2023 Flash Fiction Winning Stories
Enduring Love - Elizabeth Taylor
Bastard! I knew he was cheating, but I never thought he’d be so brazen. He walks through the carpark, looking sharp in that shirt I bought last Christmas, a bunch of roses clutched to his chest.
Alarmed, I scream, ‘What do you think you’re playing at?’
He ignores me! Doesn’t even look my way.
Well, two can play that game. I follow him to the restaurant’s bar and glower from a booth in his eyeline.
When his whore arrives, his grip tightens on the flowers. ‘I’m sorry. My wife passed away recently and I’m not sure I’m ready.’
Upon Receipt - JA Bowler
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The Cellar - Diane Simkin
She was a sweetie, well off by the look of it.
‘Come in,’ she invited. ‘I do need a handyman. There’s a problem in the cellar.’
A door in the hall opened onto dark stairs.
‘You go first,’ she said.
At the bottom, another door. She turned the key. Phew! The stench!
‘Light switch is on the left,’ she said.
Stepping inside, I clicked the switch, but no light. The door slammed behind me.
Alarmed, I pounded on it.
‘No use, mate,’ croaked a voice.
I froze, ‘Who are you?’
‘I came to sell her double-glazing last week.’
Late Payment - JD Robins
‘Pension day, George. Time to make our withdrawal.’
No response came from the man slumped in the wheelchair.
She wrapped a scarf around the lower half of his face and slipped dark glasses over cloudy white eyes. ‘Damn it,’ she said as she twisted slippers onto his bloated feet. ‘These get tighter each time.’
Stepping back with hands on hips, she nodded. ‘I think you’ll do.’
After glancing down the street, she jolted the wheelchair over the doorstep and was alarmed to see George’s head fall at an impossible angle as his decaying neck vertebrae finally gave way.
Midnight golf - Deborah Hugill
Friday 22 July 2023. 1.30am!
Next door’s alarm went off about 11.30. Lay in bed for a bit hoping it’d stop. They’re in Spain. No chance of them doing anything about it! Hour later I’m over the fence with a golf club. Niblick – nice and heavy. Not that easy, actually. Had to climb on the recycling bin. In my slippers. Par five, I’d say.
No burglars, of course. Or police. What’s the point of getting your house alarmed? Making your neighbours’ lives hell. Obviously.
Did get a bit carried away, maybe. But I’ve always hated those garden gnomes.
Flash Fiction Competition 2023
Short listed stories and their Authors
The Cellar Diane Simkin
Date Matthew Shepherd
Enduring Love Elizabeth Taylor
Last Shout Janet Jones
Late Payment JD Robins
Midnight Golf Deborah Hugill
The Panic Room Sim Smailes
Revenge Julie O’Toole
The Silent Sea Lynne Thomas
Upon Receipt J A Bowler
Congratulations to all those shortlisted.
Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry - the judges found their task very difficult and commented
'authors approached the word 'alarmed' with diverse creativity. Entries were sometimes poignant, sometimes horrifying and sometimes full of humour which made comparison and the role of judging very difficult '
The winning entry and runners up will be announced at the Book Festival on Sunday October 8th at 1pm.
Results will also be posted on this site and on our social media as soon as we've wrapped up the festival!
Southam Book Festival
Flash Fiction Competition 2023
1st prize £60
2nd prize £30
3rd prize £20
All entries must be received by noon on Saturday, September 10th 2023
RULES, CONDITIONS & HOW TO ENTER
The competition is open to anyone who is 16 years and over.
The competition is for an original work of fiction no longer than 100 words in length
Each story must have a title and the title must be included in the word count. Hyphenated words count as one word.
The work must contain the word 'alarmed'
The word, 'alarmed, and words relating to it ( eg 'alarm', 'alarming' etc ), must not be used as the title of your story.
The work must be previously unpublished and not be simultaneously entered into any other competition. It must be the work of the person entering the competition.
The closing date is Sunday September 10th 2023 at 12 noon.
The entry fee is £3 per story. Competitors may enter as many stories as they wish. Up to five stories may be entered for £10.
Entries must be made electronically.
The judges' decision is final. Judges will not enter into any discussion.
The names of short-listed competition entrants will be published on the Southam Book Festival web site on Saturday October 1st 2023
The names of winner and runners up will be published on the Southam Book Festival web site on October 8th 2023 and listed on the Festival social media page. Winner and runners up will be contacted individually.
If possible, the winning entry will be published in the Southam Advertiser.
Submission of work will be taken as acceptance of rules and conditions.
Copyright of each story remains with the author, but Southam Book Festival reserves the right to publish a selection of the stories at some point during or after the Book Festival.
HOW TO ENTER
All entries must be made via Email.
Choose the £3 or £10 PayPal button below
Next email your story or stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please put FF and your name in the subject box eg FFPennySmith
For further emails simply add B, or C etc eg FFPennySmithB
On the email sheet please give details of your name, address, email address, the name of your story/stories and your PayPal transaction number.
Your story, with its title, should be included as an attachment. If you are submitting more than one story, please use a separate attachment for each story. Please check the title in the attachment matches the title in the email.