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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