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The ninth annual National Flash Fiction Day UK has finally arrived!

Check back here from 8:00 a.m. for Flash Feast and Flash Focus posts, but in the meantime....

  • Put on your wellies: the 2020 Flood has started!  Join us at FlashFlood, NFFD's online journal for 24 hours of flash, with a new piece posting every 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Or, if you fancy some writing, get out your favourite pen!  We're posting one flashy writing challenge every hour over at The Write-In.  If our prompts inspire some new writing, you can send it to us by midnight Sunday (BST) for a chance to be published at The Write-In over the extended NFFD weekend.  (See our submission guidelines for full details.)
  • Pre-order the print edition or buy the ebook of our 2020 Anthology from our Bookshop in preparation for our online launch party this evening.
  • Want to see what else is going on?  You can check out our 2020 Roadmap for full details.

Happy National Flash Fiction Day 2020!

National Flash Fiction Day kicks off in less than four hours!  Here's what we've got going on tomorrow, and where you can find it.

FlashFlood

For 24 hours straight starting at 00:01 BST, we’re publishing one flash every 5 to 10 minutes over at NFFD’s online journal, FlashFlood.

The Write-In

Over at NFFD’s The Write-In, we’re posting a flash prompt every hour on the hour from 00:00 – 24:00 BST on 6 June 2020. You have until 23:59 BST on Sunday, 7 June to submit your responses for a chance of publication.

2020 NFFD Anthology Launch

Join us from 7 – 10 pm BST for the 2020 NFFD virtual anthology launch. Readings from the anthology will be posted on our YouTube channel and we’ll be celebrating with chat and virtual toasts on Twitter and our dedicated Facebook event. All welcome!

Flash Feast

We had to cancel our NFFD 2020 live event, so we've brought our celebration online. In our Flash Feast series, we've invited flash superstars Michelle Elvy, Jonathan Cardew, and Nik Perring to share some videos, posts and ideas on the NFFD newsfeed over the course of the day, starting at 10:00 a.m. BST.

Also, the legendary Jude Higgins is running a NFFD workshop for NFFD from 3:00 - 6:30 p.m. for those who managed to snag a place. Contact her directly to enquire about last-minute places.

Flash Focus

Throughout the day, we’ll introduce you to a few independently-run flash fiction projects carried out by individuals and organisations across the UK. Keep an eye on our newsfeed to find out more about these brilliant projects, starting at 9:00 a.m. BST.

Beyond 6 June...

We’re coordinating with National Flash Fiction Day New Zealand to continue the celebration of flash through the month. Their full programme of events can be found on the NFFD NZ website.

We're gearing up for our virtual launch of the 2020 NFFD Anthology tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a sneak peak at the beautiful cover featuring art by our artist-in-residence, Jeanette Sheppard.

Huge thanks to Jeanette, and huge thanks also to Sharon Telfer who kindly let us use the title of her flash for the title of this year's anthology.

We'll be celebrating the anthology online tomorrow with readings from the anthology which will begin posting on our YouTube channel at 7:00 p.m. BST and carry on celebrating until 10:00 p.m.

Feel free to join us for chat and a virtual toast to our authors in our dedicated anthology launch celebration on Facebook.

Enjoy!

National Flash Fiction Day 2020 is just around the corner, and we'll be celebrating as usual with a veritable flood of flash, starting from 00:01 BST and ending at midnight on Saturday, 6 June.

If you'd like to be a part of this year's Flood, do send us some work!  We are open for submissions through the week and are happy to read up to three 500-word stories per author on any theme, in any style.  Submissions are free.

Full submission guidelines can be found on the FlashFlood website and you can read about our wonderful team of editors here.

Don't have anything new?  No problem!  Previously published submissions are fine as long as you retain copyright and any period of exclusivity has lapsed.  We consider all previously unpublished work for award nominations such as Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions and the Pushcart Prize.

We can't wait to read your work!

FlashFlood will be open for submissions from 00:01 BST Monday, 25 May to 23:59 BST Sunday, 31 May.

We are happy to read up to three 500-word stories per author on any theme, in any style.  Submissions are free.

Previously published submissions are fine as long as you retain copyright and any period of exclusivity has lapsed.  We consider all previously unpublished work for award nominations such as Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions and the Pushcart Prize.

Full submission guidelines can be found on the FlashFlood website.

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First of all, a huge thanks to everyone who submitted work to this year's anthology. We had nearly double the submissions this year as last, and it was a treat to read each and every piece.

We were incredibly impressed at the overall quality of submissions, so much so that we've decided to publish a slightly larger number of pieces this year. However, we did have to make many painful decisions, particularly when it came to common themes. (For example, we received a huge number of pieces about death, and about the death of a parent in particular.) Both editors read each piece anonymously, and we read a good proportion of the submissions many, many times more.  There are so many extraordinary stories that just missed out on our final list, and we'll be rooting for them as they go on to be published elsewhere.

Thank you to everyone who submitted for sharing your words with us. And to those of you who made our final list, huge, huge congratulations.

And now, without further ado, here is the list of titles for the 2020 National Flash Fiction Day anthology:

  • '<3' by Margaret LaFleur
  • 'A summer of sorrows, 1847' by Barbara Buckley Ristine
  • 'After the Flood' by Stephanie Hutton
  • 'All The Birds Have a Death Wish Today' by Rebecca Field
  • 'An Encounter with Hope (the Blue Whale at the Natural History Museum)' by Su Yin Yap
  • 'Arc of Colors' by Lois Baer Barr
  • 'Bath Time' by Helen Rye
  • 'Beneath a Steel Sky' by Natalie Pocock
  • 'Bye-Bye Blighty' by L. A. Wilson
  • 'Catch and Release' by Sara Hills
  • 'Chemical Bonds' by Sarah Mosedale
  • 'Closest to the Edge' by Marissa Hoffmann
  • 'Curb Appeal' by Timothy O. Davis
  • 'Diadem Through the Eyes of the Bear' by Donna L Greenwood
  • 'Endless Possibilities' by Nora Nadjarian
  • 'Family Album' by Amanda Quinn
  • 'Fault Lines' by Lisa Kenway
  • 'Feel For You' by Aisha Phoenix
  • 'Flock' by Nuala O'Connor
  • 'Footnotes' by Jo Withers
  • 'For courage' by Jude Higgins
  • 'Four Plus One' by Carrie Etter
  • '[From Below, The Noise of a Door Slamming]' by Anna Giangiordano
  • 'From the Outside, Everything Looks Fine' by Damhnait Monaghan
  • 'Give You the Stars' by Sheila Scott
  • 'Harbinger' by Epiphany Ferrell
  • 'Homemade food is made with love' by Anita Goveas
  • 'How to talk to your children' by Cathy De'Freitas
  • 'I Often Wish' by Chris Walters
  • 'If My Mother Really Loved Me, She Would've Had Sex With Gene Kelly' by Debra Daniel
  • 'In the Ménagerie D'animaux' by Anna Kisby
  • 'Intimates' by Amy Barnes
  • 'Lobster' by Meg Pokrass
  • 'Look After the Pennies' by Caroline Burrows
  • 'Made With Love' by Lydia Clark
  • 'Mothers' Day' by Alison Wassell
  • 'Music To Mourn Your Dreams By' by Mileva Anastasiadou
  • 'My Grandmother’s Recipe for Victoria Sponge' by Charlie Swailes
  • 'My Mother Had A Stone' by Nod Ghosh
  • 'My sister makes stupendous guacamole but it doesn't get to the root of my problems' by Rob Walton
  • 'Nana’s Biscuit Tin' by Frances Gapper
  • 'Nesting' by Gary Duncan
  • 'Open House' by Hema Nataraju
  • 'Out in the Cold' by Andrew Anderson
  • 'Peter Pan' by Bayveen O'Connell
  • 'Peter Rabbity' by Clementine Burnley
  • 'Picking' by Vijayalakshmi Sridhar
  • 'Rain' by Laura Tickle
  • 'Rock Pools' by Jonathan Cardew
  • 'Root, branch, tree' by Sharon Telfer
  • 'Ruins' by Charlie Swailes
  • 'Second-Storey Window' by Niamh MacCabe
  • 'Shit Parents Say' by Hannah Whiteoak
  • 'Sisters' by Patricia Q. Bidar
  • 'Smoke & Cinnamon' by Trasie Sands
  • 'Taking Stock' by Lara Frankena
  • 'The Flagpole' by Guy Ware
  • 'The Long Walk' by Chella Courington
  • 'The ocean inside my head' by Sam Payne
  • 'The Taxonomy of the Blacksmith's Daughter' by Anne Howkins
  • 'The Tent' by Catherine Ogston
  • 'The Top Family Attraction in Warwickshire 2020' by H. Anthony Hildebrand
  • 'The Wild Side' by James Northern
  • 'This is How it Starts' by Sara Hills
  • 'Traces' by Tracy Fells
  • 'Understanding the Universe' by Jeanette Sheppard
  • 'Wants' by Eilise Norris
  • 'We Are Kin' by Tabetha Newman
  • 'We’ve Been Married Eight Years and My Husband Still Brings Me Flowers ' by Paul Beckman
  • 'What is Incomplete Can Identify a Whole' by Rachel J Fenton
  • 'What Is Ours' by Corey Miller
  • 'What’s Inside a Girl' by Angela Readman
  • 'Worth a Try' by Diane Simmons

 

First of all, fear not; National Flash Fiction Day is not cancelled!

We are, however, moving our celebrations completely online and are working out the best ways we can serve the flash fiction community in this strange time. We will be posting more details in the coming weeks, but we’re excited about the possibility of bringing even more to the online flash fiction community worldwide for 2020.

We will still be printing the National Flash Fiction Day anthology, but we won’t go to print until it is safe for our printers to be at work. We can’t guarantee a timescale for the print edition at present, but our aim is to launch the digital version of the anthology on 6 June, regardless. We’re looking into various possibilities for a virtual launch party, so stay tuned!

Apologies for the delay in announcing the 2020 anthology line-up. We will post more details as soon as we can, but in the meantime, please bear with us.

Last but not least, we hope you and your loved ones are all staying safe and well.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the winning and highly commended stories of this year's National Flash Fiction Day micro fiction competition!

These ten stories can now be read at 2020 Microfiction Results and they will be published in the forthcoming 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, which will be out in time for National Flash Fiction Day on 6 June 2020.

Congratulations to our winning stories and their authors:
First Place Winner:
Second Place Winner:
Third Place Winners:
Congratulations to our highly commended stories and their authors:
Thank you again to our four judges. Their job this year was extremely difficult, requiring extra rounds of voting to reach our final ten. In the end, they were unable to separate the two stories vying for third place and we felt the fairest thing would be to award two third place prizes.
Congratulations again to all our prize-winning and highly commended authors, and to all those who were shortlisted. And, a big thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition and trusted us with their stories.

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This year, 400 micro fictions (flashes of up to 100 words) were submitted to the National Flash Fiction Day Micro Fiction Competition.

Our judges,  Susmita Bhattacharya, FJ Morris, Anne Summerfield and Rob Walton had the difficult job of whittling down the 400 stories to a shortlist of 27. This was no easy task and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank the judges for their hard work and for the speed and
conscientiousness with which they carried out the judging.

It isn’t easy to tell a story in a 100 words, yet we were blown away by the variety of themes, subjects and styles we saw in the submissions.   All four judges read each and every piece with care.  Thank you to everyone who sent in their work; we appreciated the chance to read your flash.

Now, without further delay, our 27 shortlisted stories are:

Anything You Do Say May Be Given In Evidence
Aunt Lilah is resting/restless
Bogged Down Sister
Coulrophobia
Craving
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend
Gelsenkirchen: 10/10ths cloud, 30 aircraft lost
Home Fires
Inhaling the Dust of Color
Jimmy Stewart’s Prayer
Nantucket News
Other People's Things
Russian Doll
Send Later
Spinning
Stalker
Taking Care Of The Little Fella
The Art Gallery Attendant Nine Months After Divorce
The Currency of Hugs
The Late Trains
The Wrong Bird
This Body Will Become A Corpse
Three Chords and the Truth
Tips for a Successful Whale Watch
Wafer Thin
When Neil Armstrong Walks on the Moon
You Told Me Numerology Was a Science

Thank you again to everyone who submitted, and good luck to everyone who made the shortlist!

Welcome to the sixth and last in a series of interviews with this year's National Flash Fiction Day anthology editors and microfiction competition judges! This week, Diane Simmons chats with one of this year's anthology editors, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, about childhood reading, language differences, and what she'd love to see in the submission queue for the 2020 NFFD anthology....

Diane: You are one of the editors for this year’s National Flash Fiction Day anthology. The theme is ‘family’. Is there anything in particular you are looking for or think people should perhaps avoid?

Ingrid: With any themed call-out, editors often receive clusters of stories with very similar characters, themes or conflicts. Pieces that delve into uncharted waters or that approach familiar topics from unusual angles enjoy a significant advantage. We want to hear the story only you can tell. Also, we’re open to all manner of interpretations of ‘family’; we want this word to be a springboard, not a restriction.

Diane: Your flash fictions have met with a great deal of success. Can you remember when you first encountered the form or felt inspired to write your own?

Ingrid: I loved Jorge Luis Borges from the moment I discovered Labyrinths on my parents’ bookshelves. Although I didn’t make a huge distinction between his poems and short stories and shorter short stories at the time, his were the first flash-length pieces I really fell for. I also really loved Raymond Carver.

I wrote short stories in my late teens and early twenties, some of which were rather short indeed, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I first intentionally set out to write something that was defined by a word count, highly compressed, and that had the texture of ‘flash’ as opposed to a very short short story. Although very short stories have been around, I'm sure, since words began, I feel so lucky to be writing in this particular moment; there is so much energy, experiment and play happening with flash fiction right now, and it’s wonderful to see the growing appetite for flash in readers and publishers.

Diane: Being a writer, a co-director of NFFD, editor-in-chief for Flashback Fiction and a flash editor at JMWW must keep you very busy. If you have any spare time, what else do you like to do?

Ingrid: So, I like kinda nerdy things.  I love recreational programming, playing Go, and setting and solving puzzles. I don’t do any of these things as much as I’d like, although I do attempt ‘The Listener’ cryptic crossword every week.  I need to do something analytical on a reasonably regular basis or I get a bit antsy.

Diane: Were you a reader as a child? If so, can you remember any books that you particularly loved?

Ingrid: Oh gracious, when I was little I lived at the local library, which was about three blocks from my house. From a very young age, I was allowed to go alone, and I remember spending hours there, first in the children’s section, then branching out to the reference section and other parts of the libary. (I remember that delicious, slightly naughty feeling that I was getting away with something by reading books from the GROWN-UP fiction shelves.)

This was all pre-internet, when the library felt like my only lifeline to the outside world. It was so exciting to find out about a new book, then order it on inter-library loan, wait weeks for it to arrive and then...devour it.

I don’t think of myself as having been a heavy genre fiction reader as a child, but when I jot down the books that made a big impression during those library years, I start with the Choose Your Own Adventure series, then move through the Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher, Michael Ende's The Neverending Story (with that magical red and green text), Ray Bradbury’s short stories, Frederik Pohl’s Heechee Trilogy, and Fahrenheit 451. Oh, and all of Borges.  And A Tale of Two Cities. (Oh, Sydney Carton!) When I was a little older, I discovered the canonical greats of magical realism – Allende, Borges, Márquez, Morrison, Murakami, Rushdie, Vargas Llosa, etc.) – and then it felt like whole new universes opened before me.

Diane: You were born in the USA but live in the UK. When you write flash do you alter how or what you write depending on which country you are submitting the flash to?

Ingrid: That’s a great question. I usually localise the spelling, punctuation, and ‘obvious’ word difference, especially where it might cause confusion (‘sidewalk’/‘pavement’), (‘pants’/‘trousers’) or interfere with the emotional impact something is meant to have (ahem, ‘panties’/’knickers’).  Sometimes, I have two separate versions where I use different references, or where I am extra careful to keep more subtle grammar differences in mind.  I think it can be worth the effort, particularly when sending to smaller publications where editors might not receive many international submissions.

That being said, I’ve lived in the UK for pretty much my entire adult life, so my American English is both woefully dated and hybridised with British English. I don’t think I could pull off any sort of contemporary, slangy American voice without taking advice…though I usually get around the problem by writing things set in the past or avoiding dialogue altogether.

(For the record, at National Flash Fiction Day, we’re fine with submissions sent from anywhere in the world, using any flavour of English whatsoever.  You don't need to change anything for us!)

Ingrid Jendrzejewski serves as a Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day, Editor in Chief of FlashBack Fiction, and a flash fiction editor at JMWW. She has published over 100 shortform pieces and has won multiple flash fiction competitions, including the Bath Flash Fiction Award and AROHO’s Orlando Prize for Flash Fiction. Her short collection Things I Dream About When I'm Not Sleeping was a runner up for BFFA’s first Novella-in-Flash competition. She can be found online at www.ingridj.com and @LunchOnTuesday.

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN for this year's National Flash Fiction Day Anthology and Micro Fiction Competition. Submissions close on 15th February 2020. For more information, please visit our Anthology and Competition pages.