Do You Flash?

Do you enjoy writing? Perhaps you haven’t tried, but would like to have a go. Whether you’re an experienced writer, or someone wanting to dip their toe in the water, why not join in Worcestershire’s flash fiction competition?

As part of the celebrations for the first ever National Flash Fiction Day on 16 May 2012, Worcestershire Literary Festival is organising two flash fiction events – a competition for flash fiction and a flash event on Saturday 23 June 2012 where the winners of the competition will be announced and others will have a chance to read their work.  You can find details of both these events here: Flash-Flyer

Flash fiction used to be the poor relation of its older, more powerful siblings, the short story and the novel. But it’s increasingly becoming an exciting literary genre in its own right. With the immediacy and brevity of texting and tweeting assuming greater significance in modern culture, flash fiction – a complete story in very few words – is the perfect medium.

Not that it’s a new medium. Perhaps one of the most famous pieces of flash fiction is Ernest Hemingway’s six-word story: For Sale – baby’s shoes. Never worn. And this piece sums up what is at the heart of successful flash fiction – A fragile anecdote which the writer drapes with a quantity of suggestion. (Irving Howe)

Some people would argue that short-short fiction possesses the negative qualities of modern culture – brief attention spans and desire for instant gratification. But flash fiction, if written well, is a demanding discipline, requiring concision, nuance and implication from the writer, while the reader must use their powers of inference and read for clues.

There is little consensus as to the number of words that constitutes a piece of flash fiction. The range goes from 50 or 100, up to 750 or even 1000. However, the maximum number of words for the competition being run as part of WLF  is 300. 

If you are interested in sending a flash story to the competition, or coming along to the event on 23rd June. You can see all the details here Flash-Flyer. Or check out Worcestershire Literary Festival website

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3 Comments

  1. Lynne Powell says:

    Fascinating and as an editor, among other things, I appreciate the skill of flash fiction. Hemingway’s For Sale piece is wonderfully evocative.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Lynne. I appreciate your view, as an editor.
    I think flash fiction is a wonderful exercise for writers because you have to strip away anything that clutters the writing and focus on the essence.

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