On Closing Our Inaugural Award

BathFlashThe inaugural Bath Flash Fiction Award was launched in February 2015 and we're delighted that Annemarie Neary agreed to be our first judge. She's been very positive all the way through the contest, which has been a wonderful support – we didn't know how long it would take to achieve the target of 1000 entries. In the end it's been eight months from start to finish, roughly the same time as some other awards with known deadlines.

Running the Award without a deadline meant that we avoided the usual flood of entries that often arrive at the end of contests with a fixed-end date. We've been able to read the stories anonymously in batches as they arrived and select for a provisional long and short list as we went along. As a result, we've managed to announce the winners within a week of closure. Annemarie again helped with this. After receiving the shortlist, she spent a concentrated few days reading and rereading the stories to come up with three great winning flash fictions, two commended pieces and a very interesting and detailed report.

We were thrilled to receive entries from many parts of the world. This is reflected in the five winning pieces chosen; four countries are represented, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States and Singapore. The short list and longlist also represent several different countries and many different styles of flash fiction. It has been fascinating to see so many different examples of this constantly evolving and exciting form.

So, a huge thank you to everyone who took the plunge to enter without knowing how long their stories would be in competition. Aspects of the award have evolved along the way. I am particularly pleased with and appreciative of the free, weekly mini-contest Ad Hoc Fiction, a project developed by our brilliant web team to encourage people to both write and read micro fiction. It's extraordinary and wonderful that three of the flash fictions entered via winning Ad Hoc Fiction were selected for the short list of Bath Flash Fiction Award. There are plans for Ad Hoc Fiction to develop in various other ways to support writers of the very short form.

It's been a great experience running a contest in this way, but following your feedback – and us wanting to support writers in the best way possible – the next Bath Flash Award will bring you something a little different. Find out soon.

Our Second Bath Flash Fiction Award launches Sunday 11th October.

Jude Higgins
Founder Bath Flash Fiction Award

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