Thursday 17 May 2012

National Flash Fiction Day

As the clock has just ticked past midnight, I'm afraid you've just missed National Flash Fiction Day...

If case you don't know, flash fiction is, essentially, very short fiction.  There's no accepted definition or stated length, but usually it's fewer than 1000 words.  And it's something the internet gets on board with!

My friend and housemate Mel co-runs a British flash fiction site called The Pygmy Giant, and they've had a competition in honour of the day, inviting flash fiction with the theme 'flash' - and today announced a very worthy winner.  See it here.

I went for the less competitive The Write-In, where every contribution was published.  They had set aside 11am-3pm for people to write flash fiction, inspired by one of the 200 words and phrases which they'd created as prompts.  More info about that here.

The two I chose (and clicking on the prompt takes you to my piece of flash fiction) were 'The Sun Is Not Our Friend' and, for a bit of light relief, 'The Smell of Warm Bread'.  It was fun - and, of course, quick!

Do you read any flash fiction?  By virtue of reading my blog post, I'm going to assume that you're (a) interested in fiction, and (b) not averse to reading things online - but I don't see flash fiction mentioned much in the literary blogosphere.  I hardly ever read it myself - perhaps because I steer fairly clear of modern fiction altogether, but maybe there are other reasons too.  Over to you - do you write it or read it?  What is your opinion of it all?  Or had you simply never heard of it before?


  1. I have never heard of Flash Fiction. Enjoyed your story. Laughed out loud at your brother's antics and then to sink so quickly into sadness that I wasn't expecting really packed a punch. The winning flash fiction listed is also good but I think the ending on your story packed more of a punch as it is something that could/does happen to any of us. Close to home. Happy page turning. Pam

  2. I have heard of flash fiction, but was unsure exactly what it was - now understand! I liked the twist at the end of the winning story, which was not what I expected at all. And I liked your The Sun is not our Friend, and the way it dealt with feelings common to us all, and it reminded me of our own childhood games - polar exploring in the icy wastes on the lino!

  3. Erika W.
    Years ago my mother, who died a few years ago in her 90s, wrote what has to be one of the best flash stories:

    They were naming the animals and Eve showed Adam her baby son saying "This is the first mistake".

  4. I enjoy flash fiction (or "sudden fiction" sometimes) both to read and to write. It's been around for quite a while, I think, although I am not sure how long its name has been bandied about. It's fun to write and with careful word choice, can pack quite a punch.

    Yeah for the roommate to devote a site to the art. :-)

    English liz in Texas (as it wouldn't approve me for my Wordpress account id.)

  5. I know flash fiction only through the not-entirely-safe-for-work Chuck Wendig over at TerribleMinds. He's a writer, he's hilarious, and he hosts a weekly flash fiction contest (on Fridays) with tips and pointers for writers throughout the week. I recommend him, but only if you're okay with curse words and body parts.

  6. I must have six or seven anthologies of Flash Fiction, Sudden Fiction, and other sundry titles. I used to monitor the reading nominations at an online reading group and one period I changed from including a short poem with every acknowledgement and posted a short-short-short story from my volumes of Flash Fiction (also from Ricki Ducornet). Interestingly, the response was iffy since many people thought I was just posting fragments from longer works. On the up side, though, I was able to slip in a couple of my own as yet unpublished samples and although no one knew, I felt good about it.


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