmingham, Bristol, and Gloucester, and included the likes of Jonathan Pinnock, bestselling author of Mrs Darcy vs the Aliens (, and Gloucester poet Laureate candidate Sarah Snell-Pym ( They each performed for four minutes to a packed Albion Beatnik Bookstore, and subjected themselves to the scrutiny of expert judge and our headline reader Tania Hershman (, one of the UK’s most celebrated flash fiction writers, who delighted us later in the evening with readings from her book My Mother Was an Upright Piano. They were then scored out of 100 by a panel of judges comprising Paul Askew (, poetry slam winner and editor of Ferment Magazine, author of short story collection Knowing Look Rebecca Emin (, and leading Oxford cultural blogger Ingrina Shieh-Carson ( All presided over by yours truly.

The top three performed again in a final that demonstrated perfectly the dazzling diversity of the form. The pieces that got them there couldn’t have been more different. Joe Briggs ( is a music blogger whose semi-autobiographical pieces have the energy and edge and sense of imminent eruption of those underground punk gigs you heard about but never seemed to go to. Anna Hobson ( is one of the leading figures in the Oxford literary scene, coordinator of poetry (and many other things) at Oxford International Women’s Festival and MC of spoken word at Oxford Pride. Her first round flarf (an alternative form of literature achieved by pasting quotations from the internet into a formal structure) was the highest scoring piece of the night by a long long way and it took the audience several minutes to regain their composure after her exquisitely-crafted and breathtakingly delivered look at the strange world of internet dating. But the winner, fittingly, was Bristol’s Kevlin Henney (, an award-winning die hard practitioner of the flash form who married superb storytelling with effortlessly engaging delivery to carry off the spoils.

I should add a postscript that shows just how successful this whole endeavour has been, and illustrates the debt we all owe to Calum and NFFD. On Wednesday of this week, I took a troupe of my fabulous eight cuts gallery regulars to the Poetry Cafe to perform at London Literature Lounge. Anna reprised her flarf to equal acclaim, and we were joined by Marc Nash, master of flash (sorely missed on NFFD). Literature Lounge host Anjan Saha was so buzzed by the vibrancy of the flash community that he and I will be running a flash slam at the Poetry Cafe on September 19th. And that’s not all. Thanks to NFFD, the Warwick Words festival organisers got in touch with me and have asked me to put on a flash slam for their festival, on October 4th. The format will be the same as Oxford – only this time our judge and headliner, for his sins in Oxford (and he thought he was just coming for a jolly night out), none other than Kevlin Henney.
So, thank you all who took part. A special thanks to Tania, and our judges on the night. And biggest thanks of all to Calum – new worlds are opening up.

 - Dan Holloway

We advertised an evening with an Open Mic, reading, writing and whatever came along, with a film of the event to end it off.   The results came be seen on  The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse was full.  For tablecloths we had lining paper and left pens about.  People arrived saying they hadn’t brought stories to read – they’d just come to listen - but as the evening progressed and others went up to the Open Mic, just about everybody began to write.  We had individual stories and collaborative ones, friends making up stories together [anything between ten words and five hundred] and strangers coming together to share their imaginations and have a go at flash, then get up and read it.  People left in a state of high excitement.  Apart from the flash itself, they found the evening an amazing experience of coming together and breaking down boundaries. They’ve been talking about it ever since.  People are now writing who weren’t before. Visit us on our Facebook page, Flash Fiction Shrewsbury 2012.  Or watch our film.

- Pauline Fisk


Hello again, everyone!

Well, can you believe that a week has already come and gone since National Flash-Fiction Day? How time flies!
I thought I would send out this bulletin to bring you up to date, let you know what happened, what's happening, and what's going to happen, and generally set you on your way.
First, though, I need to send out another thank you to everyone who took part in events on the day. I need to make special mention of the following:
Gavin Inglis for the Edinburgh event, Brindley Hallam Dennis for Carlisle, Wes Brown for Leeds and Denise Sparrowhawk for Hartlepool. Thanks also to all of #FlashTag - Sarah-Clare Conlon, Fat Roland, Dave Hartley, Tom Mason and Benjamin Judge - for flash-bombing the whole of Manchester, and to Dan Carpenter, Nici West and Joe Daly of Bad Language for the Manchester evening event, as well as Jane Bradley at For Books' Sake for the workshop run there.
I must also thank Mike Morris for Liverpool's End of the World event, Carole Burns for organising the Cardiff event and Emma Corfield-Waters from Book-ish for the Abergavenney one; Pauline Fisk and The Shrewsbury CoffeeHouse for the Tuesday event which started everything off, Dan Holloway for the Oxford Slam, and also Grit Lit in Brighton for linking their event up with us.
Thanks also to Valerie O'Riordan, Emma J Lannie and Josephine Corcoran for running flash-workshops on and around the day, and many thanks to Angela Hicken from Winchester Discovery Centre and Allison Kirby from Southampton Central Library for their help with the workshop and reading/launch that I organised down here, as well as to everyone who came and read, wrote or listened. 
Thanks to Rebecca Emin, Ian Hawley, Dan Holloway (again), Kirsty Logan, Helena Mallett, Marc Nash, Alison Wells and (eventually!) Simon Sylvester for making their e-books free for us to give away. 
And also thanks to Rachel Carter, Bad Language (again), 4.33", Book-ish (again), Antonia Bell, Sarah Hilary, Jane Brunning, Natalie Bowers, Vic Errington, Susi Holliday and Anna Meade for running such wonderful competitions in the run up to the day, and producing, in some cases, such beautiful anthologies, and of course thanks to Valerie O'Riordan (again) and her partner Andy Broadey for helping to put Jawbreakerstogether and make it look so darned good!
And (nearly done...) to Alex Thornber, Rachel Dunlop and Emily Cleaver for running and to Susi (again), Shirley Golden, Nettie Thomson, Cassandra Parkin, Susan Howe and Caroline Kelly for helping me to run
And a personal thank you to Kath Lloyd who kept me (reasonably) sane through the mammoth process of running the day and did a lot of behind the scenes work. 
I know I've left loads of people out, but in lots of cases I don't know your names! So a huge, huge thank you to everyone who wrote something, read something, listened to something, came along to something, passed the word about something, or just generally sat at home with a cup of tea and supported the efforts of National Flash-Fiction Day!
Okay, Oscar-acceptance speech over, onto the nitty gritty!
  • First up, just to let you know that there are still competitions on the Competitions page and events on the Events page of the website (including my own appearance at the Worcestershire Lit Fest, do come along), so don't forget about those. And, if new 'flash' events or competitions come your way, do send them over. The website is not going to just disappear now the day is over, it will change a bit and we will not be updating quite so often, but we'll still be here and still doing our thing, so don't forget us.
  • Next, I want to mention the free e-books that we gave away. Apologies, first, for those of you who tried to download Simon Sylvester's 140 Characters only to find it wasn't free. Apparently there had been a glitch somewhere in the process and a switch didn't get thrown. I did try to let people know through the Facebook page, but only had limited internet access so couldn't get to the web-page to alter it. The book was listed as free the next day, so hopefully some of you caught it then. On the subject of the books, however, it appears that around 150 people downloaded each of the books, which is wonderful, but the giveaway only works to support the writers if you spread the word. So, if you have read the books and you enjoyed them, please do go back to the Amazon pages and click on the 'Like' button up near the top, and also please leave a review to tell other people why they should buy copies with real money. Also, if you run a blog or website, please do consider writing reviews of the books there, or putting up a link to the books, or similar. One of the best ways to support a writer is to recommend their work. Thanks.
  • A quick mention, as well, for the mooted anthology collecting together the winning entries from the various competitions. This is still on the cards and will be called 'I Can Show You The World and other stories' and will be out soon. It will be a free e-book available (probably) from Smashwords, so stay tuned for that. 
  • And so, onto the future. As you might have noticed above, I already alluded to the fact that the website will be continuing, so you have probably guessed that so will National Flash-Fiction Day. It's true. It went too well to give up. So plans are already being made for NFFD2013. But... we're not going to start just yet. Personally, I need a bit of downtime after all that hard work and excitement, plus I have lots of my own writing to do and - oh yes - I'm getting married in less than 6 weeks! So, the website will be tidied up, sales, events and launches for Jawbreakers will continue, and the occasional bulletin will trickle out, but I think we should all take a breather now until about September, at which point we'll pull the tarp off, put the key in the ignition and get the engine ticking over once more. Thank you for all your hard work, take a well earned break, but start thinking about what you'd like to do for next year, because that was just a trial run, next time we do it even bigger and better!!
All the best, thank you again, and have a great summer.
Calum Kerr
Director, National Flash-Fiction Day

Following the events of last Wednesday - for which another hearty thanks should go to you all! - lots of people have been writing about what happened, what they did, where they went, and what they wrote. So, I thought they should be gathered together for you all to read. I'm sure this isn't exhaustive, but it's not a bad selection, I'm sure you'll agree!

Don't forget, as well, the two special blog publications that came out from NFFD Central - FlashFlood, our 24 hour journal ( and The Write-In which took place on the day ( and, of course, the flashes which have been produced before,on and since the day on our Flashes blog (

Blogs, Articles and Website features (in no particular order):

By Thresholds Admin

In celebration of National Flash Fiction Day, 16th May, THRESHOLDS has teamed up with some of the UK's best-known writers of the form to bring you a selection of fantastic flashes – stories to read in just a few minutes, that will stay with you ...


Today — May 16, 2012 — is the first ever National Flash Fiction Day… and International Flash Fiction Day as well, since this special day has quite naturally ...

Tom Conoboy's Writing Blog: National Flash Fiction Day
National Flash Fiction Day. Today is National Flash Fiction day. So write a flash. Her's some prompts: Posted by Tom Conoboy at 7:00 AM. Labels: writing craft ...

Spies, lies and pies: National Flash Fiction Day
National Flash Fiction Day. It's today, apparently. If I'd had more planning and not been at work so much, I might have tried my hand at a story especially for ...

I call it research...: National Flash Fiction Day
I love a good flash, me. Tiny complete micro stories of up to about 500 words. David Gaffney, a brilliant writer of flash fiction, writes about it here in the Guardian .

National Flash Fiction Day « Pete Denton – Writer
Today is National Flash Fiction day in the UK. I must admit that I had never heard of Flash Fiction until last year. When my writing group were talking about ...

National Flash Fiction Day « Brainstorms & Bylines
Do you write flash fiction? Lucky you! Today is National Flash Fiction Day (U.K.)! In honor of the holiday to celebrate writing small, I've compiled a round-up of ...

National Flash-Fiction Day « Vanessa Couchman
Tomorrow, 16th May, is National Flash-Fiction Day (NFFD) in the UK, celebrating this short story form. What is flash fiction? A very short but complete story, ...

Subtle Melodrama Book Reviews: National Flash Fiction Day
Happy National Flash Fiction Day! Isn't that exciting? It is! But what even is flash fiction? As far as the submission guidelines I've seen are concerned, flash fiction ...

Flash Fiction: Conversion - Flash Fiction - National Flash Fiction Day ...
Conversion - Flash Fiction - National Flash Fiction Day UK. Accessing the county water treatment facility proved far easier than he'd thought. Adding the contents ...

It's the first ever UK National Flash Fiction Day (and lots of lovely free ...
Hello — and today is the first ever EVER UK National Flash Fiction Day — three cheers for Calum Kerr! So, what's happening today? The quick guide to NFFD ...

It's National Flash Fiction Day!* « worcesterpoetsasylum
It's National Flash Fiction Day!*. *In the UK. BUT! It's a great excuse to bust out yer pencil and write up some 500-word goodness, right? Right! You can also ...

National Flash Fiction Day « CMStewartWrite
(Inter)National Flash Fiction Day Press Release from Annie Evett of Raging Aardvark: What do Hemmingway, Kafka, Chekov and Lovecraft have in common ...

Chris Bissette: National Flash Fiction Day
It's the first National Flash Fiction Day. Hurrah! This has been a long time in the making for everyone involved, and it's great to have watched it all come together ...

Ganymeder » Blog Archive » National Flash Fiction Day: (text ...
National Flash Fiction Day: (text & audio) Dust and Dime Novels. *Click here for audio. Dust and Dime Novels. by Catherine Russell. The boy sat beneath the ...

Announcing our top 5 #FlashFiction contest finalists!
May is National Short Story Month, and today Flash Fiction gets its day. (Visit the National Flash Fiction Day 2012 website for more info.) We decided to celebrate ...

National Flash Fiction Day | Jocelyn Rish
Today is National Flash Fiction Day (NFFD), which is a day to celebrate the art form of the very short story. I love writing flash fiction - it's a fun challenge to create ...

National Flash Fiction Day | THRESHOLDS
In the spirit of debate as we approach National Flash Fiction Day, THRESHOLDS asked STEVE WASSERMAN to take a close look at Flash. Was he blinded by ...

Happy National Flash Fiction Day! « The Pygmy Giant
Happy National Flash Fiction Day! … especially to the winner of our competition: Joy Manné! Enjoy her story and flash responsibly today.

Flash-fiction competition winners announced
Journal Live
by David Whetstone, The Journal TODAY is the first National Flash-Fiction Day, a special day to celebrate all that is short and sweet – and fashionable – in ...

Manchester writers read to passersby on 'flash fictionday
Manchester Evening News
Members of a Manchester writinggroup are reading their work to unsuspecting passersby today to celebrate the first ever National Flash Fiction Day.

By Vanessa Gebbie
NATIONAL FLASH FICTION DAY! Happy First-Ever National Flash Fiction Day! The story goes like this. A couple of years back I was due to give a talk at the NAWE conference, on flash fiction writing. It struck me that so many of the writing ...

National Flash Fiction Day « Thing of the Day
By mluvit
National Flash Fiction Day. by mluvit. Today is National Flash Fiction Day. Also known as Microfiction, this form of creative writing involves composing very short stories of no more than 750 words or so: ...
Thing of the Day

flash day! | Merc's World - writing & ruminations
By Merc
Today is Flash Fiction Day! It started out as National Flash Fiction Day in the UK, but so many flash fiction writers wanted to scramble aboard and so there are events going on all over the place. There are masses of free stories flashing over the ...
Merc's World - writing & ruminations

not exactly true: Happy...
By Valerie O'Riordan
National Flash-Fiction Day, dudes - but I'm just a teeny bit more excited about the launch of my chapbook, Enough, which is also today! I'm celebrating by, eh, feeding the baby porridge and paying my National Insurance bill. Oh, hell, yeah.
not exactly true

Strictly Writing: What's my motivation?
By Derek
Consider this slice of Flash Fiction* (which I will now hastily make up to order)... He watched the fly... As today is National Flash Fiction Day, allow me to introduce Kissing Frankenstein & Other Stories by Flash Fiction South West. You can also ...
Strictly Writing

Flash Fiction Day – Competition Winner! « The Lancashire Writing Hub
By mikeyaddict
Flash Fiction Day – Competition Winner! We are pleased to announce the winner of our Flash FictionCompetition. Thank you for all the fabulous entries which made picking a winner a very difficult task. In total we received seventy five entries ...
The Lancashire Writing Hub

National Flash Fiction Day: Five Shorts To Help You Celebrate ...
In the UK, today marks its first annual National Flash Fiction Day. Flash fiction, a term coined around 1992, is also known as micro-fiction. Though there's no hard ...

Stuck in a Book: National Flash Fiction Day
As the clock has just ticked past midnight, I'm afraid you've just missed National Flash Fiction Day... If case you don't know, flash fiction is, essentially, very short ...

National Flash Fiction Day & Jawbreakers | dan powell – fiction
It's National Flash Fiction Day and Jawbreakers, the official collection, is available now. It includes commissioned pieces from well-known writers including Ali ...

National Flash Fiction Day! | 1889 Labs
National Flash Fiction Day! By mer. Posted May 16, 2012. 296 words. Support the author of this article by liking it on Facebook! Most Popular Posts The End is ...

National Flash Fiction Day | Vapour Trails
National Flash Fiction Day The internet tells me it was National Flash Fiction Day yesterday, in the UK. Well, it's flash fiction day here on Vapour Trails today.

Leda and the Swan: National Flash Fiction Day « Tale Spinning
She's also the one who let me on that there was a National Flash Fiction Day. There are many others out there, and it's been a pleasure finding them, bit by bit.

this is not the six word novel: Look! It's National Flash Fiction Day ...
There's a whole load of flash fiction up today at the pop-up FlashFlood magazine. You can also purchase 'Jawbreakers,' the National Flash Fiction Day ...

National Flash Fiction Day – An Announcement «
This Wednesday, 330 Words will be taking part in a very special event with Manchester writing group Flashtag (in association with the marvelous National Flash ...

Tania Writes: Happy National Flash Fiction Day - And A Giveaway!
Labels: book giveaway, flash fiction, flash fiction anthology, flash fiction collection , flash fiction slam,national flash fiction day, oxford, sudden fiction, sudden ...

National Flash Fiction Day Clive Martyn
What do Hemmingway, Kafka, Chekov and Lovecraft have in common? They all wrote Flash Fiction, short-short stories. The most poignant captured in just 6 ...

Flash Fiction Gets Its Day | D. Thomas Minton
I bet you didn't know it's National Flash Fiction Day. I'll forgive you, especially if you don't live in Britain. It is, after all, the first time flash fiction has been honored ...

Happy National Flash Fiction Day | 21st Century Writer
Call it micro or call it flash, it's all fiction pared down to the bare essentials. Today marks the first-ever celebration of the flash genre in which 150 words or fewer ...

Wanted: your flash critique
The Guardian
... who were too deeply engrossed in an old-fashioned book to be following the week's literary news, Wednesday was our first National Flash Fiction Day.

Words & Fixtures: Reading to Manchester
By Sarah-Clare Conlon
Reading to Manchester. Some videos of me performing on National Flash-Fiction Day... Cornerhouse. ... I write flash fiction, edit anthologies and organise spoken word events with the FlashTag collective. I also perform as part of Les ...
Words & Fixtures

(Inter)National Flash Fiction Day Press Release from Annie Evett of ...
While there is nothing new about the short-short story, National Flash Fiction Day is being celebrated for the first time in the UK and has been adopted around ... 

Melanie Writes: Happy National Flash Fiction Day!
Happy National Flash Fiction Day! Today is National Flash Fiction Day in the UK! The event has become somewhat international, but the organizers are mainly ... 

National Flash Fiction Day Contribution - BULLISH INK | BULLISH INK
Bare As Bones Standing along the shore at the edge of the cove, Simona sees the mainsail fluttering in the breeze above the cool blue of the... 

The Picador Book Room · May 16th is National Flash Fiction Day (in ...
May 16th is National Flash Fiction Day (in the UK but, with the internet, isn't everything local?). We're celebrating this feisty genre with a short, original piece from ... 

Expose Yourself! Celebrating Flash Fiction Day | Black Balloon ...
While not technically a celebration of pervy exhibitionism, Flash Fiction Day can still be a grand opportunity to expose good writing. If you're in the ... 

Hurray for (Inter) National Flash Fiction Day - - Guest Blogs
On National Flash Fiction Day here more about events and competitions in the form. National Flash Fiction Day takes place today May 16th. Last week I ...

National Flash Fiction Day | Joanne Phillips – a writer's journey
Happy National Flash Fiction day to all you writers out there. In the spirit of the day, a very short post indeed. Check out the competitions pages for May and June ...

Stories in your pocket: how to write flash fiction | Books | ...
It's National Flash Fiction Day on Wednesday – the first one ever – and it's an exciting day for me and many others who specialise in this particular truncated ... 

Yearning for Wonderland: National Flash Fiction Day and ...
HAPPY NATIONAL FLASH FICTION DAY! Although this is a UK based website, National Flash Fiction Day (#NFFD on Twitter) has gained traction worldwide. 

Pam's Writing Exploits: Happy National Flash Fiction Day!
Happy National Flash Fiction Day! May 16 is apparently National (and International?!) Flash Fiction Day, so happy flash fiction day! To find out more click here. 

Happy National Flash-Fiction Day! Today's a big... | A Butterfly Mind
Happy National Flash-Fiction Day! Today's a big day for me … First, I'm announcing the 1000words stories chosen for inclusion in the National Flash- Fiction Day ... 

Flashtag celebrate National Flash Fiction Day – People's History ...
Enjoy this short fiction performance to celebrate National Flash Fiction Day ... As part of National Flash Fiction Day, Wednesday 16 May, the innovative Flashtag ...

4'33” 60 Second: Flash Fiction contest/ results « Creative Writing ...
By writingcomps
Thanks again – and happy National Flash Fiction Day! To submit a story, visit ... to like this post. This entry was posted on 20 May 2012 at 9:48 pm and is filed under Fiction Contests, Flash Fiction, Helpful Links, Literary Events, Uncategorized.

And last, but not least, some links from the Edinburgh event:
A full reader list  at

Pictures at:
and a review at:


Well, that about wraps it up for this, the first ever National Flash-Fiction Day. I'm back from a wonderful launch at the Southampton Central Library where we had brilliant readings from Vanessa Gebbie, Sara Crowley, Tim Stevenson, Natalie Bowers, Gail Aldwin, Holly Howitt and, at the last minute, Bob Jacobs and Brendan Way. Massive thanks to them and everyone who helped out and who turned up!

I've seen on Facebook and Twitter that you have all been having great flash-fun today at various events up and down the country (and around the world!) and I look forward to catching up with them over the next few days. If you ran an event and would like to send us a blog post about it, maybe with piccies, we'd love to run it!

Thank you to everyone who has done anything for National Flash-Fiction Day. It has been truly amazing and you are all, individually and collectively, wonderful people.And thank you to the Arts Council who allowed us to do Jawbreakers and those wonderful cards and posters.

And a personal thank you to my fiancée Kath, for all her help and support. It wouldn't have been possible without her.

I will be adding new content to the site in coming days and weeks, updating blogs and generally catching up on the things that have gone by the by in recent days. Oh, and shipping out copies of Jawbreakers (still available to buy!) And we will be back with competitions, events and all kinds of flash-goodies throughout the year. Because, of course, we're building towards NFFD 2013 now!!

So, well done everyone, thank you again for all you have done. I'm off to sleep for a week now, but I'll see you soon.

All the very best
Calum Kerr
Director, National Flash-Fiction Day 2012.


As our contribution to National Flash Fiction Day 2012, run by director Calum Kerr, Flash Fiction World held a competition for stories built around a famous phrase. The response was fantastic and FFW thanks all entrants for their participation.
There were some superb entries, but as usual they had to be whittled down to first, second, and third. So, without further ado, here are the winning entries:

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation by Lorna Louise Hutchison.

The Day The Music Died by Iain Pattison.

Every Picture Tells a Story by Francesca Burgess.
Congratulations to Lorna, Iain, and Francesca. I will be in touch with you at the weekend.
The winning stories, with judge's reviews, will be available to read on Flash Fiction World soon!


Firstly, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who entered and promoted the #OUATWRITING contest. We had 88 fantastic entries and it was a huge struggle to pick just 3 of these as our winners. We had everything from evil Cinderellas to sci-fi to modern day tales and it was a delight to read them all… hence why we decided to publish them all in an anthology which will be available as a paperback and eBook very soon!
So without further ado, the winners of the contest are:
Oliver Barton– ‘Pink Bells’
AWAKE PRIZE PACKAGE for ‘Best Adaptation’
Angela Readman– ‘A Mermaid in Texas
TWIXT PRIZE PACKAGE for ‘Best Original’
McKenzie Barham– ‘I can show you the world’
We’d also like to remind you of the winner of the mini-comp…
#FANFAV (voted for by the fans via Twitter votes)
Cory Eadson– ‘Three Simple Words’
Well done to you all!
As well as the individual prizes, the 3 main contest winners will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day Winners Anthology, which will be available soon – details to follow.
The winner of the GRAND PRIZE is published below for your immediate enjoyment…
Pink Bells
Oliver Barton
The pair progress laboriously along the path in the park. He leaning on a stick, each step a pain, she almost bent double, hand in his. She clutches a paper bag. They sit carefully on a bench, very close, avoiding the damper spots. In front of them stretches a sea of pink bells.
It is nine in the morning, and the bag contains croissants. Gertie hands one to Arthur. They nibble in silence, flakes fluttering like confetti.
While a blackbird sings and sparrows edge towards the crumbs, Gertie extends a bent finger towards a plaque half-submerged in the flowers.
‘What does it say?’ she asks.
‘I don’t know,’ he says, because it is several feet away and his eyes aren’t too good.
With a groan, she gets to her feet and shuffles towards it. Bent as she is, she still can’t make it out. She retrieves a pair of spectacles hanging round her neck, and peers closer.
Arthur hears her saying something, but his hearing is not too good either. He sees her move forward among the flowers. As she does, she shrinks, smaller and smaller, until she vanishes into the pinkness.
Two sparrows squabble over a croissant crumb and fly off, startling Arthur. He struggles to rise. With his stick, he moves the blooms aside so that he can see the plaque clearly. He expects something like the name of the business that has sponsored this bed, but it simply says ‘Come in. Make yourself at home.’
So he steps into the sea of flowers, and at once the pink bells inflate and grow until they are several times his height. The scent is overwhelming, the chime of the bells deep and sonorous. He walks towards Gertie and the others, praying that it doesn’t rain. A raindrop the size of a settee would be unsettling. But, he thinks, they must have ways of dealing with that.
Back on the bench, a little breeze sweeps the paper bag off into a graceful dance, an homage, an obeisance, and all is still.
Winners will be contacted via email about their prizes.
Thanks again to everyone who entered - we hope you had as much fun with the contest as we did! Make sure you visit us at Yearning for Wonderland and SJI Hollidayfor more information about the anthologies.
Sprinkles of fairydust,
Susi & Anna
(Dark Fairy & Fairy Queen)


Well, we have had so many activities in the run up to today that this almost feels like an anti-climax...

Almost! But not quite!!

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to National Flash-Fiction Day. This is what you have all been working towards, and I need to start by sending out a big thank you to each and every one of you for helping to make this day happen.

Lots will be going on today including :-
The FlashFlood journal pouring stories over you all day
The Write-in online from 11am till 3pm
FlashTag flash-mobbing in Manchester all day
Workshops in Trowbridge and Derby
Free e-books for your Kindle for 24 hours from 7am (including Jawbreakers!)
The official launch of the day and the book in Southampton at 6.30 this evening

And, of course, all across the country, from Edinburgh to Brighton, Cardiff to Leeds, there will be event after glorious event, all listed here:

Personally, I'm starting the day on the BBC Radio Solent Breakfast Show where they are going to give me a prompt to write a story live on air (eek!), then off to Winchester Uni for the physical part of the write-in, then back to Southampton for the launch with Vanessa Gebbie, Holly Howitt, Sara Crowley, Natalie Bowers and chums. But in-between all that, I hope to keep up with you online and (now and again) in person.

Thank you so much for pulling together and making this one (tired) man's dream come true!

Now, get out there and make me proud.
Happy Flash-Fiction Day to you all!!

Calum Kerr
Director, National Flash-Fiction Day 2012.

On 4th May Calum Kerr visited the writing group at Lovedean in Hampshire. He set them a task to write stories from 4 random words - two loved ones and two hated ones - the results will be appearing at throughout the day. (And the writers would like me to make it clear that any weirdness has been caused by the randomness of the words...)

The group's organiser, Charlotte Comley, wrote this review of the event:

"Calum Kerr visited The Writers @ Lovedean on the 4th of May 2012.  He spoke passionately about his flash fiction journey, and the 365 project which led on to National Flash Fiction Day.  We as a group had an opportunity to listen to some of his work.  After one of the best explanations of what flash fiction is, Calum gave the group an exercise to do.  All of us present thoroughly enjoyed the exercise.  We then had an opportunity to read our work aloud and receive that all important feedback.  We as a group were so enthused by his presentation that we made a pact to write seven days of flash each until our next meeting.  I have received so many positive comments from members about the event, and we have already asked Calum to come back next May to do an advanced flash fiction course with us."

I hope you enjoy reading the stories as much as they obviously enjoyed writing them!


Hello again,

Well, this will be the last bulletin before the big day, which is just TWO DAYS away!!
This is the time for a roundup of all the things happening on Wednesday that you can still help out and get involved with. (All times are given in BST.)
  • Then, at midnight, the FlashFlood journal goes live, with stories appearing regularly throughout the 24 hours of NFFD. Submissions don't close until midnight tomorrow, so do please send in your pieces and encourage people to do the same. Details:
  • At 11am the Write-In will start. This will provide a huge number of prompts for you to write an instant flash and see it appear on the blog. It will run until 3pm and no submissions will be accepted after that. We could still use some more prompts, so if you have a list of interesting words, phrases, titles, lyrics or whatever, do please send them over. Details:
  • And then, we reach the evening. The main launch event will be occurring in Southampton Central Library from 6.30/7.00pm until about 9.00 and featuring the launch of Jawbreakers along with readings from myself, Vanessa Gebbie, Holly Howitt, Sara Crowley, Gail Aldwin, Natalie Bowers, Tim Stephenson and more (along with some of videos if we get it working!) Do please come along if you can, it's entirely free! and
And that's pretty much it. Things will be happening over the next day on the blog (, website (, Facebook ( and Twitter (!/nationalflashfd), so stay tuned and spread the word. 
And here goes National Flash-Fiction Day 2012!!
All the best for the day,
Calum Kerr