We were inspired to launch the inaugural novella-in-flash award by reading the excellent guide on the subject, My Very End of the Universe published by Rose Metal Press in 2014. Meg Pokrass's flash novella, Here, Where we Live is one of five novellas in this book and she also has a craft essay in the book. The novella-in-flash is one of her favourite emerging forms, and we were thrilled when she agreed to judge the first competition.
In her report, Meg points out the difficulty of achieving strong stand-alone fictions and an innovative narrative arc in the novella-in-flash. We didn't know how many writers would be 'pioneers' and try writing one. In the end we had a very encouraging first year, receiving 103 entries from writers in eleven countries: Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. Genres ranged from contemporary literary works, to steam-punk, science fiction and fantasy. There were domestic dramas, dystopian worlds, long time-spans,stories with interesting protagonists and families, taking place in historical and contemporary settings. It was fascinating to see how writers approached the subject and formed their narrative arcs in experimental ways. We hope that those who entered may like to submit again. And that new writers will submit their novellas in flash. We also hope that individual pieces from the novellas submitted this time will find their way into other publications. There were so many strong and interesting stand-alone flash fictions.
The three winners – first prize, How to Make a Window Snake by Charmaine Wilkerson and the runners-up Things I Dream About When I'm Not Sleeping by Ingrid Jendrzejewski and A Safer Way to Fall by Joanna Campbell will be published in one volume in print and digital forms by Ad Hoc Fiction later this year. We're looking forward to seeing them in print and are sure many of you will like to read them too.
The Award re-opens on April 1st 2017 and ends on 29th January 2018. Meg Pokrass will also judge the second year of the award. Do have a go – you have ten months to create a number of different flash fictions to form into your narrative. The Bath Flash Fiction team is looking forward to another year of exciting reading.
Bath Flash Fiction Founder