Again, we had another thrilling few months at Bath Flash Fiction Award for the eleventh Award with stories pouring in during the last few weeks, Our founder, Jude Higgins, writes flash fiction, and because she enters contests at the last minute herself, last year we thought the last minute crowd might like a (virtual) badge for entering on the last day. The third badge we've issued is pictured here and we think writers are collecting them! However, everyone deserves a badge. There were 981 entries this time from the 29 countries listed below and we very much appreciate everyone who took the time to write and enter a flash fiction.
Those reading blind for our Award to select the long list of fifty stories always pay attention to what the current judge says and also check back to what previous judges have said about their criteria for a winning flash fiction. In our judge's interview Vanessa Gebbie said:
I’d love to read the most amazing flashes – ones the writers think, wow, where did THAT come from?! Flashes that surprise me, ones that make me think, moments reinterpreted, seen through a lens, ones that teach me something – a new word, a new idea, an off the wall ‘who knew?’ moment! ie: Whatever floats your boat. If it excites you, I’ll catch it. Have a go at it.
There were many stories within the hundreds submitted that fitted Vanessa's criteria, and although it is frequently said, and can seem like a cliche, the long list choices were hard to make from so many excellent pieces. It is quite something, and often an emotional experience, to discover what writers around the world are currently writing about and how much can be distilled into so few words. Thank you again to our team for dedicating many hours of reading time throughout the months of the award and particularly during the last few weeks. Huge thanks also to Vanessa Gebbie for working to our tight schedule, telling us about her selection methods and for her interesting and encouraging comments for all the listed writers and her specific and illuminating comments about the winners. It is marvellous to see the US, the UK and Ireland represented in the five winning stories and our congratulations to first prize winner, Christina Dalcher, second prize winner, Fiona J Mackintosh, third prize winner Lavanya Vasudevan and commended writers, Sharon Telfer and Jonathan Saint. Read all their fantastic pieces here.
All those long listed have received a publication offer for the fourth BFFA anthology which will be published by Ad Hoc Fiction at the end of 2019. We're looking forward to seeing these wonderful stories in print, sending copies off around the world again when it is completed with the flashes from our June and October Awards this December, and nominating individual pieces and the whole anthology for Awards. The twelfth Award opens for entries tomorrow 1st March. Writer, teacher and editor, Christopher Allen is judging and results will be announced at the Flash Fiction Festival on 30th June in Bristol. We very much look forward to reading the next batch of entries and thank you to everybody who supports our Awards and helps flash fiction flourish.