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Flash Fiction Festival 2022, Photo Gallery and Thankyou

Thankyou to everyone who came to the 2022 Flash Fiction Festival, 8th-10th July, 2022 – writers who travelled from many different countries, our festival team, all our volunteers who helped things run smoothly during the weekend, at reception, in the bar, dining room and the bookshop and those who presented workshops, some of them stepping in to do an extra one when others had to cancel due to Covid. It was brilliant to meet and re-emeet flash fiction writers who’d been coming to the online days as well as those who came to our last festival in 2019 and writers who hadn’t been before.

There were so many wonderful,inspiring workshops and we hope those who came will send in a story, either prompted by them or the geneeral ambience, for the fifth Flash Fiction Festival Anthology, to be published by the end of this year by one of our sponsors, Ad Hoc Fiction. So much fun! We already have a date for next year 14th – 16th July, 2023 in the same venue, Trinity College, in Bristol.. Email jude (at) flashfictionfestival (dot) com i if you want to be kept informed when booking is open.

Another thank you to writer and teacher and festival curator Meg Pokrass who set and judged the Pokrass Prize Festival micro contest. The winner was Jane Salmons and Runners up, Sharon Telfer and Tracy Fells. We’re looking forward to see their stories (posted on this site now Meg’s comments ) in the anthology.

A final thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets and those who donated great prizes. We raised £358 for Bristol Refugee Rights!

Check out the lovely gallery of photos from the festival which are loosely grouped into different categories. Lots of books, lots of karaoke, random groups of happy looking people. Jude gathered them up from the festival Twitter feed and from other people who sent some in. A particular thanks to Jet Rotmans who sent a lovely selelction. If you have others to add, let us know.

Hope to see you Face to Face at the 2023 Flash Fiction Festival next year. In the meantime, we have three online festival days coming for the Autumn and Winter. More details and booking open soon.

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Friday Flashy Fringe Fete & Paella!

You are welcome to arrive from 12.00 pm onwards on Friday 14th July for the in-person flash fiction festival, 14th -16th July at Trinity College, Bristol.

What’s happening on Friday afternoon this year?

From 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm another fantastic three hour pre-fest workshop by acclaimed teacher and writer from the US, Kathy Fish. Open to festival participants and those who can’t make the whole weekend. Booking (£50) for the workshop open soon via paypal.

Electra Rhodes

And from 12.00 midday, we’re delighted festival team member, Electra Rhodes, is organising a Friday Flashy Fringe Fete! More details coming soon.
Electra says: Fancy an afternoon of flashy fun on the lawn? I’ve got great news. 2023 will see the first Flashy Fringe Fete of the Bath Flash Festival, running, skipping and jumping throughout the Friday afternoon. 
With games, stalls, activities, lashings of fun the Flashy Fringe Fete combines the best of an English country fete with everyone’s favourite flash writing opportunities.
As well as a flash lucky dip, flash pass the parcel, a team flash treasure hunt, pin the tail on the donkey, bunting, and other excitements there’ll be the chance to meet old friends and make new ones before the evening events and the rest of the weekend kicks off.
Many of the activities will have prizes and goodies to take away, and there will also be a Fringe Fete Flash Prize too
I’ll be approaching some people to run activities, stalls, and events direct, but don’t be shy about coming forwards. I’m dying to hear from you and how you’d like to volunteer to make this the flash of inspiration and fete we deserve!
Electra will have a dedicated festival email soon. In the meantime contact us to forward onwards.


Chicken Paella:£14.00
Vegan Paella:£12.00
Both Gluten Free.
Available Friday afternoon. 5.00 pm.

Two Paella Options

There may be some cakes and snacks at the fete but we also have some wonderful paella for you to order in advance from Luciano at Paella Ca’Luciano.

Luciano cooking

Luciano brought samples for us and our Spanish tasters late last year, and they said there were a really, really good paellas, both the chicken and the vegan ones. Big portions, cooked fresh on the spot. Pay in advance.

Chicken Paella (GF)

Other Friday Events:

Bar (run this year by Trinity College)

Karaoke ready to go in 2019

Badger’s Pouch, the bar, will be open from 2.00 pm
After the evening of readings, Karaoke entertainment will be available in the bar, organised by Helen Rye and Christopher Allen.
The festival bookshop will be open from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm in the Tyndall’s room, by Reception in the main building.
Official Welcome and Evening of Readings 6.00 pm – 9.00 pm in Dining Room.

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Accommodation options

Outside Trinity College

This year’s flash fiction festival will be held at Trinity College, a Theological Colllege, in the Stoke Bishop area of Bristol. There are no available budget student rooms at Trinity College to book. Presenters and team members are booked into the very limited selection. There are, however, 17 camping spots with facilities in the grassy area in front of the college. Showers etc in The Clifton House, a nearby building. It is possible to camp on Thursday night as well. More info and how to book below. You can also contact Damnhait Monaghan, damhnait (at) flashfictionfestival (dot) com form for camping and other accommodation queries.

Budget student accommodation nearby
For the festival weekend Friday and Saturday nights this year we have been able to block book 30 rooms a for the festival place/accommodation package at Churchill Hall, a Bristol University Residence only a few minutes walk away from the college, in a lovely setting opposite the Bristol Botanical Gardens. You can see Churchill Hall and its proximity to Trinity on our location map on the menu.

The rooms are bnb (continental breakfast). An example of one is pictured below, along with a picture of the hall and an area of the shared bathroom. They are quite spacious and for single occupancy only. You can book a festival place with accommodation now It may also be possible to book Thursday night at Churchill Hall. Contact us if you are interested in an extra night on Thursday.

The Area and Other Accommodation Options (thank you to former festival director, Diane Simmons, for compiling this list originally. Updated by team member Damhnait Monaghan for 2023).
Stoke Bishop is a pleasant area not far from the Downs (a large open park land)) and is under two miles from the Clifton suspension bridge, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. If you don’t mind a walk, Clifton Village is about a 30 minute walk from Trinity College and is a beautiful area of Bristol to stay in. It has quite a few hotels and guest houses. Please note that areas of Bristol are very hilly.

The city centre too has lots of hotels to suit all budgets, as well as some hostels. It is particularly attractive round the waterside area. The city centre is approx 2.4 miles from Trinity College. Redland and Henleaze areas are also attractive parts of Bristol not too far away.
There is a plenty of free parking in the grounds of Trinity College. Please note that traffic can be very heavy in Bristol.

You may find this website helpful: https://visitbristol.co.uk/

Caravans, Campervans and Tents
There are 4 available caravan/campervan spots at Trinity College for people with their own caravans/campervans. There are electricity points. The cost is £25 per night. Toilets and showers available.

There is space for 18 tents in Trinity grounds (without electricity).The cost is £20 per night. Toilets and showers available.
If you would like to book a place for your van or wish to camp, please contact us and our team member Damhnait Monaghan will liaise with you.

Other Caravan sites:
Airbnb is a good way of finding affordable accommodation. If you are unsure about the area, please email for advice. The link for Stoke Bishop, Bristol is below: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/s/Stoke-Bishop–Stoke-Bishop–United-Kingdom/homes?adults=1&place_id=ChIJk_zJ1YSNcUgRD32b4q2v_3A&refinement_paths%5B%5D=%2Fhomes&checkin=2022-07-08&checkout=2022-07-10

Hotels, Hostels and Bed and Breakfasts
Please note that I have not visited any of these hotels listed below, so can’t vouch for them being any good, but the ratings system should help. Please check my estimated walking times are correct before booking. I would recommend going on www.booking.com, www.trivago.co.uk or www.expedia.co.uk as bargains can be found.
Bristol Youth Hostel, 14 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA, United Kingdom. 2.5 miles, 55 mins walk https://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/yha-bristol Private rooms available. Dorms not available at time of writing, but may be open by July.

Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and Apartments

Nearest to Trinity College (within 2 miles)

The Washington, Clifton. 1.7 miles from Trinity – 35 mins walk. Available from booking.com. Described as ‘cheap and cheerful’. More info from booking.com & also available on visit Bristol site: https://visitbristol.co.uk/accommodation/the-washington-p7201

The Rodney House Hotel, 4 Rodney Place, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4HY – 1.7 miles and 35 mins walk from Trinity College. Available from booking.com. Their own website here: https://cliftonhotels.com/bristol-hotels/rodney
The Regency Bristol Hotel, 40-44 St Pauls Road, Clifton BS8 ILR
35 mins walk, 1.7 miles

The Channings Hotel, Clifton Bristol – 31 min walk. You can book direct from their site or on booking.com etc. https://www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/avon/channings-hotel/

Number 38, Clifton, 38 Upper Belgrave Rd, Bristol BS8 2XN. Less than a mile. Also available from booking.com About a 17 min walk. Hotel website: http://www.number38clifton.com

Victoria Square Hotel, Clifton. 1.8 miles. 37 mins, http://www.victoriasquarehotel.co.uk/en/default.html
Also available on booking.com etc.

Beaufort House apartments, Clifton. 1.2 miles and a 25 min walk – on booking.com etc

The Alma Tavern, 18-20 Alma Vale Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2HY
Rooms are bookable through Airbnb. 29 mins walk. 1.4 miles. Rooms also available through booking.com

Within an Hour’s Walk (or nearly)

Holiday Inn, Bristol city centre https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g186220-d1983528-Reviews-Holiday_Inn_Bristol_City_Centre-Bristol_England.html 52 mins walk. 2.9 miles.

The Bristol Hotel https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g186220-d191631-Reviews-The_Bristol-Bristol_England.html 56 mins walk. 2.6 miles.

Best Western Henbury Lodge Hotel, Station Rd, Henbury, Bristol BS10 7QQ,
https://www.bestwestern.co.uk/hotels/best-western-henbury-lodge-hotel-83915 2.7 miles, 58mins walk.

Bristol Marriott Hotel, https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g186220-d192930-Reviews-Bristol_Marriott_Royal_Hotel-Bristol_England.html
51 mins walk. 2.3 miles. www.marriott.co.uk

Travelodge, Anchor Road, Bristol. 52 mins, 2.4 miles. One of a chain of basic hotels. https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/78/Bristol-Central-hotel

Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel & Spa. https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g186220-d628111-Reviews-Mercure_Bristol_Holland_House_Hotel_Spa-Bristol_England.html
3 miles, 1 hr 4 mins walk. https://all.accor.com/hotel/6698/index.en.shtml

Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel 2.3 miles, 51 mins walk. https://all.accor.com/hotel/A0I2/index.en.shtml

Brooks Guest House, Bristol, St Nicholas Court, St Nicholas Street, Bristol
Looks cool accommodation – retro roof top caravans. 53 mins and 2.4 miles.

The Ibis, Explore lane, Bristol BS1 5TY
2.5 miles. Around 53 mins walk to Trinity.

The Crafty Cow, 65 Gloucester Road, Bristol BS7 08J. 53 mins walk, 2.7 miles.

Norfolk Guest House, 575 Gloucester Road, Bristol BS7 0BW. Booking.com 2.5 miles, 50 mins walk

Other Options
For budget options, there are Premier Inns: https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/home.html May not always be in the most scenic parts of the city. None are particularly close. Premier Inn has one in Filton, but traffic can be busy around there

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Flash Fiction Festival Five!

At last, the anthology of flash fictions from the presenters and participants from the online days and the face-to-face weekend, last July 2022,in Bristol, UK, is back from the printers and free copies are being posted off to contributors this week! The anthology is the fifth one in the rainbow series. Two more colours to go (indigo and violet) until we complete the spectrum and go into the white space of what happens next!

Flash Fiction Festival Volume Five, published by Ad Hoc Fiction and compiled by 2022 Flash Fiction Festival Director, Jude Higgins and former flash fiction festival director, Diane Simmons, is split into several sections: stories from presenters; stories by competition winners from several of our online days, 2021 and 2022 which were not included in our previous anthologies; winners of the 2022 Pokrass prize and stories by writers who came to the weekend last year, many of them inspired by workshops at the festival. The anthology will be available to buy from the Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop very soon and also from Amazon worldwide in paperback. Read in Full

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Winners from the Triptych Challenge, Online Festival day, January 2023

For the New Year, the last of the trio of the online festival days in the series, our festival director, Jude, set two writing challenges. In each of the previous days, writers had been asked to write a story based on a painting. All the paintings are of women. As well as the first writing challenge for this month, based on the woman baking in the kitchen (read the winners here) for this challenge she asked writers to compose a ‘triptych’ story of three paragraphs connecting all three women, in the paintings in some way. For an added challenge and connection between each, she asked writers to keep to five sentence paragraphs and to include the same five words in each paragraph.

Thanks again to all who entered this very exacting challenge and to Diane Simmons for judging. As in the previous challenge, prizes are entries to Bath Flash Fiction Award, books from Ad Hoc Fiction and publication in print in the Flash Fiction Festival Anthology, Vol 6. Linda Grierson-Irish won the challenge and Sharon Telfer and Debra A Daniel were runners up. Congratulations to all!
Read in Full

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Winners Writing Challenge One: January online festival contest

We had two flash fiction writing contests in the January online flash fiction festival day, both challenges judged by writer and co-director of National Flash Fiction Day, UK, Diane Simmons from visual prompts set by our Festival Director Jude Higgins Thanks very much to everyone who entered. And a further thank you to Diane for judging.

The first prompt and winning stories are published on this page. And we have another page for the three winning stories from the second challenge to write a triptych.. Congratulations to all!

For the first challenge, writers were asked to write a story based on this painting ‘Mrs N C Wyeth’ in the kitchen: Winter Light’ Alternate title: ‘The Recipe Book’, painted by N C Wyeth in 1933. Jude suggested writers could add historical details from the time. Adele Evershed won first price and the two runners-up are Jane Salmons and Laurie Swinarton. All writers win three competition entries from Bath Flash Fiction Award, books from Ad Hoc Fiction and the offer of publication in the Flash Fiction Festival Anthology, Vol 6.
Read in Full

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Winners! Nov 2022 Great Festival Flash Off Writing Challenge

At the online Great Festival Flash Off online day, Jude gave a prompt based on this picture,’Reading in a Cafe’, painted in 1920, by American artist Jane Petersen, 1876-1965, an American Impressionist and Expressionist artist. Thanks to everyone who entered stories and many congratulations to the three winners. First prize, Sudha Balagopal and two runners-up Sara Hills and Cheryl Markosky. Thanks also to Diane Simmons our judge for the trio of festival days. Her comments and the stories and authors’ bios are posted below. The winner receives two books published by Ad Hoc Fiction, three free entries to Bath Flash Fiction Award, to be used at any time, and publication in paperback in a Flash Fiction Festival anthology. The runners up receive one book and both other prizes. There are two contests on our Saturday January 7th Great Festival New Year Flash Off. You can book here. Hope to see you there for more festival fun. Read in Full

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Winners, Oct 8th Great Festival Flash Off Writing Challenge

We’re channelling The Great British Bake Off TV show again in our trio of online days. On the first day, Jude offered a ‘signature’ writing prompt based on this painting,’The Green Cloth’, from 1976, by Norwegian artist. Roald Kyllingstad. Writers were asked to pick details from the painting and think of ‘what if’ scenarios including some of these details and write a piece of up to 350 words. There were some very inventive takes on this.

Thank you to everyone who entered and we’re now delighted to announce the winners. The first prize winner receives three free entries to bathflashfictionaward.com plus two Ad Hoc Fiction books and publication here and in our forthcoming festival anthology. The runners up also receive three free entries and one book from Ad Hoc Fiction plus publication.
Diane Simmons judged the competition and first prize goes to Anika Carpenter and the two runners up to S. A. Greene and Kathryn Aldridge=Morris. Congratulations to all! Read in Full

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The Pokrass Prize Results

Our Flash Fiction Festival Curator, Meg Pokrass wasn’t able to be involved in the Festival this year, but she set a prompt and judged the entries for the Pokrass Prize.Thanks to all the festival go-ers who participated. Writers were asked to respond to the picture here and to the random words – night, exposure, spots, star, golden, normal, heavy and write a micro, max 150 words. There were so many very inventive pieces. The winning pieces published here, will also be published in our fifth festival anthology, out by the end of this year.

Meg said this about the stories and the winners:

“It was fun diving in and mulling over these incredible entries. Judging a contest at this high level of writing is very hard and at the same time, exhilarating. It is a thrill to see how much good writing is going on with the Flash Fiction Festival writers. I am sad not to be with you this year, but through reading these wonderful stories, I once again feel deeply connected to the writers at FFF. There were many strong and original micros that it did feel impossible to choose only three. And yet, three had to be chosen… So here you go!

The winning story, “Miracle Grow”, is a dark and surreal story about a damaged marriage fast-growing like damaging weeds under the floorboards. This writer’s use of compression and stunning sensory details won me over and I couldn’t look away. “The Horses, Beneath” is a poetic piece filled with brilliant, startling imagery and the resulting effect is mythical. Past and present merge, and the reader is thrust into a strange, illuminating yet invisible universe that lives beneath or feet. “Our Own Personal Universe” is a story that brought the prompt to life for me in a deeply emotional and cinematic way. A happy love story that shines like a star in the darkest of nights.”

Winner Jane Salmons with ‘Miracle Grow’

Jane Salmons is from Stourbridge in the West Midlands. She was a teacher in the sixth form college sector for nearly three decades and now works part time as a consultant teacher trainer and private tutor. Her poetry pamphlet Enter GHOST was published with dancing girl press in 2022. Her debut poetry collection The Quiet Spy was also published in 2022 with Pindrop Press. New to writing flash and micro-fiction, Jane has had stories published with MacQueen’s Quarterly and The Ekphrastic Review. She is thrilled and astounded to have won The Pokrass Prize.

Miracle Grow

Splinter, crack, crash! Without waking his snoring, lump of a wife, Bob grabbed his dressing gown and hurried out into the night. The sickly scent of summer phlox hung in the air; beneath the moon, the lawn glowed white; the rhododendrons stared accusingly, as Bob scuttled down the path, towards his beloved greenhouse. Smash! Another pane shattered. Through the jagged roof, a mass of unruly stalks wound upwards into the starry sky. ‘What in the name of God is going on?’ gasped Bob, sliding back the door and finding hundreds of thick, green shoots pushing through the slabs. Slack-jawed, he saw leaves the size of spades, a shower of giant golden flowers, furiously unfurl. Tomatoes like melons swelled and ripened: green, orange, vermilion, black – a mouldy mess of splitting skins and monstrous oozing seeds. Through a chink in the bedroom curtain, Bob’s wife watched, smiling.

Runner Up, Sharon Telfer with ‘The Horses, Beneath’.

Sharon Telfer lives in East Yorkshire, in the north of England. She won the Bath Flash Fiction Award in June 2016 with ‘Terra Incognita’ and again in February 2020 with ‘Eight Spare Bullets’. She has also won the Reflex Flash Fiction Prize. Her flash has been selected for Best Small Fictions 2021, the 2020 and 2019 ‘BIFFY50’ lists, and Best Microfiction 2019. She was awarded the Word Factory/New Writing North Short Story Apprenticeship in 2018, and placed second in the Bath Short Story Award 2020. She also has a short story in Test Signal, an anthology of contemporary northern writing (Bloomsbury/Dead Ink, 2021). Her debut flash fiction collection, The Map Waits, was published by Reflex Press in 2021 and is currently longlisted for The 2022 Edge Hill Prize for short fiction. She tweets @sharontelfer and posts terrible photos on Instagram, @sharontelferwriter.

The Horses, Beneath

She hears them clearest when the house is still – kids at school, husband at work, laptop open waiting for the host to let her in.

She’d watched last year’s dig on TV, family jumbled on the plumped sofa, the paint tang lingering. The whole estate had. The white tent like a murder scene. The camera nosing in as gloves brushed earth from wheels and weapons and bones.
“That’s not under our house, is it, Mummy?”
“Course not, sweetie. Ours wasn’t built there.”
A whinny ripples her wineglass, the pristine laminate prances under her feet. The next street is Shield Avenue, leading to Warrior Close. Their home, an Executive, stands on Chariot Way.

When they come, as she knows they must – hooves trampling smooth tarmac – she’s in the off-plan kitchen – letterbox clashing – blinds raised to the moonlight and the hazy Pleiades – that ancient insistent pounding hammering at the shining front door.

Runner Up, Tracy Fells with ‘Our Own Personal Universe’
Tracy Fells was the 2017 Regional Winner (Europe and Canada) for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Her short fiction has been widely published in print journals and online, including: Granta, Brittle Star, Reflex Fiction, Popshot, Firewords and the Bath Flash Fiction Award anthologies (2019 & 2020). She has been shortlisted for the Bridport and Fish Flash Fiction prizes, placed in the Reflex Fiction competition and Highly Commended in the NFFD Micro competition (2016 & 2020). Her novella-in-flash, Hairy on the Inside was short listed in the 2021 Bath Novella in Flash Award and short listed for the 2022 Rubery Prize, in the fiction category. She also writes novels and was a finalist in the 2018 Richard & Judy ‘Search for a Bestseller’ competition. Tracy tweets as @theliterarypig.

Our Own Personal Universe

We met at Woodstock, then married late fall. As we grew up, the world regressed. It was Suzy’s idea to escape off-grid to our cabin in the woods. Technology free. What else did we need but each other?

Without electricity our life is simple, almost silent except for the persistent background song. We tear up rugs, listen to the creaking wooden walls, and finally dig under the porch. There we find a tin box, the source of the singing.

Suzy whispers, ‘Open it.’

Inside is the same tar-black night that surrounds us, where deep within we spy the beeswax candle of our cabin window, a beacon. On the count of three we plunge in our hands.

Above us in the star-encrusted sky appear two giant wrinkled hands. Wiggling our fingers like magicians conjures a cooling breeze. ‘We are gods,’ says my wife of over fifty years, my forever singing girl.

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Winner, Young Writers’ Flash Fiction Contest

As an addition to our March online flash fiction day, Susmita Bhattacharya, who was a judge for the adult contest, and is a facilitator for the Mayflower Young Writers Group in Southampton, hosted a parallel flace-to-face flash fiction workshop for young writers. The young people also had their own writing competition. Flash Fiction team member, Alison Woodhouse, dropped in to their session to talk more about flash and to set a prompt. She asked writers to use an object as the focal point of a piece of flash to tell a story.

Thank you to all who entered. Alison has now chosen the winner! Huge congratulations to Katie Britton, a member of MayFlower Young Writers, @MayflowerYW who used a mirror as her focal point. Katie’s story is based on an actual mirror in her house, and we love that she has sent us her picture posed in front of it. Katie wins a special mug with the flash fiction logo, which has ‘Winner’ and her name written on the back. Read in Full

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Winning Stories, March Flash Fiction Festival

Congratulations to the winner, Rosaleen Lynch and the runner-up Mandira Pattnaik.Read more about them and judge Susmita Bhattacharya’s comments here

by Rosaleen Lynch

Chaw /tʃɔ:/ (verb.) to chew roughly, (noun.) a wad, like chewing tobacco your Da might spit at you when he comes home drunk; (acronym.) e.g. CHAW;

‘C’ for Courage (n.) from the French ‘coeur‘ for heart, the heart to run away or the heart to stay;

‘H’ for Hope (v.) from the Germanic to trust, rely on, have confidence in or Hope (n.) as in ‘we haven’t got a hope’ or ‘hopeless’ (antonym.) or without feathers;

‘A’ for Admiration (n.) from the old French ‘to wonder at the miracle’, the miracle you’ve lived this long, and you truly wonder at the miracle that your Da’s standing after how much he’s had to drink;

‘W’ for Wisdom (n.) insight, making good judgements e.g. whether to remove the remaining chaw and food from your Da’s mouth as he now lies on the kitchen floor, after trying to convince you all, that beans on toast need decorating with edible flowers, like on some TV cooking show, holding irises from next-door, he swears are edible, and to prove it, stuffs one in his mouth with tobacco and chaws, and when he falls, you look for courage to let him be, to see what’s best for family, hope this time he’ll do the right thing, something you could admire, like change or die, but you’re wise enough to realize, he’ll survive, your Da’s toxicity will win against that of the iris;

Iris /ˈʌɪrɪs/ (n.) Greek for eye pigmentation, the same colour as yours, watching him, waiting, ruminating on whether this is the only trait passed on, if the darkness too will be carried by the genes, like clouds carry rain, like Iris, the messenger of the gods, in The Illiad (the legend of the siege of Troy) the Greek goddess of the rainbow, carries truth.


by Mandira Pattnaik

29 March 2017

1. Fly on Nonstop Non-risk Routings
Most accidents occur during takeoff, climb, descent, and landing phases of flight. Like dating, lovemaking, marriage, and cohabitation. Soniya’s admiration for Rajiv stems from his saying yes on the first date. But both must agree to reduce their exposure to these most accident-prone phases of flight.

2. Choose Larger Aircraft
Obviously. Also, in the unlikely event of a serious accident, Rajiv’s larger hands will be more comforting.

3. Pay Attention to the Preflight Briefing
Although the information seems repetitious, the locations of the closest emergency exits may be different depending on the aircraft that you fly on and seat you are in: says Mum and married sisters. They also provide endless hope.

4. Keep Your Seat Belt Fastened While You are Seated
Wisdom demands a firm anchoring if and when the flight hits unexpected turbulence: says Soniya’s friends.

5. Hazardous Material Banned
By the end of the first year, both new fliers know the list of hazardous materials that are not allowed, but common sense should tell them how handy knives, mirrors, glasses and bottles can be while you’re involved in an argument. Particularly if the coupling is already under strain.

6. Drink During Flight — Maintain Responsibility
Atmosphere in an airliner cabin is pressurized and moderation is a good policy at any altitude. Rajiv (or both) often forgets this. Dirt is dug and flung at each other.

7. Keep Your Wits About You
In the rather likely event of a precautionary emergency evacuation, Soniya isn’t alarmed when Rajiv tells her: Go, get lost. She is prepared to land in the worst possible. All flights are essentially leaps of faith.

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The March Great Flash fiction Festival Throwdown Winners!

Thanks very much to novelist, short story, flash fiction writer and writing teacher, Susmita Bhattacharya for judging the contest at the last of our current series of online flash fiction festival days on Saturday March 26th. One of the prizes is a mug featuring part of a painting of irises by Vincent Van Gogh. Susmita discovered that the iris flower, has different meanings. It is seen as a flower representing hope, admiration, faith, wisdom and courage. She asked writers to write a hermit crab style flash incorporating several of these words. Her comments on the winners are below. We’ve posted their stories on another page linked here. And Susmita’s comments on the flash fictions are below.

Prizes are £30 for the winner plus the mug pictured and publication online on this site and in the fifth Flash Fiction Festival Anthology, which will be published by adhocfiction in the late Autumn this year. The runner-up is also offered publication and an anthology from published by aAd Hoc Fiction. Read in Full

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