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Ad Hoc Fiction author, Diane Simmons, on Radio Bristol

We are delighted that our publisher, Ad Hoc Fiction is publishing Diane Simmons' collection, Finding A Way, fifty one linked flash fictions which show one family's grieving journey over the three years following a devastating loss. Diane is widely published in anthologies and magazines and has been successful in many writing competitions. She is a member of the organising team for Flash Fiction Festivals, UK and is also a Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day, UK. This Thursday, (November 15th) she read A Collection, the first story from her forthcoming book, on BBC Upload, the fantastic new evening magazine programme dedicated to showcasing local artists and writers, at Radio Bristol. Click here to listen. She comes in about 1.34 mins into the programme.

Radio Bristol have created a brilliantly simple system in Upload. All you need is a mobile phone to record and submit your creative works for possible inclusion on their programme which airs weekday evenings, from 7.00 pm to 10.00 pm. Jude was approached by the presenter, the dynamic Adam Crowther, who asked if she could suggest some local flash writers and it seemed a perfect opportunity for Diane to read one of her stories and talk a little about Finding A Way. Do listen. Diane often reads her fictions in the Flash Fiction Evenings Jude organises in Bath and she is pictured here at the Flash Fiction Festival in July, 2018, reading A Picnic in the Park, another story from her forthcoming collection. As always, she reads wonderfully here on the radio and in the interview with Adam after the reading, she talks more about her new collection and her writing. Do listen. Diane is currently putting the finishing touches to her book, which will be published in January and available for sale at bookshop.adhocfiction.com in several different currencies for world-wide sales. We are really looking forward to seeing it in print. More details soon!

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Meg Pokrass: Writing From the Inside Out

Writer, writing tutor and editor Meg Pokrass is well-known for her amazingly inventive prompts. And she uses them herself in her own writing. This is what she says about it --

When people ask me: how did you do that? How did you incorporate that prompt idea? (as though it is a magic trick) this is what I almost always wish to say:
The writer works from the inside out. They live with a feeling, such as loss, for example the loss of love (my favorite) and they use the prompt as a way to explore the feeling in new ways, to "process" it (if we're being new-agey about it). There is no "trick" it is just letting oneself see your own life differently by using different filters, or metaphors, or situations, and letting oneself feel sad once again, which admittedly sucks (when writing hard stuff, feeling the loss again by looking directly at it). But on the bright side, to express it in some creative way, can create a huge sense of relief.

For November Meg is posting a prompt a day based on her wonderful collection Alligators at Night, which was published this July by Ad Hoc Fiction and which is available from the Ad Hoc Fiction Bookshop. Meg is posting extracts or full stories from the collection and giving you ideas to inspire a story. A great way to write in inventive ways, build up a sequence of fictions and to whet your appetite to read the whole collection. Hop over to her website to take a look. Her illustrative pictures are prompts in themselves.
And just for an added bonus, here's Meg reading the title story from 'Alligators at Night', a flash that was chosen as one of Wigleaf magazine's list of top 50 stories in 2018.

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Interview with Vanessa Gebbie
Flash Fiction Award Judge
November 2018 – February 2019

Vanessa has won multiple awards for both prose and poetry, including a Bridport Prize and the Troubadour. Her flash publications include Ed’s Wife and Other Creatures (Liquorice Fish Books) and the weird/irreal collection Nothing to Worry About (Flash: The International Short Short Story Press at Chester University) as well as many individual publications online and in print. She is author of three short story collections (with Salt and Cultured Llama), a novel (Bloomsbury), and two poetry publications (Pighog and Cultured Llama). She is also commissioning and contributing editor of Short Circuit, Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Salt). She teaches widely www.vanessagebbie.com.
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Award Round Up October 2018

This was our tenth award and we thank everyone who entered. Nine hundred and thirty four fictions from thirty-two different countries:

Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

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Draft your flash novella during FlashNano

In 2012, writer and writing tutor Nancy Stohlman conceived the idea to run a series of daily prompts during November for those who wanted write a flash fiction a day instead of writing a novel during November for NaNoWriMo. Six years on, and a huge number of writers throughout the world take up her challenge each November. Read more about how she started this in my interview with her from last year.  Want to write a novella-in-flash for our third Novella-in-flash Award? We think with the motivating prompts Nancy supplies, November is an ideal month to create a flash fiction novella draft. Thirty stories and you'll have a complete draft manuscript at the end of the month. Don't know where to begin? The prompts themselves may give you initial ideas, and they can also push forward a vague idea you already have and take it in different directions.  You can also sign up to a Face Book group to receive daily prompts from Meg Pokrass throughout the month. Read in Full

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Deadline Fever

At Bath Flash Fiction, we love the buzz around the end of the Award on social media. We've never quite worked out the psychology around writers and deadlines, so if someone wants to try an explanation, let us know. For our Awards, the pattern is always the same, 80% of entries come in the last few weeks even though discounted entries are available in the Early Bird deals which end half way through the contest. Some people buy their Early Bird entries and submit much later but not that many. A very large number of writers enter on the final day. Those writers are members of the Last Minute Club. Last time we introduced a badge for them, pictured here. And there will be another one for avid collectors on Sunday 14th October, which is the last day for this award. K M Elkes, the winner of the June round told us he is an up-to the-wire kind of guy. He said he entered not long before midnight on the final day. Just the one story. Read in Full

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Nominations 2018-2019

We like to nominate winners' stories from the Bath Flash Fiction Awards and the Ad Hoc Fiction winners for yearly anthologies and awards. Authors nominated by us have done very well. This year,'Tying the Boats' by Amanda O'Callaghan, the first prize winner,from the June 2017 Award selected by judge Meg Pokrass was included in Best Small Fictions 2018 and The Hand That Weilds The Priest by first prize winner, Emily Devane, from the February 2017 Award, judged by Kathy Fish, was included in the long list out of thousands of submissions. 'Roll and Curl', by Ingrid Jendrzejewski first prize winner in the February 2016 round judged by Tania Hershman was longlisted for Best Small Fictions 2017 out of a similar number of submissions, as was 'White Matter' by Julianna Holland, which won third prize in the October 2016 round judged by Robert Vaughan. Henry Peplow's micro 'Zeus Falls to Earth', winner of Ad Hoc Fiction in June 2016 was also included in the Best Small Fictions 2017 longlist. Finally, we nominated Charmaine Wilkerson's novella-in-flash How to Make A Window Snake for the novella category in the Saboteur Awards 2018, and it won the Award.

This year, two new opportunities to nominate stories have arisen. 'The Best Microfiction 2019 anthology co-edited by Meg Pokrass and Gary Fincke for stories 400 words or fewer published in 2018 and the Best 50 Flash Fictions from Britain and Ireland 2018-2019 organised by TSS. We're also looking forward to nominating our winning authors again for Best Small Fictions 2019. See which stories we've currently nominated below. Read in Full

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Writers and Their Dogs

At Bath Flash Fiction, a few winners have mentioned their dogs in interviews with me after their wins. So as we near the end of the October 2018 round of Bath Flash Fiction Award, judged by Nuala 0'Connor, we're giving the winners' dogs a spotlight. Dogs are inspirational and we know several other dog-loving flash fiction writers, whose dogs are essential to their writing lives.

Molia Dumbleton's lovely dog, Huckle is pictured here  with Molia. Molia won third prize in the February 2018 round of Bath Flash Fiction Award judge by Tara L. Masih, with her flash 'Why Shit is Still Like This Around Here and Probably Always Will Be'  In my interview with her, I asked her if her dog was her muse. She said. "I think my only muse might be a deadline. Ha! But sadly, kind of true. I go for very, very long walks with my dog and those are pretty essential, just for energizing and de-cluttering the head." Read in Full

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