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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

Dear customer

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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 


  1. The competition is open to anyone who is 16 years and over.

  2. The competition is for an original work of fiction no longer than 100 words in length

  3. Each story must have a title and the title must be included in the word count. Hyphenated words count as one word.

  4. The work must contain the word  'alarmed'

  5. The word, 'alarmed, and words relating to it ( eg 'alarm', 'alarming' etc ), must not be used as the title of your story.

  6. 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.

  7. The closing date is Sunday September 10th 2023 at 12 noon.

  8. 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.

  9. Entries must be made electronically.

  10. The judges' decision is final. Judges will not enter into any discussion.

  11. The names of short-listed competition entrants will be published on the Southam Book Festival web site on Saturday October 1st 2023

  12. 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.

  13. If possible, the winning entry will be published in the Southam Advertiser.  

  14. Submission of work will be taken as acceptance of rules and conditions.

  15. 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.





 All entries must be made via Email. 


  • Choose the £3 or £10 PayPal button below



  • 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.

To pay for one entry please click here - £3
(This will redirect you to the PayPal website)
To pay for up to five entries please click here - £10
(This will redirect you to the PayPal website)
Follow the link below to the Reedsy blog to find more writing competitions
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