Flash Novella

How to Write a Novella-in-Flash
Joanna Campbell

Joanna Campbell was one of the two runners-up in our inaugural Novella-In-Flash Award judged by Meg Pokrass earlier this year. Her novella A Safer Way to Fall plus How to Make a Window Snake by our winner Charmaine Wilkerson and Things I Dream About When I'm Not Sleeping, by the other runner-up, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, were published together in one anthology, in time to be launched at the Flash Fiction Festival in Bath in June 2017. Joanna wasn’t able to attend the event but we were very pleased that she could come and read at a Flash Fiction Evening of Readings at St James’ Wine Vaults, Bath in May. A Safer Way to Fall is an historical piece spanning traumatic events concerning a family pre and during World War Two, and the subsequent devastation wrought upon the family. She is pictured here reading ‘Counting’ a very tense and moving flash fiction from the novella, where one of the main protagonists is in a line-up facing a firing squad.

Below, Joanna tells us how she came to understand the form and discovered a thread, which she could form into a novella, from flash fictions she had written during the previous eight years.
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How to Write a Novella-in-Flash
Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Ingrid Jendrzejewski tells us how she compiled her brilliant novella-in-flash, Things I Dream About When I’m Not Sleeping, which was one of the two runners-up in the inaugural Bath Flash Fiction novella-in-flash Award judged by Meg Pokrass earlier this year. The anthology of winning novellas How to Make a Window Snake was launched at the Flash Fiction Festival in Bath in June 2017 and the picture here shows Ingrid reading from her novella at the festival with winner, Charmaine Wilkerson, listening. Everyone at this event was very moved by both their readings. How to Make a Window Snake the anthology containing the novellas by Ingrid, Charmaine and the other runner-up, Joanna Campbell, is available from the Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop. The deadline for the second novella-in-flash award, also judged by Meg Pokrass, is on 29th January, 2018. Ingrid went through several stages, detailed below, before she finished her winning novella-in-flash.
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Meg Pokrass
Novella-in-Flash Award Judge

Meg PokrassAmerican writer, Meg Pokrass, is a flash fiction writer, poet and writing tutor. Her books include flash fiction collections, Bird Envy (2014), Damn Sure Right (Press 53 2011) and The Dog Looks Happy Upsidedown (forthcoming from Etruscan Press 2016) and an award-winning book of prose poetry Cellulose Pajamas (Blue Light Book Award Winner 2015). Among her many other publications, she has a flash-fiction novella and essay on the form in My Very End of the Universe, Five mini-novellas in flash and a Study of the Form published by Rose Metal Press. Meg recently moved from the United States to England. In addition to judging our new Flash Fiction Novella Award, you can often join her and others for an evening of flash fiction, booking here.
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Interview with Charmaine Wilkerson
Winner of the Inaugural Novella-in-Flash Award

Charmaine tells us how, on a walk around the ancient wall of Rome she arrived at the inspiration for her wonderful first prize winning novella-in-flash How to Make a Window Snake. When writing at her dining room table, she had to battle interruptions from her family and from others in distant time zones. It is interesting to learn how the structure of this novella emerged and how Charmaine was influenced by many different authors writing stories within stories. The tipping point for her to give the form a go, was reading the novellas-in-flash and essays by Meg Pokrass and others in the guide My Very End of the Universe published by Rose Metal Press. Ending the whole piece was the most difficult part of the writing for Charmaine. But take advice from her if you are embarking on a novella-in-flash – don’t force it. “Let your stories emerge, breathe some life into them, and then see if this is the structure that will allow them to blossom.”

You’ll be able to read How to Make a Window Snake, and the two runner-up novellas-in-flash by Joanna Campbell and Ingrid Jendrzejewski shortly. Our publisher, Ad Hoc Fiction, is in the process of compiling the book, due to be published in June.
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Novella-in-Flash Round Up

BathFlashWe 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.
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Novella-in-Flash 2017 Winners

I was honoured to be asked to judge Bath Flash Fiction Award’s inaugural novella-in-flash contest. There were many strong novella entries making the competition fierce. It was fascinating to see the different way each writer approached this challenge!

One of the most important traits of the flash novella is in creating a sense of urgency that pulls the reader in quickly. This is achieved through pacing, stand-alone story strength, and the creation of unforeseeable dramatic tension. Ultimately, success relies on the crafting of an inventive, non-traditional narrative arc. The short nature of the novella-in-flash does not allow for much context or rumination. Instead, it relies on tragic urgency.
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Flash Fiction Festival
Sat 24th & Sun 25th June 2017

In association with the Arts Council England, Bath Flash Fiction Award is sponsoring the first ever UK literary festival entirely devoted to flash fiction. Taking place on the weekend of National Flash Fiction Day UK, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June, the inaugural Flash Fiction Festival will be held in Bath.

Visit the Flash Fiction Festival site here

Check out our action-packed programme; we've organised a great line up of workshop leaders, speakers, writers and teachers of the short and short-short form – Vanessa Gebbie, Paul McVeigh, Tania Hershman, David Gaffney, David Swann, Ashley Chantler, Peter Blair, K M Elkes, Kit de Waal, Michael Loveday, Christopher Feilden, Calum Kerr, Jude Higgins and Meg Pokrass.
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