Winners’ Stories, February 26th Flash Festival challenge


These stories were selected by Sage Tyrtle who set the prompt and judged the February ‘Throwdown’ challenge at the online flash fiction festival. We’ve another post to read with her comments and more about Sara Hills and David Lewis who were this month’s winners. Read in Full

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Winners of Great FlashFiction Festival Throwdown, February

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Thank you so much to writer, and learning facilitator, Sage Tyrtle who was our writing contest judge for the tenth of our Flash Fiction Festival Days.She set a great prompt based on Van Gogh’s Cafe terrace painting. Thank you also to all the writers who entered. (Please check out Sage’s website, linked above, for more of her workshops inspiring writers with wonderful prompts).

The winner, selected by Sage, is Sara Hills
Sage wrote these comments on ‘Tomorrow at Cafe La Nuit’, Sara’s story. Read in Full

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The Pokrass Prize

Meg Pokrass

Our Flash Fiction Festival Curator, acclaimed writer and teacher, Meg Pokrass is unable to come to the festival again in July, this year, but we’re delighted she has offered a writing challenge for all festival participants, another one of her trade-mark “Pokrass Prompts”. Meg will be judging the submissions for this contest, named after her.

Everyone who has booked for the in-person flash fiction festival in July, gains a free entry to the contest. The challenge is to write a up to 300 word micro inspired by the prompt, the words and the image and send to story{at}flashfictionfestival{dot}com by midsummer’s day, Tuesday June 21st. (attaching your document to the email in docx preferably, with Pokrass Prize in the email subject line).

Results will be announced at the festival.

The first prize winner will win £50, a copy of Alligators at Night, which isone of Meg’s flash fiction collections, a Flash Fiction Festival Anthology, three free entries to Bath Flash Fiction Award and publication in the fifth Flash Fiction Festival anthology.

Two Runners-Up will receive a copy of Alligators at Night, a Flash Fiction Festival Anthology, three free entries to Bath Flash Fiction Award and publication in the fifth Flash Fiction Festival Anthology. Read in Full

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3 hour pre-festival workshop with Kathy Fish

Kathy Fish

READY! SET! WRITE! with Kathy Fish Friday 14th July, 2.00 – 5.00 pm

NB: This workshop is extra to the the main festival workshops. It is also open to those who are not coming to the rest of the weekend. Workshop cost: £50.00 GBP

“In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative…” ~Twyla Tharp

Kathy says:
I’m a big believer in the value of pre-writing as a necessary first step to drafting new work. Over the years, I have developed some exercises and activities aimed at immersion and deep work before beginning the joyful task of creating new art. The result? Fresh, original drafts of surprising depth and beauty. In this engaging, interactive three-hour session we will begin with a series of fun and interesting activities and prompts that will prime our brains for creative expression. From these, we will put together “toolboxes” for story writing, equipping ourselves with our own unique word banks, vocabulary, images, characters, settings, even titles. In the last hour, we will draw on these tools to draft rich, resonant stories that might not otherwise be written had we not arrived at the page primed, prepared, energized, and inspired.

Kathy Fish has published five collections of short fiction, most recently Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Copper Nickel, Washington Square Review, and numerous other journals, textbooks, and anthologies. Fish’s “Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild,” was selected for Best American Non-required Reading 2018 and the current edition of The Norton Reader. Her newsletter, The Art of Flash Fiction, provides monthly craft articles and writing prompts and is free to all. Subscribe here: https://artofflashfiction.substack.com.

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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, a fortune teller, 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.

Paella

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.
Bookshop
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:
http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/townlisting.asp?town=Bristol
Airbnb
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.
Hostels
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.
Couchsurfing:
https://www.couchsurfing.com/places/europe/england/bristol

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
https://all.accor.com/hotel/5547/index.en.shtml
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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January 8th Flash Fiction Festival ‘Throwdown’ Winners

For the New Year, there were two contests for the Great Flash Fiction Festival Throwdown challenges on January 8th. Thank you to Electra Rhodes and Karen Jones for setting the challenges and judging the entries. Electra’s writing challenge was based on the painting ‘Starry Night’ by Vincent Van Gogh and Karen’s was based on Claude Monet’s ‘The Poppy Field’. Mugs, shown in the stack here, featuring these paintings, form part of the winners prize and both our judges created great prompts. Our winners also receive £30 cash and publication and two runners-up a book from Ad Hoc Fiction plus publication in the Flash Fiction Festival Anthology due out soon.

Electra and Karen have now chosen their winners
Electra said:

photo by Serge Van Neck on Unsplash

“It was a pleasure to read this collation of stories and to pay them all some thorough attention. There was lots of rich and evocative language, some delicious description, and some clever characterisation. I really enjoyed reading them aloud to see how they sounded and landed. Thank you for making it so hard to choose.

In the end I plumped for one where I liked the way the piece accreted new layers throughout, and built and built and built. The language was clean and the characters effectively drawn in few words, and it was laced with a melancholy and regret which was subtly done but which stayed with me afterwards. So ‘The Lost Man in Van Gogh’s Starry Night’ is the winner”
(This story was written by Marzia Rahman from Bangladesh.
Marzia Rahman is a Bangladeshi fiction writer and translator of short stories and poetry. Her short fictions have appeared in many magazines and journals worldwide. Her novella in flash, Life on the Edges, was longlisted in the Bath Novella in Flash Award in 2018. She is also a painter.

“The runner-up is the one that made me laugh, I’m a bit of a sobersides and I went into the reading of all the entries ready to experience a range of emotions but without an expectation I’d find something I thought really funny. I admit it’s quite a dark humour and I’m not entirely sure whether or not it’s an unreliable narrator telling a tall tale, or what exactly did or didn’t happen, but, again, the story stayed with me afterwards. I admit too, to being a bit of a sucker for punny titles so, ‘Poetic Justice’ is my runner-up.”
(This story was written by Marie Gethins from Ireland)
Marie Gethins’ flash fiction is widely published in magazines and journals and she has won or been placed in many short fiction awards. Marie is a Pushcart and Best of the Short Fictions nominee and an editor for Splonk literary magazine in Ireland.

Karen said:

photo by Corina-ardeleanu-sWlxCweDzzs-unsplash-1

The stories for the prompt were amazing – I really struggled to choose a winner and runner up.

First place: ‘Restoration’ a great take on the prompt and I loved the way the sections slotted together, just like the bowl in the story. The use of colours was beautifully done.
(This story was written by Corrine Leith from the UK)
Corrine Leith lives in rural England with a cat, a dog and two ponies. She writes a mix of flash fiction, poetry and children’s stories which have been published in print and online. She is a previous winner of The Potteries Prize for Flash Fiction and was runner-up in the latest annual Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition.

Runner up: ‘I See Red’. Using different shades of this colour was a perfect way to tell this story. The anger and hurt builds through the sections and I felt I could really see and feel everything the mc went through.
(This story was written by Sudha Balagopal from the US)
Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction has been published in journals around the world, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fiction and will be included in Best Micro Fictions in 2022. Her novella in flash, Things I Can’t Tell Amma was highly commended in the 2021 Bath Flash Fiction Award and published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2021. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching yoga.

Many congratulations to all four writers! We’re looking forward to seeing them all in print in Flash Fiction Festival Anthology Vol Four.

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Winners from the November Great Flash Fiction Festival Throw Down Contest

Photo by Billy Huynh, Unsplash

We’re delighted that Sara Hills, an award winning writer and editor based in the UK who won the Winner of Winners with her story ‘Blue’ for the Showstopper Challenge in our Spring and Summer series of flash fiction festival days agreed to judge the November ‘Throwdown’ Challenge.

Sara based her prompt on the well-known picture ‘The Kiss’ by Gustav Klimt’ and following Sara’s excellent instructions, entrants were asked to write a story involving a kiss of some sort. Read in Full

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Winner of The Great Flash Fiction Festival Throwdown, October contest

Participants at the first of the new series of flash fiction festival days in October had the opportunity to take part in a mini flash fiction contest. Our contests for this round of the five day series are inspired by the British TV show – The Great Pottery Throwdown. It is renowned for one of the judges, who is moved to tears by the wonderful creations the amateur potters make. Read more on our post about the contest.

We are giving away mugs and a £30 cash prize plus publication for a winning story each month plus a book giveaway from Ad Hoc Fiction for the runner up. We ask people to write stories that make an emotional impact.

Our first judge from the October festival day was Diane Simmons who based her prompt on a mug featuring Van Gogh’s sunflowers. She selected ‘Inside My Father’s Head’ by UK writer Ali McGrane. Ali McGrane won one of the Signature contests in our last series with her story ‘This is Not A Story About A Rainstick’ and was selected The Winner of Winners of the Signature Challenge for the same story by our judge team at the end of the series. Many congratulations to Ali who co-incidentally will also have her novella in flash The Listening Project up on preorder with Ad Hoc Fiction later this week. The Listening Project was shortlisted by Michelle Elvy in the Bath Novella in Flash Award in 2020.
Bio
Ali McGrane lives and writes between the sea and the moor. Her work has appeared in anthologies and online, including Ellipsis Zine, FlashBack Fiction, Janus Literary, Splonk, and on shortlists including the Bath Flash Fiction Award. Her Bath shortlisted flash novella, The Listening Project, is forthcoming from Ad Hoc Fiction Find her on Twitter: @Ali_McGrane_UK. Read in Full

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