Author Archives: Jude

Ad Hoc Fiction’s Fourth Birthday

It's Ad Hoc Fiction fourth birthday! The micro contest opened for entries first on 15th April 2015 and the first winning story by writer, Nick Black was published on 22nd April, four years ago, today. Our big thanks to John at Ad Hoc Fiction, who runs the Ad Hoc Fiction contest; designs and publishes the Ad Hoc Fiction paper back and ebooks; administers the Bath Flash Fiction Awards, and who has been doing so much to help put flash fiction on the map in the UK and beyond. A lot has happened in the last four years and here are sixteen random Happy Birthday Ad Hoc Fiction Facts: Read in Full

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‘Finding A Way’ by Diane Simmons, shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards 2019

We're thrilled that Finding A Way, Diane Simmons flash fiction collection, published by our short-short press, Ad Hoc Fiction has been shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards. We suggested you might like to nominate her if you enjoyed the book and thank you very much to everyone who did this.Voting is now open to find the winner. Please do vote for Diane again on the new shortlist voting form saying why you liked it.

Diane's book was launched in February in Bath and online and is selling well via the Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop where you can buy it in paperback in several different currencies, in ebook formats on Kindle and Nook and in Moorland Road Bookshop, in Bath, where it is a best-seller. There are already many five star reviews on Amazon, our own Bookshop review pages, on Goodreads and one on Saboteur Reviews. We have included quotes from some of these reviews below :

"Diane Simmons writes with deceptive simplicity about complex emotions. This collection navigates a sea of loss which is so vast, so devastating, that it is incomprehensible to most of us. The writing is assured and deft, and the work as a whole is skilfully crafted." Amanda H.

"This is a perfectly balanced collection that explores loss and grief in stories that are deceptive in their simplicity and domesticity." Rachael D.

"What struck me most was the way the loss of Becky was shown so poignantly in everyday situations the reader can recognise and imagine, yet without a trace of self-pity." Joanna C. Read in Full

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Interview with Ellie Walsh 2019 Novella-in-Flash Winner

Read this fascinating interview with Ellie Walsh, the winner of our third novella-in-flash award with her wonderful novella, Birds with Horse Hearts.

This year, the Award was judged by Michael Loveday. In his judge's comments copied here, Michael gives a synopsis of the novella. He writes:

Three women take centre stage in this novella-in-flash, a rich and poetic study of a poor farming family in Nepal, with whom a woman from Iowa is staying, for unnamed reasons, after the death of her husband. Here the impoverished and marginalised are, for once, placed in the foreground, and the story is partly about how we can and must find beauty and love amidst harshness and deprivation. At the centre of it all is the enigmatic, beguiling, and tragic figure of the young prostitute Putali, at once trapped in a difficult life, and yet as free-spirited as a butterfly. This is a novella shadowed by loss and the search for belonging; it is also, in its own quiet, subtle and radical way, a love story. The quality of the sentence-making is stunning, the characterisation vivid and unique, and the narrative compelling and effortlessly handled, layered with skilful exposition, motifs and foreshadowings. I couldn’t fault the decisions that had been taken by the author and, although there were several other very fine manuscripts of clearly publishable quality, in the end this dark jewel of a story haunted me the most out of all the submissions – as soon as I encountered it, the characters, setting, and storyline simply refused to leave my head.

We are very pleased that Ad Hoc Fiction is publishing Ellie's stunning novella-in-flash in a single-author book later this year. It's a must-read. Ellie is also a member of a panel at the Flash Fiction Festival UK in June, discussing the Novella-in-Flash, with Meg Pokrass and Charmaine Wilkerson. Michael Loveday is chairing the discussion and facilitating Q and A. Read in Full

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Novella-in-Flash 2019 Winners

Read about our winners and highly commended writers and go to our judge Michael Loveday's report to see his comments on their wonderful novellas-in-flash. All six novellas-in-flash will be published in separate single author books by our small press, Ad Hoc Fiction and will be available to buy in paperback on the Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop and in ebook formats on Kindle and Nook in due course. We are thrilled to publish such a brilliant variety flash fiction novellas by these authors and to further support a form of flash fiction growing so much in popularity worldwide.
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Winner, Ellie Walsh, with Birds with Horse Hearts. Ellie is a PhD student at the University of Plymouth, where her research focuses on Nepalese feminist literature. She has short stories and poetry published in UK, Canadian and Indian journals, and her play was produced in London. Ellie spends much of her time in Chitwan, Nepal, where the villagers teach her how to farm rice and often tell her to lighten up. Read in Full

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2019 Novella-in-Flash Award Results and Round Up

Many congratulations to the 2019 winners in our 2019 Novella-in-Flash Award and also to the Highly Commended writers. First prize goes to UK based author, Ellie Walsh, for her novella-in-flash Birds with Horse Hearts. The two Runners-Up are Johanna Robinson, also from the UK for her novella-in-flash, Homing and John Brantingham from the US with his novella-in-flash Inland Empire Afternoon.

This year we are also pleased to be able to award three Highly Commended prizes to Francine Witte from the US for The Way of The Wind, Debra Daniel from the US for Roster and Dan Crawley from the US for Straight Down the Road.

We received 108 entries this year, nearly the same number as in 2018 and submissions came in from several different countries including the UK, Ireland, Spain, US, Australia and New Zealand. As our 2019 Judge, Michael Loveday, remarked in his report, the standard of entries was very high. And it has been exciting to read how different authors interpret the form. We love how the novella-in-flash allows for much experimentation, in the whole structure and within the individual flash fiction 'chapters'. We received novellas in several different genres - science fiction based stories, stories showing life within a family or a relationship, historical stories, crime stories. Some covered large time spans, others focussed on events in a day, but all the long listed novellas had their unique 'flash fiction' take, making them very different from a 'standard' novella or short novel. The novella-in-flash is a form growing massively in popularity, with our inaugural winner How To Make A Window Snake , by Charmaine Wilkerson, winning the Saboteur Novella Prize in 2018 and recently, Sophie Van Llewyn's novella-in-flash, Bottled Goods, published by Fairlight Press, being shortlisted for the Women's Fiction Prize.

Having tested the water over the past two years and in light of these developments, we are very keen to further promote the form and to support our winners and commended writers by publishing the three winners each as a single book in both paperbook and digital copies. And we are also offering a similar publishing opportunity to our three Highly Commended Writers. These six novellas-in-flash are all fantastic reads and we believe they will encourage anyone interested in writing one, to have a go at the form.

We also hope, later down the line, to offer publication to the four other excellent novellas on our short list: Kremlin Quixote by David Rhymes from Spain; Off the Resting Sea by US based writer, Al Kratz; At the Bottom of the Stairs by UK author Chloe Banks, and George X by Peter Matthews, also from the UK.

Finally, we offer our huge thanks and appreciation to Michael Loveday, for all his work on judging our 2019 Award. He read and considered all the longlisted novellas very carefully, and has studied the shortlisted novellas even more closely. He is very enthusiastic about the novella-in-flash as a genre and keen on all its possibilities. It has been wonderful having him as our judge and we are very pleased to welcome him back to judge next year. The 2020 Award will open in April and end in mid January, 2020. More details posted soon.

Jude Higgins, BFFA founder,

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Interview with Christina Dalcher First Prize February 2019

  • You suggested in a recent blog of yours that your first prize winning story ‘Candy Girls’ has quite a history. Can you tell us more about how you came to write this story?

The initial spark came while I was watching Woody Allen's film 'Radio Days'. Mia Farrow plays a cigarette girl who goes from rags to riches, and I wanted to write a piece about the lives of these young women who were probably selling more sex than cigars. There's also a part in the screenplay where one character says, "They don't take Jews in the Stork Club," and another responds with, "No Jews, no colored." Well, now I had to write the story. That line was so powerful; it grabbed on to me and wouldn't let go.
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Novella-in-Flash 2019 Award Judge’s report

Our 2019 Novella-in-Flash Award judge, Michael Loveday's writes about the process of selecting the short list and this is followed by his comments on the winning novella-in-flash, the two runners-up and three highly commended novellas-in-flash..Michael has judged everything 'blind' and did not know the names of the winners until this announcement. Read more about the 2019 Award on Jude's Award Round-Up post. Read in Full

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Novella-in-Flash 2019 Award Short List

Congratulations to all the authors who have made our Award short list.

To preserve judging anonymity, author names are yet to be announced. While we are happy for authors to share that they are on the short list, we ask that writers do not identify themselves with their particular work at this stage.

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Christopher Allen
Flash Fiction Award Judge
March 2019 – June 2019


Christopher Allen is the author of Other Household Toxins (Matter Press) and Conversations with S. Teri O’Type (a Satire). Allen’s fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in [PANK], Indiana Review, Split Lip Magazine, Longleaf Review and Lunch Ticket, among many other great places. Allen is a multiple nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, The Best Small Fictions, storySouth‘s Million Writers Award and others. In 2017 Allen was both a finalist (as translator) and semifinalist for The Best Small Fictions. He is presently the co-editor of SmokeLong Quarterly and a consulting editor for The Best Small Fictions 2018.
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Award Round Up
February 2019

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.
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