Flash Fiction Competition 2021
Congratulations to the authors of the Winning Entries
First : 'Red or White' by Kimberly Adams, Heddon on the Wall, Northumberland.
Second : 'Tsunami' by Beverly Inkson, Sheffield. Third :'Looking Back' by Martin Barker, Poole, Dorset.
The winning stories
(The brief was to contain the word 'revealed').
Red or White by Kimberly Adams
‘I grew up as Samuel’, revealed Samantha.
As revelations go it was massive, especially on a first date, as always conducted in the same restaurant – her safe place.
She studied his face intently for clues. He was unusually quiet. Where were the histrionics? The verbal abuse? The scraping chair and hasty exit that was the norm?
He put down the menu and stared directly into her eyes.
‘I have only one question for you Samantha - red wine or white?’
Sam immediately relaxed, feeling the tension easing away.
‘Both’, she said smiling, ‘let’s have both.’
Tsunami by Beverly Inkson
Min’s nose presses up against the jail wall, feeling the mucus-like slime yielding to the pressure. Her mind is weary, the price of months of solitary confinement and persistent vibration throbbing through her bones.
Somehow the rear pressure is building, suffocating her feeble attempts at escape and pushing her down with tsunami-like power towards a cleft near the floor. With a sudden explosive yielding Min’s body is thrust through the cleft into a dank passageway, which gives birth to a blinding spotlight, revealed as Min tries to open her crusted eyelids. ‘A girl!’ roars the sudden verbal onslaught.
Looking Back by Martin Barker
What do you want from me? What do you expect? I give you everything that I can, is that not enough? You always look so disappointed, though I try my best. We are growing old, both you and I, yet where I see character you see old age, where I see laughter lines you only see wrinkles. When I see you I see honesty revealed, a face that’s ageing gracefully, beautifully. You look at me and mourn for something else, something lost. I wish I could reassure you but I am nothing but a piece of silvered glass.
Flash Fiction Competition 2021Shortlist
Jack by Dave Roberts
Red Or White by Kimberley Adams
Room With A View by Julian Cadman
Tell Me by Sarah Murkin
Good Dog by Ann Evans
Memories by Martin Barker
Still Waters by Martin Barker
Looking Back by Martin Barker
Sensory Affirmation by Vanessa Horn
Tsunami by F.F.B. Inkson
Thank you to the 160+ entrants from all over the UK, several US states, Switzerland, France, New Zealand and the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic. The judges enjoyed reading your stories - the 2021 competition attracted a very strong field. The 1st, 2nd & 3rd prize winners will be announced at the Southam Book Festival on October 24th and posted on this site on the same day.
Southam Book Festival
Flash Fiction Competition 2021
1st prize £50
2nd prize £30
3rd prize £20
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 "revealed”.
The word, “revealed”, and words relating to it ( eg revealing, revelation 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.
Closing date is Saturday September 4th 2021 at 12 noon.
The entry fee is £2 per story. Competitors may enter as many stories as they wish. Up to six stories may be entered for £8.
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 10th 2021
The names of winner and runners up will be published on the Southam Book Festival web site on October 24 2021 and listed on the Festival social media page. Winners 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 £2 or £8 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, 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 - £2
(This will redirect you to the PayPal website)
To pay for up to six entries please click here - £8
(This will redirect you to the PayPal website)
2020 - "tripped over"
We received 261 entries from near and far. Our judges gave the following comments:
'These top three were clear winners and really stood out. It was difficult to rank them as 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and in the end was a very close call.
However, the judges would like to also comment on the very high standard of entries. Even outside of our top 19 shortlist, there were some very original entries and some that really made us laugh.
Thank you all for a very enjoyable 26,100 words.'
The first prize of £50 goes to Rebecca Kinnarney of Wendover for her untitled story.
Untitled by Rebecca Kinnarney
“Well?” Sal stood outside my space. Her force-field repelled me.
“Did you know there’s a people in the Amazon, the Pirahã, who have no concept of numbers? No words for them?” Her shoulders lifted. I knew this was no answer to her question. I went on, “They just have ‘a few fish’, ‘some bowls’. I read it in a magazine while I was waiting.”
“What did Dr. Kenwood say?” Her throat was tight.
“She said…six months.” I tripped over the words.
Sal’s invisible shield crumpled. Sal crumpled.
I touched her damp cheek. “We’re going to call it ‘some moons’.”
The second prize of £30 goes to Lesley Evans of Cheltenham
Sea Goddess by Lesley Evans
When the gathering breeze quickened me to whitecaps, I went looking for trouble. The beach was deserted but for Old Rufino, warming his back against the sun-soaked boards of his shack, watching me steadily.
“I see you,” he muttered, drawing on his cigarette, “Shadowy there at the shoreline, mithering up your mischief.”
The old fisherman sniffed the wind, sensing that I would be dancing up a storm that night. I wanted to take him with me, but as the evening tripped over into night, I let him be. We both knew it was not his time. Not yet.
The third prize of £20 goes to Marilyn Timms of Cheltenham
TAKEN AT THE FLOOD by Marilyn Timms
Sky disintegrates through orange and green to blackened turbulence, compresses the hills. Birds become invisible. Rain scythes the land, spurs the watcher in the bushes to action. For days, he has crouched outside her house. Once, he almost breached her door but tripped over unexpected sandbags. He will not make that mistake again. The girl knows he’s waiting. As her bedroom light winks out, the watcher finally forces an entry. He takes up squatter’s rights on the seventh stair, like a malevolent Christopher Robin, content to wait until morning. Old Man Severn has come to breakfast.
2019 - "WATER DRIPPED"
We received over 80 entries from all four corners of the world. There was no restriction on style or content, only that it was no more than 100 words and the phrase "water dripped" had to appear in it.
Our second 100 Words competition brought us over 120 entries from all around the UK. Winning and runner up entries were announced at the Festival and the winning entry was also published in the November edition of the Southam Advertiser in 2019.
'What's That Son? You've Entered a Fast Friction Competition?', by Mark Robinson
‘What do you mean, Walter tripped?’ asked dad.
Andrew face palmed as he held the phone. ‘No, dad, –’
‘I saw him this morning,’ dad continued. ‘He was walking around without any problems.’
‘Not Walter, dad, water! Water dripped, from the new shower. All night long.’
‘Walter tripped in the shower? Oh dear. Is he okay?’
Andrew sighed. Dad’s hearing was getting worse. ‘Yes, he’s fine. No harm done.’
‘Ah, good. Here, talking of showers, how’s the one I fitted at yours last week?’
Prison of My Own Making, by Zoe Critchley
Water dripped from above and rolled uncomfortably down my neck. Goosebumps trailed in its wake and I shivered uncontrollably. I had been here for a week now. It felt like much longer.
I had been made to walk for miles. My whole body ached. I could not remember the last time I had slept properly, or what it felt like to be clean and warm. I was miserable, hurting, hungry, tired, freezing, dirty; suffering.
More water found its way through the leaking canvas of the tent and landed on my head.
I truly hated camping.
Adonis, by Lindsay Woodward
I was no longer just fanning myself from the heat of the sun. The Adonis before me was ramping my temperature up. The waves appeared to move aside as he strode out of the sea. They too seemed in awe of him.
He swept his wet hair away as his eyes became locked with mine. My heart pounded as he approached my sunbed. Water dripped from his fingers on to my hot skin, tingling me with excitement.
‘All right, chicken?’ he said, in a strangely high pitched voice. ‘You’re well fit, you are.’
Oh well. Beggars can’t be choosers.
2018 - "THE DOOR SLAMMED"
We had an amazing start to our 100 WORDS competition at our first festival. We received over 80 entries from all four corners of the world, with topics ranging from holidaying in foreign lands, to mortifying eye tests. There was no restriction on style or content, only that it was no more than 100 words and the phrase "the door slammed" had to appear in it.
Winning and runner up entries were announced at the Festival and the winning entry was also published in the Southam Advertiser late last year.
We'd like to thank Reynolds Insurance, TM &JM Grey and Writers Magazine for sponsoring the competition.
Molly’s Dream Holiday, by Christine Eddison
Christmas in Mombasa! Sweat gathers on my lip and prickles my armpits.Musky pawpaw and sweet jasmine scent the air, noisy with cicadas and hummingbirds.
Tomorrow I’ll ride the glass-bottomed boat to the reef and gaze covetously towards exotic Zanzibar. Back at harbour, I’ll admire the busy throngs of white-garbed women and listen to the mesmeric murmur of the muezzin.
The door slammed. ‘Morning, Molly. Myra here. Time to get you dressed.’ I startle as my bed hoist begins its creaking grind. I sense the wheelchair waiting to transport me towards another sightless helping of daytime television.
JOINT SECOND PLACE
Yo-Yo, by Adam Stewart
Adam was the greatest. What that man couldn’t do with a yo-yo wasn’t worth doing. At the height of his powers he performed his own brand of yo-yo magic to sell out arenas all over Warwickshire. He was a God and his legend was told in school playgrounds from Stockton to Stratford.
As the fame and fortune rolled in, Adam could even afford to buy his dream car. Then, all too quickly, it ended.
“That’s my car” he yelled.
He reached out, the door slammed. His index finger fell to the floor. It was all over for Adam.
Supernova, by Charles Adey
Fifteen thousand light years from Earth, a star collapsed. Gravity intensified, crushing the surface inwards towards a point of infinite density, bending light rays and muting all noise into absolute black nothingness. Unable to collapse further, time reversed itself, and everything the star ever was exploded into white and pink eternity, stretching for millions of miles in every direction. I watched the tiny speck of light from my bedroom window, a little brighter than the others. A breeze came through the house and behind me the door slammed, bringing me back to planet Earth.
The Eye Test, by Mairead Rawal
Hannah sat and waited. It’s just an eye test, she reassured herself. The ophthalmologist
whipped into the room, the door slammed behind him, making her jump.
‘Good morning, Mrs Smith’, and they began.
It was proceeding smoothly until she was asked to read the letters chart. First line; easy.
Second line; trickier. The third line was indistinct – C, O, C and… was that a K? It couldn’t be! Hannah broke out in a cold sweat. He was waiting.
The K hung there. Nobody spoke. She couldn’t quite meet the ophthalmologist’s eye.
‘R, Mrs Smith, R.’