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Hello everyone,

Well, we are just ONE WEEK away from the big day and I don't know about you but I'm getting very, very excited!
It's all starting to come together, so let me give you a run down of the things you need to know. There will be another bulletin, probably Tuesday next week, with all the last minute stuff, but this is where we are now:
  • First of all, as you may have seen, at midnight last night we opened submissions for the National Flash-Fiction Day pop-up journal:FlashFlood ( I have put together a team of editors to work on this over the coming week for the journal to appear on the day itself, filling the day with flash-fictions from midnight to midnight! We are looking for stories under 500 words, on any theme, and from anywhere in the world. A maximum of 3 pieces per writer. Please spread the word and let's see just how many great flash-fictions we can get up online in the day. 
  • Next, Jawbreakers is almost here! The printers have informed me that I can expect the book to arrive tomorrow (10th May) and, if it arrives early enough, we will be shipping all pre-orders on the same day (along with author copies and any requested for events, if we can). Books can be pre-ordered from, or if you want a batch to sell at events (sale or return) then drop me a line here and I'll add you to the list. Can't wait to have my hands on the copies! The Kindle edition will be up on Amazon in time for NFFD next week.
  • Posters and story cards have headed out around the country. If you would still like some we have them, including Jawbreakersposters, so do get in touch. If you have received them, please send us photos of them in situ so we can show the world!
  • There are also competitions which are still open, including the 'Random Words' competition (closes today) and our two Australian opportunities (close tomorrow) plus other new ones which we add as they come along. So do keep checking out for details.
  • And finally, as we head into the last week, once again can I ask you to keep spreading the word, sharing the Facebook page,, the Twitter address, @nationalflashfd, and generally bigging up National Flash-Fiction Day to anyone who will listen. I'm going to be on Radio Solent at the weekend talking about it. With only a week to go your local radio stations might finally be keen to feature it, so do start pestering them, especially if you are running an event that you want people to come to. And let's make this a day to remember.
Really finally, I just want to say another big thank you to you all. This was a little idea of mine, but you have taken it on board and made it your own. It is far bigger and much better than I could ever have imagined. One last push and then... we're off!
Until next week, thank you and happy flashing!
Calum Kerr
Director, National Flash-Fiction Day 2012

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Well, I've been hinting and nudging to let you know that something new and special was on its way for National Flash-Fiction Day, and with exactly ONE WEEK TO GO, here it is!

Called FlashFlood, and inspired by the recent efforts of The 24 Project, we are launching our own pop-up journal for the day.

The rules are simple (and laid out here: We're looking for your very very best flash-fictions. 500 words is the limit and we are not limiting ourselves to any genre, style or perspective. Nor are we limiting ourselves geographically, so this is open World-Wide!

There are seven editors, including myself, taking a day of the 'countdown week' each, and submissions will close at midnight on 15th/16th May, with the first story being posted simultaneously. We will then post your stories regularly throughout the 24 hours of National Flash-Fiction Day.

So, get writing, get sending, and let us have your flashes, we want to fill the day with your fictions. We want many, we want loads, we want a FlashFlood!!

Is there a magic formula for success? Probably not. But there is a theory I’ve found encouraging, which says that all you need is two out of the following three elements: talent, perseverance and luck.
As I understand it, there are only one and a half of those which an individual has any real control over. Luck is, by definition, a fortuitous chance happening, rather than something you can directly engineer. Talent is a mixed bag – you’re born with a certain amount, and the rest is about perfecting your craft.
So that leaves perseverance. Which is entirely down to you. As a writer, you need to put pen to paper, or fingertip to keyboard. Obvious, right? But how much time do you actually spend writing, as compared to tweeting about writing, blogging about writing, reading books about writing, discussing writing with your writing group, going to writing classes…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking any of these things. In fact, I’ve done them all and have found them to be incredibly useful. But what has proved most effective has been this: write and submit. It’s that simple.
In 2009, I realised that I was never actually going to write that novel I’d been talking about unless I sat down and did it. Being somewhat lacking in self-discipline, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – there’s nothing like a deadline to get you moving, I find, and it doesn’t get more pressing than 50,000 words in 30 days.
Anyway, I did it (hurrah!), but once December arrived I got back into my lazy habits. I needed a regular form of discipline, a time to write and a submissions goal to achieve. That’s when I set up The Steady Table, which does nothing more than provide a regular time and place where writers can gather and get on with the business of writing. We don’t critique, we don’t complete exercises or discuss theory; we just write.
Since The Steady Table launched in January of this year, I have written countless pieces of flash fiction and longer short stories – not just on a Tuesday evening, surrounded by other furiously scribbling writers, but at other times too. Turns out, the fear of failure which so often kept me away from the page, lost its hold on me once I started squaring up to it on a regular basis.
Inspired by my increased productivity, I began submitting work… and found that suddenly I was getting my stories accepted. As well as a number of online publications, I am thrilled to have been accepted for both the Flash Fiction South West anthology, Kissing Frankenstein & Other Stories, and Jawbreakers, the NFFD anthology.
The Steady Table has given me space in which to hone my talent, it has made me persevere even when I didn’t feel like it. And with those two ingredients sorted, who needs luck?

Rin Simpson (@rinsimpson) is Bristol-based a freelance journalist and creative writer, and founder of The Steady Table writers’ group (@TheSteadyTable), which meets between 6pm and 9pm every Tuesday at The Folk House (term time) or The Watershed. For more information, please email

Dear All,

Well, we're into May which means that National Flash-Fiction Day cannot be that far away. Two weeks, in fact! Can you believe it?
So, with it rushing closer and closer and everyone here at NFFD-Towers (that means me... plus all of you, of course. they're virtual Towers...) getting more and more excited, here's this week's roundup of what's happening and what we need you to do:

  • First of all, as you hopefully know, the anthology, Jawbreakers, is nearly here. I received the first proof copy yesterday and it looks amazing! You can pre-order the book from the website ( as a number of you already have, plus copies will be available at most NFFD events, and it will soon be available from Amazon and most bookshops, plus the Kindle edition will be coming soon as well. Don't forget the main launch event on the Day will be at Southampton Central Library. It would be great to see you there. Details here: And if you would like to host a launch event for the book, please do get in touch.
  • The anthology from the Flash Fiction South West project - “Kissing Frankenstein & Other Stories” - is also imminent, containing a range of wonderful stories from, amongst others, Tania Hershman, Martha Williams, Gail Aldwin, Kevlin Henney, Sarah Hilary, Rachel Carter and yours truly. More info here:
  • In addition, if you are looking for ways to fill your time, Tania Hershman will be launching her new book - My Mother was an Upright Piano - in Bristol tomorrow (Thursday 3rd May - 6.00-7.45pm, bookshop at Arnolfini, 16 Narrowquay, Bristol). Do come along if you can!
  • Another thing you could do would be to tune into Radio 4 on Saturday evening from 5.30pm where I will be talking about my flash365 project and NFFD as well as writing a flash-fiction to a provided prompt during the programme. It promises to be exciting! (And terrifying, but let me worry about that...) Please spread the word about that!
  • We still have some of our promotional posters (just a few) and story cards (slightly more) hanging around. So if you want some, please do get in touch. Included in this are some lovely Jawbreakers posters which would look great in any bookshop... Just a thought! And, if you have received posters and put them up, can you please take a photo of them in situ and send it to us? We'd love to create a collage of them! The same is true when you receive your books. Photos of you holding it, please!
  • And that's about it for this week. Please keep checking the website and all those other places I mentioned for updates and news during the week, make sure you're signed up and taking part. And please, as ever, keep spreading the word in every way you can. (Did you know that most local radio stations have 'What's On?' guides that you can fill in for yourselves? Just a thought...) 
And, finally, thank you for your help and support. We're nearly there!!!
All the best
Calum Kerr
Director, National Flash-Fiction Day 2012

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