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.
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.

Diane said this about ‘Inside My Father’s Head.’

Highly emotional and packed with imaginative detail ‘Inside My Father’s Head’ is a beautifully written flash that makes effective use of repetition and imagery. A stand-out winner from my first reading.

Ali’s story will be published in the festival anthology. She’ll also receive the mug pictured and £30.

Congratulations also to Olwen Wilson, a writer from Canada, who Diane selected as our runner-up this time. We hope to get a bio from her shortly.
Olwen wrote a story called ‘More Sludge Than Pink Popsicle Sticks’ and will receive her choice of one of the anthologies published by Ad Hoc Fiction and a publication offer for the forthcoming festival anthology.

Diane said this of Olwen’s story:

‘More Sludge Than Pink Popsicle Sticks’s’ excellent title had me interested from the off. The writer uses the highly original point of view of a vase in a school classroom to tell a story that is full of poignant detail.

There’s another contest on our November 27th Festival Day. this time based on Klimt’s The Kiss. Writer Sara Hills will create the prompt based on this mug and judge the contest. Hope you can come to this day. There’s another great programme. Much writing will take place and there is much fun to be had.

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