Author Archives: Jude

Launch of Snow Crow, Friday 4th February

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We’re delighted to launch Snow Crow, the sixth Bath Flash Fiction Anthology on Zoom on Friday 4th February,7.30 pm – 9.30 pm GMT, two days before the deadline of our 20th Award where all fifty longlisted writers will have the opportunity to be published in the 2022 anthology, There are 136 stories in Snow Crow , 300 words and under so we can only listen to a selection of them but it’s wonderful that many of the winners and commended writers from the three rounds of the 2021 Awards can come and read. ·

Those confirmed so far are first prize winners, Geeta Sankar, Dara Yen Elerath, Doug Ramspeck; Second prize winners, Emma Phillips and Jo Gatford; Third Prize winners Leonie Rowland and Tim Craig and commended writers, Sara Hills, Audrey Niven, Debra A Daniel, Chloe Banks and Regan Puckett. We’ll also hear stories from shortlisted and longlisted writers, Sage Tyrtle, Kathryn Aldridge Morris, Diane Simmons and Amy Barnes (plus a few more to come). Because the stories are all so short there’s room for around twenty-one readers altogether.

Snow Crow , the title taken from the October winning story by Doug Ramspeck was published by Ad Hoc Fiction, just before Christmas and has arrived in many different countries so far. We know it hasn’t quite reached some parts of Canada yet. Thank you to everyone on social media who’s showed us the book in different locations around the world.

In the slide show above, we have authors posed with their copy of the book; books posed with decorative Christmas and other birds (including crows, ravens, robins and parrots; books in snowy and other locations; books in offices and on tables; in line=ups with other anthologies; a book partially eaten by a dog (plus a picture of the dog!) a book showing a map of its impending travels from an author couple who both had a piece in the book. We also have samples of a few stories among the slides. If we’ve missed off your picture, please let us know and we can add it in.
Here’s a new one just arrived from Antionette Bauer in Australia

At the launch there’ll be three reading slots to hear the stories from each round of the Award, break out groups for chats and a book giveaway. A fantastic selection from an anthology of really wonderful pieces. The launch is hosted by BFFA founder, Jude Higgins, and everyone is welcome. To get a zoom link email Jude {at} Judehiggins {dot} com asap, We look forward to seeing you there!

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An Etymology prompt by David Swann

Here’s the second prompt in our series from award winning writer and senior university lecturer, David Swann, based on the definition in the frontispiece of his prize-winning novella-in-flash, Season of Bright Sorrow
We’ve quoted the definition here:

‘derelict (adj.) 1640s, “left, abandoned by the owner or guardian,”
from Latin derelictus “solitary, deserted,”… “leave behind,
forsake, abandon, give up,”… Originally especially of vessels
abandoned at sea or stranded on shore. Of persona, “unfaithful,
neglectful of responsibility,” by 1864.’ — Online Etymology
Dictionary, derelict | Origin and meaning of derelict by Online
Etymology Dictionary (
Season of Bright Sorrow – a phrase sometimes used to describe
the cold, sunny days of Lent, a time of both hunger and hope.

Our second print run of Season of Bright Sorrow will be back at the Ad Hoc Fiction book shop shortly, but in the meantime, you can buy from Amazon (linked to your country on the bookshop page) or purchase a signed copy direct from David. Just email jude at jude{at}adhocfiction{dot}com and she will pass on details to him.

David’s prompt

Browse the etymology website below until you find a concrete image hidden inside a word that intrigues you. For instance, our word ‘scene’ contains an ancient vestige of Arabian tents! Or ‘dereliction’ contains a stranded boat. This may take a while. But, once you have found an image that excites you, see if you can give this image to a lonely character. Then wait to see what happens when you connect their loneliness to the prop and the word. This is one of the ways in which ‘Season of Bright Sorrow’ first fired into life, all its elements brought together by the theme of ‘dereliction’. See: Etymonline – Online Etymology Dictionary

Etymonline – Online Etymology Dictionary
The online etymology dictionary (etymonline) is the internet’s go-to source for quick and reliable accounts of the origin and history of English words, phrases, and idioms. It is professional enough to satisfy academic standards, but accessible enough to be used by anyone.

Our 2022 Novella in Flash Award just finished and we’re looking forward to reading more wonderful novellas in flash. Thank you to everyone for entering. We expect final results to be out in April, 2022.

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Bricolage – a prompt from David Swann

Dave Swann had lots of interesting things to say at the launch of Season of Bright Sorrow at the Flash Fiction Festival on January 8th. We’re very happy that he has agreed to run a half hour session on The Fibonacci method of writing at the March 26th festival day, showing how he used this in one of his stories. In the meantime, we are including some more of the prompts he kindly sent to us which inspired more stories in the novella.

Bricolage. (‘Do it yourself’, in French). Here, the writer works as a beachcomber, picking up fragments, like Mr Flook in my novella. (Jude says: Throughout Season of Bright Sorrow there are fascinating short list pieces showing what Mr Flook finds on Morecombe beach. Here’s the first piece below):

In the bag

One straw hat.
Two mermaid’s purses.
Sea-glass (blue).
Two lengths of barbed wire.
Copper coin or token (unidentifiable).
Many plastic bottles, many bags.
Child’s hair band.
Whelk shell (broken), plus egg-cases (attached).

So go out into the street and either collect or photograph, say, ten fragments that you come across (litter, pebbles, leaves, etc.) Then lay them out before you and write a flash, or a series of flashes, that use your ‘beachcombing’ as props in a narrative chain. On p.60 of Season of Bright Sorrow, you’ll find an Outsider Artist working as a bricoleur.

For another example, see Outsider Environments Europe: Willem van Genk, Busstation Arnhem/Arnhem bus station ( For those who are interested in finding out more, Jarvis Cocker made a brilliant series about Outsider Art.

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Bath Flash 2021 Round Up and Thank you!

Thank you to everyone from around the world who supported all our flash fiction ventures in 2021. We so appreciate all your support. This year we ran the three Bath Flash Fiction Awards, receiving 3947 entries in total from 64 different countries; the novella-in-flash award which over 100 writers entered and since March this year, have sponsored eight monthly on-line flash fiction festival days with fabulous workshops, talks, readings and mini-contests.

The first online festival day of 2022 is coming up on Saturday January 8th with more great workshops, two mini=contests with cash and other prizes, readings and chats to boost your New Year writing resolves. Just £30 for a whole day of flashy fun 11.00 am – 6.30 pm GMT and plenty of free places for those for whom cost is a barrier. Book at

And we have also taken the plunge to sponsor a further in-person Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol, UK on the weekend of 8-10th July. We’ve a fantastic line up of presenters and online as well as in-person options for workshops and talks. We’ve booked the venue and a brilliant caterer. And there’s only a few more things to arrange before booking opens at the end of January. Read in Full

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Snow Crow, the 6th Bath Flash Fiction Anthology, published!

We’re thrilled that Ad Hoc Fiction has now published Snow Crow the sixth yearly Bath Flash Fiction Award Anthology! 136 flash fictions 300 words or under from the longlist of the three 2021 Awards. All the authors, from around a dozen different countries, are listed below. The Awards were judged this year by Charmaine Wilkerson, K.M.Elkes and Sharon Telfer and extracts from their reports are quoted on the back cover and the foreword. So many fantastic stories to read! The title and the striking cover design this year are inspired by our October winner’s story, by US based writer, Doug Ramspeck, which you can read here, along with Doug’s interview about the story.

We’d love to see pictures from the contributors when the anthologies arrive in their location. Either posed with snow, or crows or anything else! Here Jude’s copy is perched on a hedge with a crow (or maybe its cousin, a raven) looking down.

Snow Crow is available from Ad Hoc Fiction or in paperback from Amazon.

Authors within the book

Abigail Barker,Alexis Boddy,Alison Wassell,Alison Woodhouse,Amanda McLeod,Amy Barnes,Amy Mackrill,Amy Stewart,Andrew Stancek,Anne Howkins Anne Summerfield Antoinette Bauer,Audrey Niven,Bahar Razaghi,Barbara Diggs, Bernadette Stott,Carl Stevens
Catherine Deery,Catherine Edmunds,Cathrin Hagey,Charise de Becker,Chauna Craig,Chloe Banks,Christine Collinson,Claire Carroll,Claire Penna,Conor Montague,Dara Elerath,Debra A Daniel,Denny Jace,Dettra Rose,Diane Simmons,Doug Ramspeck,Elena Croitoru,Elizabeth Edelglass
Emma Kentish,Emma NealeEmma Phillips,Finnian Burnett,Fiona J. Mackintosh,Francis McCrickard,Freda Churches,Geeta Sanker.Georgiana S Nelsen,Gina Headden,Hillary Rose,Isabella Mead,Jason Jackson,Jayne Martin,Jo Gatford,Johanna Robinson,John Brantingham,Jupiter Jones,K.S. Lokensgard,Karen Jones,Karen Vallerius,Kate Carne,Kathryn Aldridge-Morris,Kathy Hoyle,Katie Hale,Keely O’shaughnessy,Keith S. Wilson,Ken Shirley,Kinneson Lalor,Kirsty Seymour-Ure,Kristen Loesch,L.J. Moss,Laura Kyle,Lauren Collett,Laurie Marshall,Leonie Rowland,Lily Peters,Lottie Hazell,Lucy Lasasso,Lyn Ellis,M Casseem,Madeline Anthes,Maria A. Ioannou,Maria Jackson,Marissa Hoffmann,Mark Left,Marsha D Rappley,Mary Francis,MaxieJane Frazier,Melissa Bowers,Michael Salander,Molly Lanzarotta,Morgan Quinn,Natalie Warther,Neil Clark,Nicholas P. Murray Nick Petty,Nicola Godlieb,Peter Davison,Philippa Maughan,Rachel J Fenton
Rebecca Netley,Regan Puckett,Rhys Jones,Rob Swain,Robert Barrett,Rosaleen Lynch,Rose San Jose,Ruth Skrine,Sage Tyrtle,Salena Casha
Sally Bothroyd,Sally Vanns,Sam Payne,Sara Hills,Sarah Ann Winn,Sarah Reader Harris,Saskia McCracken,Simon Cowdroy,Slawka G.Scarso,Sophie Goldsworthy,Steven John,Tea Vatsadze,Terri Mullholland.Tom 0’Brien, Tim Craig,Tracey Slaughter,Tze Chua

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Launch Party for 4 Novellas in Flash, 22nd December!

Come to the launch party, hosted by Ad Hoc Fiction director, Jude Higgins on Wednesday 22nd December, 7.30pm – 9.30 pm on Zoom for four of the novellas-in-flash published from our 2021 Award! Published today (9th December 2021), in a beautiful line up, One For the River by Tom 0’Brien a runner up in the Award; and two short-listed novellas, The Listening Project by Ali McGrane and Kipris by Michelle Christophorou. We’ll also be officially launching Small Things by Hannah Sutherland, highly commended in the 2021 Award and published in October.

These are four brilliant novellas in flash, all very different and at the launch the authors will tell us more about them and each read three short pieces from the books.There will be break out chats and a book giveaways at the end of the evening. Hope you can come! Email jude {at} adhocfiction {dot} com for a link. All welcome. In the meantime, have a look at our 2021 judge, Michelle Elvy’s comments on the novellas.

You can buy all of them directly at the online bookshop at Ad Hoc Fiction. On each bookshop page there are also links for buying in paperback from Amazon world wide. And if you want a signed copy, some of our authors are selling them directly. Please DM them on Twitter to ask for a copy or email Jude at the above address for her to pass your details on.

And the last of the ten novellas in flash from the 2021 Award (the fifth yearly Bath Novella in Flash Award) will be published by Ad Hoc Fiction on 18th December. It’s the first prize winner, Season of Bright Sorrow by David Swann. Read more about it here. It is now open for preorder. We hope to launch David’s book in early January.

The 2022 Bath Novella in Flash Award closes on January 14th. Submissions welcome for novellas in flash in between 6000 and 18000 words. Michelle Elvy is judging again and results will be out in April 2022.

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Preorders open for Season of Bright Sorrow, winning Novella in Flash by David Swann

We’re thrilled that Season of Bright Sorrow David Swann’s brilliant first prize winning novella in flash from our 2021 NIF Award judged by Michelle Elvy is now up for preorder at a 25% discount from Ad Hoc Fiction, until publication day on 18th December.

It’s such a moving story, and is wonderfully illustrated with drawings by artist Sam Hubbard, some of which are shown below.

The striking cover image was also designed by Sam and shows a prison notebook. Sam and Dave have supplied a ‘Property of the prison’ stamp for us to use to make the book unique before it is posted off to purchasers. Season of Bright Sorrow will also be available on Amazon worldwide at publication, but you won’t get an individualised stamp there!

Here’s a brief synopsis:

After her father is jailed for murder, a young girl is re-housed with her mother in a crumbling resort. There are terrors here: tides and quick-sands, also a strange boy who wanders the marsh. But when the girl meets an elderly beachcomber who has known heartaches of his own, she senses that her fortunes could turn like the tide. The tide that rushes in faster than a horse, bringing life – and sometimes taking it…

Read in Full

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Bath Flash Fiction Award Nominations, 2022

We’ve made our choices for Best Small Fictions, 2022 and The Push Cart Prize from among the wonderful winning and placed stories from the three Bath Flash Fiction Awards this year. Best wishes to all!
Our end of year Bath Flash Fiction Award anthology will be published this month by Ad Hoc Fiction and you will be able to read all the stories we’ve nominated in the book as well as on this website. All stories linked here.
Note: We’re not able to select for Bestmicrofictions as that anthology is for stories that are published in magazines only and are not published or forthcoming in a paperback print book.

Lucky four leaf clover photograph by Dustin Humes, Unsplash

Pushcart Prize Nominations
Let Them Eat First by Geeta Sanker
Reasons You Married A Woman Called Rose by Leonie Rowland
Strong Like Carp by Emma Phillips
Car Trouble, Spartansburg, August 2002 by K.S. Lokensgard
That’s All There is There Ain’t No More by Tim Craig
On Rannoch Moor by Audrey Niven.

Best Small Fictions nominations
Snow Crow by Doug Ramspleck
The Button Wife by Dara Yen Elerath
The Mothers by Jo Gatford
Now You See Him by Tim Craig
Always Down A Dirt Road I am Walking by Sara Hills

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Three more novellas in flash available for preorder now!

Ad Hoc Fiction is publishing all the shortlist and winners from the 2021 Novella in Flash Award. Ten novellas in all and today three more are up for preorder.
You can read judge Michelle Elvy’s report here.

One for the River, a story about the tragic death of a young boy in a river by Tom 0’Brien was the runner-up in this year’s Award and he has extended the story for publication so it has even more poignant impact since we read it first at Bath Flash. We’re also pleased that Kipris by Michelle Christophorou a coming of age story set in British occupied Cyprus in the last century has a few extra stories in it, which add to the depth of this little written about period of history. The Listening Project by Ali McGrane focusses brilliantly on other aspects of loss — the loss of hearing and the loss of a brother.

All these books are beautifully written and address important issues in different ways. You can now pre-order at a 25% discount until publication day for all three on Thursday 9th October. We hope to host an online launch shortly and will keep you posted

Below, we’ve added a gallery of these three novellas in flash now up for pre-order and the six others from this year’s award already published and available from the Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop. They are A Family of Great Falls by Debra A Daniel, Things I Can’t Tell Amma by Sudha Balagopal, The Tony Bone Stories by Al Kratz, Hairy on The Inside by Tracy Fells, The Death and Life of Mrs Parker by Jupiter Jones and Small Things by Hannah Sutherland.

The winner of our last year’s award, Season of Bright Sorrow by David Swann will also be out soon. And if you want to enter next year’s Award, it closes on January 14th and is again judged by writer and editor Michelle Elvy

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Interview with Doug Ramspeck, first prize winner, Oct, 2021

Doug Ramspeck won first prize in our 19th Award, with Snow Crow, a stunning and deeply moving story.You can read judge Sharon Telfer’s comments on it in her judges report. In this interview, Doug, a recently retired Professor of English from Ohio State University in Lima, USA who writes in several different genres, tells us, among other fascinating things, more about his winning piece and his new poetry collections. He talks about looking for the magic in flash and mentions third prize winner Tim Craig’s story That’s All There Is There Ain’t No More as a brilliant example of ‘rule breaking’ in writing. In an amazing co-incidence, we’ve also learned that Doug Ramspeck was the judge who selected Dara Yen Elerath’s debut collection of poetry, Dark Braid as the winner of the 20th John Ciardi Prize for Poetry through BkMk Press. Dara won first prize in our June, 2021 Award with another amazing story, The Button Wife. We’re delighted that Doug is reading his winning piece on November 27th at the next Flash Fiction Festival Day in the 2.30-2.45 pm GMT reading slot. We’re really looking forward to hearing it in his own voice. Hope you can come!


  • We agree with our 19th Award judge, Sharon Telfer, that your first prize winning story ‘Snow Crow’ is a stunning piece of writing,”brimming with tension and mystery”. Can you tell us what inspired this story and the process of writing it?

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