We were thrilled with the success of the Flash Fiction Festival, this year entirely funded by Bath Flash Fiction Award, and directed by Jude Higgins with the help of a great festival team.The festival took place at Trinity College, Bristol 20th-22nd July. Everything was brilliant, including the weather. The full programme of events began with readings on Friday evening and continued with workshop, talks, book launches and general fun with very popular impromptu festival karaoke organised by Helen Rye and Christopher Allen.
- Participants and workshop leaders travelled from many different parts of the world to come to the festival. Here’s Roberta Beary, who came from Ireland, with our festival curator, Meg Pokrass.
- On Friday evening we began informally with readings from Ellipsis Zine introduced by its founder, Steve Campbell. Stephanie Hutton, pictured, read from her novella-in-flash, Three Sisters of Stone, published earlier this year by Ellipsis.
Our Festival team member, Matt Thorpe Coles kept all the tech equipment running smoothly. He’s pictured below with Santino Prinzi, who like Matt, took on several roles at the festival.
- We were so happy that Josh Goller and Mary Lenoir Bond founders of the iconic Molotov Cocktail Litzine came all the way from Portland, Oregon and introduced readings from some of their competition winners. Here they are posed with those writers outside Trinity College.
- Festival Team member and Director of National Flash Fiction Day 2018, Santino Prinzi, introduced writers with stories in Ripening, the NFFD anthology, 2018. Alicia Bakewell, who came from Australia to the festival wrote the title story. She’s pictured reading it here. Afterwards, there was a fantastic open-mic reading. What an amazing amount of talent in the room. A spell bound audience in this shot.
- On Saturday and Sunday five workshops and talks ran in parallel and there were also early morning sessions including an hour on Competitive Flashing with writer and teacher, Ingrid Jendrzejewski.
We were also extremely fortunate to host international flash fiction writers and teachers, Christopher Allen, Nuala O’Connor, Laurie Stone, Grant Hier, John Brantingham and Nancy Stohlman who all ran workshops at the festival.
- Christopher Allen, who also read his extraordinarily moving story ‘To Carry Her Home,’ which is the title story of the Bath Flash Fiction Award first anthology and is contained in Christopher’s new collection, ‘Other Household Toxins’, is shown on the right here, teaching his inspiring workshop, ‘Do You Have Something to Say’.
Grant Hier and John Brantingham from the US, pictured below reading some of their fictions, also jointly led an excellent workshop on ‘Extraordinary Points of View’.
- Carrie Etter, local poet, flash fiction writer and Reader at Bath Spa University ran another excellent session on prose poetry/flashfiction and read examples of both on Saturday evening
- As well as giving talks and a workshop, Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler hosted readings from Funny Bone, the anthology they published at Chester University, in aid of Comic Relief. Several contributors to this collection were at the the festival including Nancy Stohlman, pictured here with Peter and Ashley. Nancy ran two amazingly helpful workshops, one on ‘Sculpting’ flash fiction drafts, another on ‘Building a Collection.
- Festival team members Michael Loveday, K M Elkes, Santino Prinzi, Karen Jones, Meg Pokrass and Jude Higgins also ran workshops. And we hosted more workshops and talks from David Gaffney, Haleh Agar, Calum Kerr, Alison Powell, Anne Summerfield, Vanessa Gebbie and Nuala O’Connor. Laurie Stone, seen in the picture on the left and Vanessa Gebbie, on the right, who launched her pamphlet Nothing to Worry About, at the festival, both led planned workshops and added impromptu extra sessions during breaks.
- We were also thrilled to launch Alligators at Night, Meg Pokrass’s new collection and the first single-author collection published by Ad Hoc Fiction, available to buy in several different currencies from the Ad Hoc Fiction online bookshop
- There were further book launches from Festival Team members and V.Press authors, Michael Loveday and Santino Prinzi, pictured below, for their collections.Three Men on the Edge and There’s Something Macrocosmic About All This. Sarah Leavesley, the founder of V.Press publishing who have also published Festival Director, Jude Higgins and Carrie Etter gave an introduction to the press and we’re looking forward to more flash titles from them next year.>
- The bookshop had a fine array of books from writers and publishers of flash fiction. In the photograph below, Jude’s talking about Flash Fiction Festival One, the anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction from last year’s festival.
- Festival team member, writer Karen Jones, was in charge of the bar and did a great job keeping everyone happy
- We had a wonderful selection of food, some glimpsed here, organised by writer Diane Simmons, our Festival Hospitality organiser. She’s also pictured below, reading from the food themed National Flash Fiction Day anthology.
- Lastly, we mustn’t forget our festival evening guest Nuala 0’Connor’s daughter, Juno, who was one of the stars in the karaoke.