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Enter your flash fiction for National Flash Fiction Day anthology

Article by Alison Wells © 13 May 2013.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Last year I interviewed Calum Kerr on the inaugural National Flash Fiction Day (UK) and how it all began. It generated a wealth of events both in the UK and here in Dublin (a Flash Fiction showcase by Big Smoke Writing) and resulted in a fantastic collection of flash fiction stories called Jawbreakers which included the fabulous and memorable story Peekaboo from Dan Powell and Rapture by Kirsty Logan two wonderful authors whose short story collections will be published by Salt next year.

As a fan of flash fiction I’m delighted to say that, along with Tania Hershman, Nuala Ni Chonchuir and others I’ve been asked to guest contribute a piece for this year’s anthology. What is particularly wonderful about this anthology is that it is pushing creativity to it’s limits. The idea that we can draw on all other areas of life and creative endeavour is one that I’ve advocated in the past, so Calum Kerr’s prompt for this year is particularly exciting. He says

This year we are looking for stories which take their place in the larger web of art. So we are looking for pieces which have been inspired by another work – a book, story, poem, painting, photograph, piece of music, or anything else artistic. It can be a direct relationship, or a loose one, an homage or a tangential glance which sparks the muse. We don’t mind the connection, we just want to see how other works of art feed into your writing.

You can get involved but the deadline is soon! Submission details as follows:

Word count: 500 word maximum.

Deadline: Midnight GMT on Friday 17th May 2013.

Location: Submissions are welcome world-wide, with no restriction.

Submissions: Please paste your stories into the body of an email and send to nffdanthology@gmail.com. Maximum of 2 stories per writer, and please send them in the same email.

Small Print: No simultaneous submissions or previously published work, please. However, work previously posted on your own blog or website is fine.
We will not consider any work which is any way offensive or discriminatory.

Full details on the National Flash Fiction Day site.

This is a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to a work of art you admire but to add something of your own character and style or to take the seed of an idea and totally reinvent it. Flash fiction, more than any other form I believe allows you to stretch the boundaries of imagination and expression. The freedom of flash fiction was foremost in the mind of Dave Lordan in his New Planet Cabaret creativity challenge recently on Arena arts show and I was chuffed to have an extract from a story read out last week. It’s a story I wrote some time ago but done in a completely new and free style to how I normally worked. Flash fiction can allow you to explore places where you wish to go with your fiction within the parameters of a neater more focused piece of work.

In my next post I want to look at issues around structure and free expression when working on longer projects like novels. In the meantime best of luck with your writing projects. And if you need motivation and are on twitter, there is a #15KinMay challenge ongoing there. All you need to do is write about 500 words a day throughout May and share your progress through the twitter hashtag, you can also join an email group for motivation. For more and to get you started I’ve written a post here about First Drafts and Motivation.

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Alison Wells runs the Random Acts of Optimism blog and lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow with her husband and four children. Her short fiction been published in many magazines and online and print anthologies and she has been featured on Sunday Miscellany. Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, Bridport and Fish Prize's she has just completed a themed short story collection Random Acts of Optimism and a literary novel The Book of Remembered Possibilities. To read Alison's full blog, visit Head Above Water. Find out in her Random Acts of Optimism how she manages to juggle writing, children and life.