We launched The Lobsters Run Free Bath Flash Fiction Volume Two and Flash Fiction Festival One at Beaufort Bookshop, Larkhall, Bath on Saturday evening, 27th January.
The event began with readings from Flash Fiction Festival One – 74 flash fictions submitted by writers who attended the inaugural flash fiction festival in Bath, which took place at The New Oriel Hall, Larkhall in June 2017. Santino Prinzi, who, along with Diane Simmons and Jude Higgins, selected the stories from submissions sent by festival participants, introduced the anthology and the readers. We were delighted that local writers Anna Nazarova-Evans, Christopher Fielden, John Wheway, Kevlin Henney, Grace Palmer, Matthew Thorpe Coles, and festival director, Jude Higgins came and read their anthology pieces and were joined by festival curator, Meg Pokrass and Barbara Renel, and Jocelyn Barker, who all travelled down from the north of the UK. It was so enjoyable to hear everyone’s stories. Many of the pieces were inspired by workshops at the festival.
Bath Flash Fiction Award founder, Jude Higgins introduced the second half of the evening – readings from The Lobsters Run Free Bath Flash Fiction Volume Two. She showed pictures of where copies of the anthology have arrived in different parts of the world – some of the photographs are can be seen here. This second anthology contains 135 flash fictions which were listed in the three Bath Flash Awards in 2017 – awards judged by Kathy Fish, Meg Pokrass and David Swann. Local writers Diane Simmons, K M Elkes, Alison Powell and Santino Prinzi read their listed pieces from the book and were joined by Ingrid Jendrzejewski and Clare Weze who travelled from different parts of the country to be with us and read their anthology stories. You can also read stories from Santino, Diane, Ingrid, Alison and Ken in the festival anthology. We just didn’t have time to fit those stores into the first half of the evening.
It was a lovely social evening, with plenty of wine, and nibbles and time for chats as well as a chance to hear wonderful flash fiction – sixteen stories in all with a range of styles and themes, all 300 words and under.
Beaufort Bookshop in Larkhall, Bath, is owned by previous English teacher James Thomas and is a very welcoming space. We certainly hope to use it again for future launches. James opened the shop in September, 2017 and is already running lots of events there. He has a great range of used books, will order new ones and runs a regular book club. As of this week, he is also a flash fiction convert. Having heard our readers and read the anthologies, he has now written his first piece of flash fiction.
Thank you to everyone who came to read or listen. And to everyone who submitted to the Awards last year, came to the festival and submitted stories afterwards. We appreciate your support.
The next Award ends at midnight on February 11th and all fifty long listed authors will be offered publication in the 2018 anthology, which will be published at the end of this year. We will also compile a second Flash Fiction anthology from stories submitted after this year’s festival, which takes place 20-22 July, in Bristol. Booking open soon.