We had a fantastic evening of Flash Fiction on December 9th in Bath at St James' Wine Vaults. Six writers each read a selection of their stories, representing a wide range of subjects, themes and flash fiction styles.
Our novella-in-flash judge, Meg Pokrass read 'Sparkly Plans' a wonderful, moving flash from her novella-in-flash, Here, Where we Live, published in My Very End of the Universe, the Rose Metal Press Guide to writing a flash novella. She also read two other gems from her newest and must-read collection, The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down.
Read in Full
Friday 9th December
7.30 pm – 9.30 pm
St James' Wine Vaults
10 St James St
Read More Here
We've a great line-up of readers for the second Bath Flash Fiction reading this year. Our Summer event at the end of July was so much fun, and we're sure this one will be too. We're delighted that Meg Pokrass and Ken Elkes are reading again, and this time they're joined by wonderful flash fiction writers, Tania Hershman, Ingrid Jendzrejewski, Freya Morris and Michael FitzGerald.
Book early to avoid disappointment. We're looking forward to a great evening of flash.
First, to say: choosing the winners was difficult! Going from longlist to shortlist was a matter of what grabbed me on first read, whether it was the story, the freshness of the language, the structure, or something unique and surprising that I'd never seen before. But the next stage is when I got tough, because I was actively looking for reasons not to pick stories. I had to get to my top 5 from 20. This is when a judge gets ruthless. A story has to give something back on a second read - and a third read! Any even slight laziness in language - an overused phrase bordering on cliche, a typo - and that made it far more likely that I would discard that story. Also, if the premise was great, an intriguing idea, but the follow-through and the ending just didn't do it for me, that landed the story in my No pile.
Read in Full
- You've judged many other flash fiction and short story contests in the UK and elsewhere and have also selected flash fictions for journals. There's a wide variety of styles in the flash fiction genre, but can you tell us what stood out for you in the winning entries and submissions?
Things that stand out for me – and I am only one reader, with my own tastes and preferences – are a love for language, a delight in what words can do, especially in such a short space. Also, a sense that the story was made for the length it is, that it is not a longer story compressed, that it is wonderful not despite but because of its brevity. As for styles, I am open to anything at all, I love being made to laugh and cry, but the main thing is: move me, surprise me, delight me. This can be done without fireworks, without car chases, without much action at all. Or: with all these things! I am looking for stories that sing, that I can hear in my head as I read and for hours, days afterwards. But sing in your own way, not in a way to please anyone else. Send us your best.
Tania Hershman is the author of two short story collections: My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008) and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, Dec 2014). Her début poetry chapbook is forthcoming in February 2016. Tania's short stories and poetry have been widely published and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. She is curator of ShortStops (www.shortstops.info), celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Bristol University, and is studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.