Author Archives: Jude

Flash-Off Festival Challenges: Winners of Winners !

Photo by Billy Huynh, Unsplash

For those of you in the know, in our last series of Festival Days, March to August this year, we cloned the TV show,The Great British Bake Off and, instead of baking tasks, different judge duos gave festival participants the tasks of writing flash fictions to signature, technical and showstopper challenges.

Monthly judges duos were:Diane Simmons and Robert Barrett; Karen Jones and Tim Craig; Damhnait Monaghan and Alison Woodhouse; Ken Elkes and Helen Rye;, Jeanette Sheppard and Matt Kendrick and Ingrid Jendrzejewski and Neil Clark. These judges chose winners for each challenge. And eight of them kindly agreed to vote for their winner and winners for each category.Each winner receives £50 in cash. Stories were neck and neck in the points scored, but we did end up with three clear winners.

So, many congratulations to Ali McGrane who was voted winner of winners in the Signature Challenge for her story ‘This is Not a Story About a Rainstick’; Rosaleen Lynch was voted winner of winners in the Technical Challenge for her story with ‘Recipe for Sustenance to avoid the end of the world as we know it, served with fresh roles’ and Sara Hills who won winner of winners in the Showstopper Challenge for her story ‘Blue’. Read in Full

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The Great Festival Cupcake Contest Results!

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Thank you very much to everyone who entered The Great Festival Cupcake Contest. Entrants were asked to write a 150 word Hermit Crab Story in the style of a recipe for a cupcake. This challenge was related to the theme of our last series of flash fiction festival days, The Great Festival Flash-Off. The series was partly inspired by writer, teacher and editor Nancy Stohlman’s fun definition of flash fiction as the ‘cupcake of literature’, in an interview with her at Smokelong Quarterly,and the reality TV show The Great British Bake Off. The cupcake contest was an extra mini competition open to the public, not just those who came to the festival days.

We had forty entries in all, which we thought was a good result for the challenge of writing a hermit crab micro so short on a the very exacting subject! Half the money raised from the entry cost of £5.00 goes to the winner and half to the Huntington’s Disease Association Charity. The festival has covered paypal charges to round up the funds received to £200.
and we are delighted to give the winner £100 and £100 to the charity.

The runner up receives books from Ad Hoc Fiction, a flash fiction festival tote bag and a free entry to Bath Flash Fiction Award. And the other three writers writer and co-director of Flash Fiction Festivals UK, Diane Simmons, selected for her top five have been offered publication in the festival anthology and will receive a free copy.

Our thanks to Diane for judging this competition. She read all the micros blind and said she greatly enjoyed the variety of recipe stories served up and was impressed with how people managed to use this structure. Her comments on her top five stories are below and bios of the writers are coming soon. Read in Full

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The Great Festival Flash-Off Results – August

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Thank you to everyone who entered the writing challenges for the August Great Festival Flash-Off, the last day of our first series. (check out our new festival series beginning Oct 30th). In August, the challenges were set by judge duo, writers and editors, Ingrid Jendzrejewski and Neil Clark. Thank you very much to them for their brilliant prompts and for judging all the stories which were sent to them blind. The prompts from all the judges will be included in our fourth Flash Fiction Festival Anthology. The first three anthologies were published after the yearly face-to-face Festivals and it is wonderful to be able to publish a new one containing all the competition winners, runner-ups and other stories from judges, presenters, Cup Cake Contest Winners and a selection of stories submitted by participants, prompted by workshops from the festival days.

Three books, red, orange and yello with Flash Fiction Festival written on the cover

first 3 anthologies

Prizes for The Challenges
As well as anthology publication, the winners of the Signature, Technical and Showstopper challenges receive a copy of an anthology of flash fiction published by Ad Hoc Fction; a free entry to Bath Flash Fiction Award; a flash fiction festival tote bag and two free sessions on the weekly Tuesday flash fiction sessions run by Jude Higgins.. In addition the winners will be entered into our winner of winners prizes to be announced by the end of this month. Cash prize of £50 for each category.
Our judges this month also chose runners up and we are very happy to offer the writers publication in the anthology. Read in Full

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The Great Festival Flash Off Results, July

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Thank you to everyone who entered the writing challenges for the July Great Festival Flash Off day set by Jeanette Sheppard and Matt Kendrick And thank you very much to Jeanette and Matt for their very creative prompts for the Signature, Technical and Showstopper challenges and their work in selecting the winners. You will be able to read all the challenges set, as well as the winning stories in our festival anthology.

For each category, the winner will receive a book from the anthologies published by Ad Hoc Fiction, a free entry to the Bath Flash Fiction Award, a Festival tote bag and two free sessions on the Tuesday flash fiction group led by Jude Higgins. In addition, the stories will be published in our Festival Anthology to be published by Ad Hoc Fiction and entered into our winners of winners contest for a chance of winning £50 for each of the challenges. We’re very much looking forward to seeing all these stories in print.

The Winner of the Signature challenge is Adele Rickerby for her story Missing Person. Adele Rickerby only recently discovered flash fiction, but has quickly become enamoured with the form. She currently lives in beautiful Heidelberg, Germany, a ridiculously long way from her Australian roots and family. She is about to start an MSt in Creative Writing at Cambridge University and is alternately thrilled and terrified.

Adele also won the May technical challenge judged by Helen Rye with her story ‘Dust to Dust’

Jeanette, who judged this challenge, made this comment about ‘Missing Person’.

The opening sentence and the idea of a disappearing-child-made-literal are intriguing. White space is used to great effect here, adding layers to the story as it unfolds.

The Winner of the Technical Challenge is Gina Headden for her story Air is Lighter Than Water. Gina’s fiction has been published on audio platforms, in anthologies and in fiction and non-fiction magazines including The Cabinet of Heed, Flashback Fiction, Ellipsis Zine, The Longleaf Review, NFFD’s Flash Flood and the Sunday Herald Magazine. Forthcoming in Bath Flash Fiction Anthology 2021.

Gina also received an honourable mention in the April Flash Off challenges for her story, ‘Blown Glass Birds’ and this story will also be published in the Festival Anthology.

Matt, who judged this challenge, made these comments about ‘Air is Lighter Than Water’

A wonderful microcosm of a story that explores a sister and brother’s changing relationship in the wake of their father’s death. I enjoyed how the story starts and ends with the same image of the narrator blowing dandelion clocks and how the writer has woven in splashes of humour and other tonal shifts.

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The Winner of the Showstopper challenge is Sara Hills for her story Blue
Sara Hills’ short fiction has been published in Smokelong Quarterly, Cheap Pop, XRay, Fractured Lit, The New Flash Fiction Review and others. She has won the NFFD micro contest, The Retreat West quarterly competition and been commended in the Bath Flash Fiction Award. One of her stories was recently selected for the Wigleaf Top 50 stories. Her debut collection, The Evolution of Birds was published in July 2021, by Ad Hoc Fiction.

Sara is now a three times winner of the Festival Flash-Off challenges, having won the Showstopper challenge judged by Damhnait Monaghan and Alison Woodhouse in June for her story ‘Lessons in Attachment Parenting’ and the technical challenge in the April Flash-Off judged by Karen Jones for her story ‘Teenage Kicks’.

Jeanette and Matt who jointly judged this challenge made these comments about ‘Blue’.

This was a clear winner for both of us. It moved us, ultimately, and the revelations are lightly done. We thought it a strong example of a story revealed through a list and it fitted the ‘illusion’ challenge in both content and form.

The final Great Festival Flash Off Day of this series is on August 28th. Judges this time are writers and editors Ingrid Jenrzejewski and Neil Clark. Places still available for the whole day which costs £30 for all events. There are also some free places for those short of funds. Contact us if you would like one.

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Great Festival Flash-Off Results, June

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We’re delighted to announce the winners of the June Great Festival Flash Off contests judged by writers Damhnait Monaghan and Alison Woodhouse
hey really enjoyed the stories and you will be able to see them in print in our festival anthology donated by Ad Hoc Fiction and out later this year The winners also each receive an anthology of their choice from Ad Hoc Fiction, a free entry to Bath Flash Fiction Award, a festival tote bag and two free sessions on Jude Higgins’ Tuesday flash fiction group.
Read in Full

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The Great Festival Flash Off – May results!

Congratulations to writers Slawka G Scarso, Adele Rickerby and Patience Mackarness who won the Signature, Technical and Showstopper challenges set by our May judge-duo, Helen Rye and K. M. Elkes. And a big thank you to everyone who entered. The judges said they were delighted with the standard of entries. We thank them very much for providing highly inventive prompts and a lot of fun.

Each writer wins one anthology of their choice, from those published by Ad HocFiction; a Flash Fiction Festival tote bag; a free entry to Bath Flash Fiction Award, and two free sessions on Jude Higgins’ Tuesday flash class that takes place weekly 1.30-3.30 pm BST. In addition, all the writers will be offered publication in the Flash Fiction Festival Anthology and their stories will be entered into the Winner of Winners £50 cash prize (for each challenge) to be judged and announced in late September. Read in Full

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The Great Festival Flash-Off: April Results!

photo by Annie Spratt, Unsplash

We’re delighted to announce the winners of the April Great Festival Flash-Off Writing Challenges set by and judged by April’s judge-duo, Karen Jones and Tim Craig. Tim and Karen set some great challenges all with a musical theme and we had a substantial amount of entries in each category for them to choose from. Thank you everyone for entering. And celebration cake for all for giving the challenges a go! Our next challenges on May 29th festival day will be set by K M Elkes and Helen Rye. Read in Full

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More on the 4th Flash Festival Anthology

Three books, red, orange and yello with Flash Fiction Festival written on the coverWe making a rainbow of Festival Anthology books! The first three contain stories prompted by workshops at the face-to-face festivals in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Red, orange and yellow covers, pictured here. We had to cancel our festival in 2020 and our plans for another anthology but we’re publishing the fourth anthology, sponsored by Ad Hoc Fiction later this year. And it will be green, the next colour in the order of the rainbow. Read in Full

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Hermit-Crab Hangouts

picture of a red crab in the yellow shell of another creature

picture by David Clode, Unsplash

A Hermit crab, lives in the empty shells of other sea creatures. A hermit crab flash fiction story finds a home in the form of some other kind of prose. Recipes are used quite commonly to create fictions. For example, stories about relationships, romance, break ups. Just think of those recipe verbs, fold, mix, sprinkle, whisk, bake, simmer, stew, beat…

We’re running The Great Festival Cup Cake Contest through May, June, July and August for a Hermit-crab style 150 word max micro in the form of a cup-cake recipe. £5.00 an entry with half the proceeds (minus paypal charges) going to the winner and half to the Huntington’s Disease Association charity. Book bundle donated by Ad Hoc Fiction for the runner up. Closing date 31st August. Diane Simmons, one of our festival directors, who was also a judge for the flash-off challenges on the first festival day in March, is judging this competition.

Woman with chin length greay hair smiling. Sparkly necklace.

Jude Higgins

Our other Flash Festival Director, Jude Higgins is now running a FREE hour-long hermit-crab hangout every Thursday 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm BST, Beginning Thursday 6th May for those who want to try out their hermit-crab recipe flash fictions. We’ll cover ideas for light and fluffy, dense, funny, sweet, salty, surreal, speculative, dark and historical cup cake micros using a variety of cup-cake recipes. We’ll also try out other styles of hermit-crab shells, which could be combined with a recipe. For eg. a multiple-choice recipe story or other types of instructions and lists. Bring your ideas and your recipes. Contact Jude {at} flashfictionfestival {dot} com for a recurring zoom link. Hope to see you there for some flashy fun!

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The Great Festival Cupcake Contest

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The whole Great Festival Flash-Off six day series was inspired by the Great British Bake Off and writer, teacher and editor, Nancy Stohlman’s fun definition of flash fiction; in her interview with April Bradley in Smokelong Literary. There, Nancy said flash was the cupcake of literature
On each of six days there are three writing challenges set by our different wonderful Flash-Off judge duos, but for those who can’t make the festival days for whatever reasons, we also have The Great Festival Cupcake Contest open to all. Read in Full

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