Tag Archives: Tim Craig

Award Round-up June 2019

Thank you to everyone from around the world who entered the June Award. Our fourth 'Last Minute Club' badge was collected as usual by a large number of intrepid entrants and we ended up with 1062 entries this time. We really do appreciate you all so much for entering the Award. Thirty-six countries were represented.

Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

Our big thanks to Judge Christopher Allen for his work in judging and writing his report with his very useful comments on all the stories and for his support and sharing of the Award on social media. Christopher announced the results live at the Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol at the same time as the results were posted online and it was all very exciting. This summer, Gaynor Jones from the UK won first prize, Anita Arlov from New Zealand won second prize, Stephanie Hutton from the UK won third prize, Hilary Dean from Canada was commended and Tim Craig from the UK was commended. Tim Craig was actually attending the Festival and read his story, The Falling Silent for us. And Christopher Allen read Cleft by our winner, Gaynor Jones. It was great to hear these pieces and also lovely to have a New Zealand writer Anita Arlov as one of the winners as she is known by festival presenters from New Zealand, Michelle Elvy and Nod Ghosh.

Many of the authors of the fifty longlisted stories have accepted publication and we are looking forward to reading those and the shortlisted and winning pieces in our end-of-year anthology which will be published by Ad Hoc Fiction in digital and paperback versions and sold online at the Ad Hoc Fiction Bookshop. All published authors receive a free copy of the anthology. The 13th Award is open now and closes in mid October. Results will be out at the end of October. Early bird entrants can buy reduced cost entries until mid-August. And anyone winning our free weekly contest run by Ad Hoc Fiction gets a free entry to the Award. This time the Award is judged by writer, editor and teacher Nancy Stohlman. Read all about her and what she is looking for in Jude's interview with her.

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Tim Craig June 2019 Commended

The Falling Silent

by Tim Craig

My mother gave me the small pots and pans, while she took the large ones, and together we went outside to kill the birds.

When we got down to the street, most of our neighbours were already there, gathered under the trees and the lampposts. I saw Mei Zhen — the girl from down the hall — carrying a colander and a ladle. I waved to her, but she turned away.

At the given signal from the loudspeakers, everyone began banging their pans together. Across the city, the sky filled with the noise.

My arms began to tire, but each time I slowed, my mother nudged me to redouble my efforts. I looked up at her and saw the determined expression on her face and the patches of damp on her blue headscarf.

Soon the exhausted starlings began to fall from the sky. Some were dead before they reached the ground, some died at our feet, in the gutters, in the grass in front of the apartment block.

Finally, when I thought my arms could take no more, the loudspeakers gave the signal for the noisemaking to stop.

It came like a great sigh, or the tide sucking back across the pebbles. The silence that followed was even greater than the simple absence of sound, for all the music had been removed from it.

We all went back inside to fetch brooms, with which we set about sweeping the birds into piles by the roadway. The municipal hygiene teams would collect them later in their familiar yellow trucks.

Afterwards, I asked my mother if I could go and play with Mei Zhen, but she told me I needed to help her prepare the dinner. Life isn’t all about having fun, she said, banging the pots down on the stove.

About the Author

Originally from Manchester, Tim Craig now lives in Hackney in London. In 2018 he placed third in the Bath Flash Fiction Award and also won the Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction. His story ‘Northern Lights’ was included in Best Microfiction 2019.

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Tim Craig
June 2018 Third Prize

Northern Lights

by Tim Craig

After an hour or so, I decided to ask him about the tooth.

It was dangling from the sun visor on a piece of cotton, and it had a gold filling that occasionally glinted as we passed under the lights.

The lorry driver reached up and flicked it with his fingernail, setting it dancing back and forth.

“It was my father’s,” he said.

Then he grinned.

“The only gold I ever got from him”.

Pavel turned to look at the road ahead, his expression serious once more. All three lanes were busy with traffic heading north for the weekend.

He was quiet for a moment or two, then he shrugged.

“He hit my mother, I hit him. He left. I never saw him again.”

“I was seventeen.”

He flashed the headlights to allow a Sainsbury’s lorry to pull back into the inside lane. The lorry moved across, then toggled its indicators in thanks.

“I found the tooth two days later. It had landed in a flowerpot and I thought I’d better take it with me in case another evil old bastard grew out of it.”

He smiled, and as he did so I noticed a sparkle of gold in his own mouth.

Neither of us said much more after that, and he dropped me off at the next services.

After he’d gone, I stood for a while on the motorway bridge, watching the trail of diamonds and rubies on the wet tarmac.

About the Author

A Mancunian washed up in London, Tim Craig writes fiction for a living. But in his day job he calls it ‘advertising’ (and it usually has a phone number at the end of it).

The only thing greater than his delight at being placed third in the Bath Flash Fiction Award was his shock. He loves reading and writing flash fiction because he has a very short attention sp...

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