Saturday, 21 June 2014

Happy National Flash-Fiction Day 2014!

Hooray!

It seems to have been on its way for a long time, but the day is finally here.

So Happy National Flash-Fiction Day everyone!

I shan't keep you for long, but just to round up all the things you need to be aware of.

First, we have the events which are running today. Details of those are on the website and on the blog. I shall be in Bristol doing the FREE workshop and the FREE reading, along with loads of other talented writers, so do come along and say 'hi!'. Or, if it's too far away, consider one of the other events.

And if they are all too far, but you want to get involved, then we have launched a Write-In which will be taking place all day. A team of editors are standing by, and a selection of prompts are there to get you started. All that is over at https://thewrite-in.blogspot.com/ so why not pop over and write a quick one!

We are also promoting a range of eBooks, some free, some ridiculously cheap, including both the previous NFFD anthologies and the new one. All the details of that are also on the blog

Paper copies of the new anthology will be on sale at the Bristol events, or you can order one now from Amazon. It is, as ever, a fantastic read. 

And we are, of course, streaming stories out into the world all day, with FlashFlood. So do pop over, read some, and leave the writers some nice comments. 

And, at this point, before I sign off, I need to say a few words of thanks:

First, and most importantly, thanks to my wife, Kath. She had put up with me working long days on NFFD, and being either spaced out or grumpy. And she stepped in as a FlashFlood editor too. So, thanks, love!

Thanks to the judges of our Micro-Fiction competition - Cathy Bryant, Jon Pinnock, Carys Bray, Angela Readman, Kevlin Henney and Tim Stevenson. 

Extra thanks to Tim for rebuilding our website and putting up with me being stroppy, and to Angela for helping to edit the anthology and pull together another amazing selection of stories. And thanks also to Amy Mackelden for sterling work marshaling the stories, preparing manuscripts, keeping track of everything, and even co-editing the anthology. Every despot needs an Amy.

And finally, thanks to all of you. Without the readers and the writers, National Flash-Fiction Day would just be me, in a room, typing to myself. So, I thank you, and my sanity thanks you. 

Now, that's all. Get on with you, you crazy kids, haven;t you got stories to write, or read, or share?


Have a great day.
Calum

Friday, 20 June 2014

Special Offer eBooks for National Flash-Fiction Day 21st June 2014

Yes, you read that correctly. Not only are we bringing you a host of lovely words and events, but we're bringing you genuine Special Offers!

So, below, please find a list of ebooks, mostly on Kindle, but some not, which will be FREE, DISCOUNTED, or just generally LOW PRICED, all day on 21st June 2014, available all around the world!

Just one thing. The writers of all of these books would appreciate it if, after you read (and hopefully enjoy) their books, you could write them a review either on Amazon or on your own blog. That way other people can enjoy their stories too. Thank  you!



(Please note - timings for Kindle promotions are based on the time in San Francisco, or LA, or one of those West Coast places. So they don't tend to start until about 8am in the UK (and often start late, too!) So check that the price is what you expect before you click the 'Buy' button. Also, this post is coming out early - this is books which will be on offer tomorrow UK time.

Also, please note that all links are to the UK Amazon. If you are elsewhere, simply change the .co.uk in the link to .com, or whatever, and it will take you straight to the right page.)


FREE BOOKS:

Jawbreakers - the 2012 NFFD Anthology
Scraps - the 2013 NFFD Anthology

The Funerals at Christmas by Dixon Barker
Thresholds by David Hartley
75x75 = Flash Fraction by Helena Mallett 
Enough by Valerie O'Riordan
31 by Calum Kerr
Apocalypse by Calum Kerr
The Audacious Adventuress by Calum Kerr
The Grandmaster by Calum Kerr
Lunch Hour by Calum Kerr
Mr & Mrs Flash by Kath Kerr and Calum Kerr

Also:
"Long Stories Short" by Marc Nash (Kindle only)
Marc Nash's third collection of flash fiction (stories of 1000 words or less) sees the master craftsman wrangle language like no other and make daring leaps of narrative style in this 32 story collection. Themes include Royal Wedding street parties, neon cowboys, dating apps, Hollywood directors, angels, assassins, glass eyes, arthritic stand up comedians, Geishas, Warrior-Poets, marionettes, Crime Scene Reconstruction actors, paintballing and waking up; images and metaphors for our modern age. The whole gamut of human emotions, relationships and idiosyncrasies is on show in this collection and all genres are playfully subverted.
e-mail sewell.d@googlemail.com for a Mobi kindle compatible version to be emailed back to you.
Offer closes June 22nd 23.00pm BST

DISCOUNTED & LOW PRICE BOOKS:

Eating My Words - the 2014 NFFD Anthology (New release) 98p

Time by Calum Kerr (New release) 98p
Rapture and what comes after by Virginia Moffatt (New release) 98p
28 Far Cries by Marc Nash (New release) 98p
The Book of Small Changes by Tim Stevenson 98p
The World in a Flash by Calum Kerr (Non-Fiction) 98p


This post is a work in progress. So if you book is going to be free or under £1 tomorrow, send the link to nationalflashfictionday@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Saturday is the Day!

Dear all,

Just a quick catch up, while there are a few spare minutes here at NFFD Towers, to bring you up to date.

First, it's National Flash-Fiction Day on Saturday (in case you had forgotten). Various events are taking place, and details of them can be found at http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/events.html.

On the day, we are encouraging people at the events to tweet about them, using the hashtag #nffdlive. I know Bristol and Oxford are already taking part, but if you are at any event for the day, please feel free to use it.

In addition, we will be streaming a veritable flood of flashes through our online journal at http://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.co.uk/ and through ourFacebook and Twitter feeds. Stories will start appearing at midnight and run all day, but don't worry, they'll stay up afterwards so you can read them at your leisure. If you would like to submit to FlashFlood, submissions are open until midnight on Thursday (BST) and all the details can be found on the blog.

We are also planning a worldwide writing event for the day, so stay tuned for more on that.

Our anthology, Eating My Words, is now available in Kindle and paperback formats should you want to treat yourself, and it would be really good if you could spread the word about those too.

Other books, including our previous two anthologies, will be available for FREE download on the Day, and an email will come out about that with links to all the various books. If you have a flash-fiction collection on Kindle, and would like to promote it for free on the Day, let us know the link and we'll add you to the list.

Anything else you want to tell us, you know where we are.
I'll be in touch again, on the day (if not before) but if I don't see you, have a wonderful Flash-Fiction Day!

All best

Calum

--
Calum Kerr
Director, National Flash-Fiction Day

(You bulletin was originally sent as an email to our mailing list. If you would like to be added, please email us at nationalflashfictionday@gmail.com and we'll put you on the list for future mailings.)

Friday, 6 June 2014

Bulletin 06/06/14

Hello all,

Well, we are just two weeks away from the big day and it's all been happening.

We have now finalised our list for the 2014 anthology. The title will be Eating My Words and it will feature the following stories/writers:

‘The Well’ by A. Joseph Black
‘Taste’ by Adam Wolstenholme
‘Nicotine’ by Amanda Mason
‘Old Friend Dinner’ by Amy Mackelden
‘A Sense of Balance’ by Andrew Jenkinson
‘Tasty’ by Andy Cashmore
‘Sun Synchronous Satellites’ by Andy Lavender
‘Hey, Why Not Be a Daughter?’ by Angela Readman
‘The Sensation of Pain’ by Angi Holden
‘One Rat for Every Person’ by Becky Tipper
‘Random’ by Calum Kerr
‘The Five Senses’ by Caroline Worsley
‘Tomorrow We Will Return’ by Cassandra Parkin
‘A Sticky End’ by Cath Barton
‘Friday Roses’ by Cath Bore
‘Show’ by Cathy Bryant
‘Handle With Care’ by Cathy Lennon
‘Hosting’ by Christopher Allsop
‘Spaghetti and Meat Balls’ by Colin Watts
‘Coming Clean’ by Davina Jones
‘Please Remain Silent for the Benefit of Other Library Users (In Hushed Tones)’ by Debbie Young
‘Launch Pad’ by Diane Simmons
‘Hotdogs’ by Dixon Barker
‘A Sense of Entitlement’ by E.L Norry
‘The Busker’ by Eabha Rose
‘5D’ by Ed Broom
‘The Water is Clear’ by Emmaleene Leahy
‘Skewed Perspective’ by Helen Knotts
‘All the Rage’ by Ian Shine
‘Bread’ by Ingrid Jendrzejewski
‘Dress Sense’ by James Coates
‘Angus Hears Things’ by Jane Roberts
‘Parched’ by Jeanette Sheppard
‘Where Memories Live’ by Jennifer Harvey
‘Postcard to My Best Friend from a Non-Londoner, One ‘Dull… of Soul’’ by Jenny Holden
‘Lear Bus’ by John F King
‘The Sixth Generation’ by Jon Pinnock
‘Cherished’ by Kay Beer
‘On Taking Measures to Eliminate Fair Play’ by Kevlin Henney
‘Strangers’ by L. D. Lapinski
‘A Visitor from the Past’ by Lawrence David Coss
‘Eating My Words’ by Marie Gethins
‘Half-Life’ by Michael Marshall Smith
‘Eye of the Beholder’ by Miranda Roszkowski
‘Fear’ by Moira Conway
‘Chekov's Gun’ by Nigel McLoughlin
‘I Am No Good at Video Games’ by Nik Perring
‘Cider and Simnel’ by Nuala Ní Chonchúir
‘Seven Breaths’ by Pam Plumb
‘To Test the Senses of Worms’ by Pauline Masurel
‘The Sundial’ by Rhys Barter
‘The Working Man's Struggle’ by Richard Holt
‘Bottle of Silence’ by Sal Page
‘What We Do In Our Sleep’ by Santino Prinzi
‘A Shanty for Sawdust and Cotton’ by Sarah Hilary
‘Masha's Burning Memory’ by Selina SIAK Chin Yoke (surname is SIAK)
‘The Notes Play On’ by Shirley Golden
‘What I'll Do to Be In Love With You’ by Simon Sylvester
‘The Law of Attraction in Action’ by Sonya Oldwin
‘The Bedroom Tax’ by Susan Howe
‘The Visitors From Out of Town’ by Tim Stevenson
‘Vinegar’ by Tracey Upchurch

Plus, of course, the winners of the micro-fiction competition:

‘Never Let Me Go’ by Cathy Lennon
‘Night-time Knitting’ by Roz Mascall
‘If Kissed by a Dragon Fish’ by Tania Hershman
‘Dare’ by Simon Sylvester
‘The Star Falling’ by Morgan Downie
‘Sintra’ by Parineeta Singh
‘The Sponge Diver’ by Danielle McLaughlin
‘Peppermint’ by Jennifer Harvey
‘The Invisible Girl’ by Karl A Russell
‘4am’ by Angi Holden

 It was, as ever, a really tough job choosing the stories, and our thanks go out to all of you who submitted. If you didn't make it, chances are it's not because it wasn't good enough, but because we could only fit 50 stories and so we had to make some hard decisions. Best of luck to you all in placing your stories elsewhere, and congratulations to those who made it!

In other news, we have had a slew of events come in which we need to tell you about. They are all listed on our site at http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/events.html, but here are the highlights so far:

June 14th 2014 - Bournemouth
Quick as a Flash Slam! 2014

June 14th 2014 - Abergavenny
Write and Read Event
Writing live at 2.30 and 3.30. Write for 15 minutes, then read your work. Free admission. 

June 21st 2014 - Bristol
Bristol Flash 2014 - National Flash-Fiction Day Workshop - Daytime
and Bristol Flash 2014 - National Flash-Fiction Day Readings - Evening

June 21st 2014 - ONLINE
Fish Facebook Flash 2014 - National Flash-Fiction Day Competition

June 21st 2014 - Dublin, Ireland
FLASH FURY 2014 - National Flash-Fiction Day Readings and Competition

June 21st 2014 - Oxford
The Albion Beatnik 2014 national Flash-Fiction Day Reading Event

June 23rd 2014 (closing date) - Online
Twisted Tales Competition

July 8th 2014 - Manchester
Flashtag Writers Short Short Story Slam

If you have an event we haven't listed, or want to set something up quickly - a competition or pop-up journal or something - then please make sure you let us know, and we'll tell the world. 

There will, of course, be other goodies. We're going to be running FlashFlood again, so look out for that. We want to see if we can get the full 144 stories!

Also, on the day, we'd like flash-fiction writers who have Kindle editions to consider offering their books for free. Our older anthologies will be available (as will a selection of my own books!). So, if you would like to join in, send us a link to your book and we'll make sure the world knows about it.

And, if there's anything else you think of, just drop us a line.

As we get closer to the day it would be great if you could spread the word about all these activities, as well as our Facebook page and ourTwitter feed, and please do get involved in one of the events to make this another fantastic day!

Right, that's it for now. So go and sign up for something, set something up, send us an event, send us a book link for our Kindle offer, or whatever flashy thing you fancy, and I'll be back in touch when we have more news on anything.

It's getting quite exciting now, isn't it?!

All the best
Calum



Calum Kerr
Director, National Flash-Fiction Day

(If you would like to receive these bulletins directly, please send an email asking to be added to the list to nationalflashfictionday@gmail.com.)

Friday, 9 May 2014

Bulletin 09/05/2014

Well, hello there! 

Hope you're having a sunny day today, and looking forward to the summer and to the 3rd National Flash-Fiction Day on 21st June.

We have some updates for you today on our anthology, some competitions, some events, and some other opportunities. But to start off, I want to point out to you that it's now just 6 weeks until the big day, so if you are planning something, it's time to get the details to us so we can spread the word and get you as much attention as possible. All details, questions, suggestions etc. to us here at this address, and we'll try and get back to you as soon as we can. 

Okay, with that said, let's start with our anthology. We are accepting submissions until 18th May, stories should be 500 words maximum and on the subject of 'the senses' however you might like to interpret that. All selected contributors will receive a free print copy of the book. Full details are at http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/anth.html and it would be extremely helpful if you could spread the word and keep spreading it up to the deadline, so we can get as many great stories as possible and make this year's book as exciting as Jawbreakers and Scraps

As promised, we also have some competitions and opportunities for you:

Winchester Writers' Festival is running a whole host of competitions, including a flash-fiction one being judged by yours truly. The closing date is 16th May. Full details at http://writersfestival.co.uk/competitions.

The Twisted Tales collection is running again (https://ragingaardvarkpublications.submittable.com/submit/28748) looking for stories between 350 and 750 words, with a closing date of 23rd June. 

And if you happen to be in New Zealand, they are running a competition for their NFFD at http://nationalflash.wordpress.com/competition/.

Not a competition, but Brilliant Flash Fiction Mag are looking for your stories over at http://brilliantflashfictionmag.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/welcome-readers-and-writers/comment-page-1/#comment-1.

And, in a turn around, we have someone looking for an opportunity which you might be able to help with. Australian Flash-Fictioneer Richard Holt will be in the UK for the day this year. He has created a flash-fiction video piece (titled 'Flashing the Square') and is wondering about the possibility of somewhere with public screens being willing to show it on the day. So if you can help, or know someone who can, please get in touch with us and we'll put you through to Richard.

On the day, we currently have two events being organised:

Oxford - Albion Beatnik Bookshop are hosting an evening reading event, organised by Virginia Moffat. More details from her at Virginia.Moffatt@ntlworld.com.

And we are once again having our main event in Bristol. More details to follow once we have them, but if you can make it, it would be great to see you there.


And, while I'm on, other flash-fiction things you might be interested in:

I will be doing a workshop at Wigan Literary Festival on 24th May - followed by a panel on getting your work out there. Details at http://www.wlct.org/default.aspx.LocID-0cs00r007001.Lang-EN.emID-970.rss-yes.EventID-16439.htm

Plus I will be doing a workshop as part of the Winchester Writers' Festival on the day after NFFD. Details at http://writersfestival.co.uk/the-festival.


And that's it for the moment. So, if you have news for us, or questions, then please get in touch. Otherwise, please spread the word about the anthology and our events, and let's make this year's NFFD another great success.

All the best
Calum



Calum Kerr
Director, National Flash-Fiction Day

(If you would like to receive these bulletins directly, please send an email asking to be added to the list to nationalflashfictionday@gmail.com.)

Friday, 11 April 2014

NFFD 2014 - Micro-Fiction Competition Winners!

Well, the waiting is over, and we can finally announce the winners for this year's National Flash-Fiction Day 100 word Micro-Fiction competition!

It was a hard task for the judges, who had to whittle down nearly 400 entries to a list of their favourite twenty five. These lists were then amalgamated to form the shortlist that we posted earlier in the week, and from this they had to chose their top tens. Again we put the lists together, and from that has emerged this final list of winners. 

I'm sure you will agree that these are ten really wonderful micro-stories, but we'd like to send out our congratulations to all of you who entered, for making the judges work so hard. So many wonderful stories - thank you!

Next week we will be opening entries for this year's anthology, which will also feature all of these stories, so stay tuned for that, but let me not hold you in suspense any longer. Here are the results:



FIRST PLACE WINNER:
‘Never Let Me Go’ by Cathy Lennon

SECOND PLACE WINNER:
‘Night-time Knitting’ by Roz Mascall

THIRD PLACE WINNER:
‘If Kissed by a Dragon Fish by Tania Hershman

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
‘Dare by Simon Sylvester
‘The Star Falling’ by Morgan Downie
‘Sintra’ by Parineeta Singh
‘The Sponge Diver by Danielle McLaughlin
‘Peppermint’ by Jennifer Harvey
‘The Invisible Girl’ by Karl A Russell
‘4am by Angi Holden


STORIES:

FIRST PLACE WINNER:
'Never Let Me Go' by Cathy Lennon

First it was cartons and tins on the worktops, then newspapers on the stairs. Each window-sill sparkled with tin foil. He made me a necklace of ring-pulls and bottle tops. Like swans we perched on our bundles of rags and flattened boxes, smoothing the creases from wrappers. The hallway was Manhattan, a canyon of towering piles. Across the no man’s land in our bedroom our fingertips would touch, until one day they couldn’t anymore. From the other side, perplexed, he watched the tears slide down my face. He threw me two empty film canisters to catch them in.



SECOND PLACE WINNER:
'Night-time Knitting' by Roz Mascall

A gorilla is living in my cupboard. Every night, he swaggers onto my bed and waits for me to wake-up. I pretend to be asleep but hear his knitting needles clicking together. He is making a very long scarf for me. Squinting at him from under my blanket, I see his huge hairy hands scratch his scalp in disappointment. He looks sad. A pang of guilt hits me. I sit up and he hands me a ball of pink wool. His watery eyes meet my gaze. He is lonely. We lean against each other and knit until sunrise.



THIRD PLACE WINNER:
'If Kissed by a Dragon Fish' by Tania Hershman

If kissed by a dragonfish, do not bite. If kissed by a dragonfish, make sure you are sitting. Do not worry during the kiss, before the kiss, or after. Do not worry about a scale or two between your teeth. The dragonfish's skin is armoured but its heart beats loud and soft. You will not forget the kiss. You will not forget the coolness of the dragonfish's breath inside your lungs. You will look down through the floor of glass and see nothing, swimming. You will part, like an ocean, and on your sea bed you will pearl.



'Dare' by Simon Sylvester

Every day that summer, we played Dare. On hot afternoons we escaped the sun by hiding in the fort. We ate apples and counted pips and swapped secrets. We sat close, damp with sweat, bare skin sticking. She traced her fingers up my leg. Her fingertips whispered inside my thigh, and my breath caught in my throat.

She always chickened out. I taunted her, urging her higher, but she always chickened out before me.

When that summer was finished, we went back to school. We don’t really talk any more.

I heard she started playing Dare with boys.



'The Star, Falling' by Morgan Downie

When his eyes grew so bad that he could no longer see the horizon he built an artificial one in his garden. Afterwards he persisted in a stubborn refusal to cross it in case he should fall off the edge of the world. Asked, on reflection, if he had realised his intention as a younger man, to live the brief and fiery life of a meteor, he looked out across the universe of his garden, to the wife he still loved indescribably and said,

‘I am a meteor, just moving very, very slowly.’



'Sintra' by Parineeta Singh

I have followed you to this small town. I have walked the same cobblestones that you once trod on. I have stood on those hilltops in the mist you spoke of. I have felt it as smoke in my throat. The air I now exhale was the air you once breathed in. But this is not love; it is nowhere close to it. Love was the time when I put my ear to the flagstones listening for your footfall.



'The Sponge Diver' by Danielle McLaughlin

They knew each other a month when he told her about his Greek grandfather who, as a young man, had been a sponge diver. She closed her eyes, saw a figure – lithe, tanned  –  dive naked from a boat in the blue Aegean. He surfaced, water glittering silver on his skin, as if a shoal of tiny fish had followed him.

Opening her eyes, she noticed how her lover was most unlike a sponge diver.

After it ended, she bought a sea sponge, yellow and pocked. She sat it on her desk at work, and thought about his grandfather.



'Peppermint' by Jennifer Harvey

Afterwards, he thought about the gum stuck underneath the desk. It would still be there.

Every morning he watched as she slipped a finger in her mouth and prised it out, acting coy, though he knew she was aware of him.

Once, she’d looked him in the eye, stretched the gum between her teeth and let it snap, like a flirtatious wink.

He slid his fingers under the rim. It was still there.

Picking it loose, he popped it in his mouth.

It was fragrant, peppermint fresh.  A taste of her he could keep and roll across his tongue.



'The Invisible Girl' by Karl A Russell

It should have been an accident, Mel always thought. Something sciencey and catastrophic. Experimental bombs, or maybe the bite of an irradiated marmoset. That's how it used to happen in the comics anyway; A good dose of cosmic waves transformed you.

And everyone loved you.

Even the villains.

But there were no sciencey accidents in the real world. All it took to make Mel invisible was a split lip, or a black eye, or a few raised voices on a Saturday night, just after chucking out time.

And then, for just a little while, no-one could see her.



'4am' by Angi Holden

I open the bedroom curtains.

Dawn seeps across the horizon. The long grass beneath the hive glistens with dew. Hand-trimming takes patience; this summer I’ve neglected the garden.

I straighten the sheet across your chest. The air cradles the sour milk and vinegar scent of the sickroom.

Downstairs, I fumble with the lock, step into the morning. My slippers absorb the damp. No matter, I have a task to perform. Before I call the doctor, your sister, our son.

I walk down the path, your black crepe bowtie dangling from my hand. There is news I must tell the bees.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

NFFD 2014 - Micro-Fiction Competition Shortlist

Hello all,

Just a very quick post today. We are pleased to announce that our hard-pressed judges have been beavering away and we now have a shortlist of 26 stories for our competition from which the winning 10 will be chosen.

The final decisions are being made as we speak, and as long as all goes to plan, we hope to announce the list of winners on Friday of this week - 11th April 2014, so spread the word and come back on Friday.

In the meantime, congratulations to all who made it down to this shortlist of 26. We received nearly four hundred entries this year, so to get even this far is a huge achievement. The judges have had a hard time choosing these stories, and I'm seriously worried that narrowing it down to only 10 might just finally break them. Assuming it doesn't, come back on Friday to find out who has won!

See you then,
Calum.

SHORTLIST:

'4am' by Angi Holden
'A Story To Be Read Slowly And With Ample Pauses, In A Voice Like Leonard Cohen' by Bob Jacobs
'Dare' by Simon Sylvester
'Elk Back' by Peggy Riley
'Gathering' by Sam Russell
'Harry on A.V.' by Brindley Hallam Dennis
'If Kissed by a Dragon Fish' by Tania Hershman
'Illuminated Relationship' by Jane Roberts
'Literary Costume' by Isabel Rogers
'Little Red' by Neil Murton
'Moments' by Natalie Bowers
'Never Let Me Go' by Cathy Lennon
'Night-time Knitting' by Roz Mascall
'On the rocks' by Francis Hayes
'Peppermint' by Jennifer Harvey
'Secret Admirer' by Clare Kirwan
'Sintra' by Parineeta Singh
'Sleepwalkers' by Pauline Masurel
'String of Smiles' by Allie Rogers
'The Dolls' by L. D. Lapinski
'The Human Body is More than 50% Water' by Żelazko Połysk
'The Invisible Girl' by Karl A Russell
'The Sponge Diver' by Danielle McLaughlin
'The Star Falling' by Morgan Downie
'The Strongest Man' by Elaine Borthwick
'Towards the Light' by Rebecca Swirsky