Text Box: Text Box: Winning Entries Third Quarter 2014

First: Bit by Bit by Pauline Brown

Second: Tie Die by Steve Startup

Third: Nothing to Do But His Laces by Russell Reader

Click on the titles to read the three winning stories

 

Highly Commended: On the Tissue Paper Wings of Angels by Rachael Smart

 

Judge’s Report for the third quarter’s competition 2014 from  Louise Phillips

 

The power and challenge of writing great flash fiction is by nature compression. To strip a piece so bare that every word, sentence and nuance has a primary role to play in delivering a story that will grab you from the opening line and resonate with you long after you are finished. Indeed, all good fiction should unravel, expose, and reflect our shared reality, grasping the mixture of experiences that our lives can endure and enjoy.

It was a tough task choosing the winners from the array of wonderful stories and I commend everyone on the long list for creating such interesting pieces of prose.

Every tale had something unique, but family, and the often bitter-sweet, fractured relationships within it, was undoubtedly the overwhelming reoccurring theme, opening up a world of fictional characters who each tried to make sense of their lives. People on the margins were also explored, unearthing strained and fragile emotions, including anxiety and despair, and our concept of our physical and psychological self-worth. Life and loss, and at times, unintentional cruelty, were all tested in these fictional tales, many of which will remain with me.  

 

1st: Bit by Bit

This story explores the world of family and loss through the eyes of the young, innocent observer. Its joy is found in the ability of the writer to be that child again, to apply the logic of the very young on the troubed adult world and not to shrink from it, but rather to attempt, in a child’s resolute manner, a means by which they can make things different. 

 

2nd: Tie Die

We are brought into this flash fiction piece with calm, perfect prose, unravelling time, place, circumstance, the who, the when and the why, whilst empowering the reader to do what all good fiction should do, enter the world of another as if they too are experiencing this quintessential moment in time.

 

3rd: Nothing To Do But His Laces

The author uses stark simple language to mirror the life of a young man which in itself is simple, but equally stark and tragic. The spareness reflects an existence which the world has diminished, abandoned, and thereby, leaves a person without any real choice, the marginalised become too easily forgotten.

 

Highly Commended: On the Tissue Paper Wings of Angels

Here we have a story primarily driven by the relationship between a young girl and her father, creating a tapestry of bitter, sweet, good, bad and fragile recall. Weaved delicately throughout this child’s voice, and not without hope, we see a damaged man sinking deeper into the mire of his life and the fallout from decisions made.  A tale of fleeting, flagile, missed opportunity.

 

We now regularly receive several hundred entries each quarter, so those making the long and short lists should feel very proud.

 

Short Listed Entries — in alphabetical order

 

A Man of Means by No Means by Emma Myatt

A Place More Silent by Stephanie Samp

After Life by Susan Howe

Bats by Jo Derrick

Beekeeping for Beginners by Barbara Leahy

Bit by Bit by Pauline Brown

Cyan Summer by Filipa Komuro

Dressing Up by Susan Howe

Egg on My Face by Alison Clink

Five Minutes by Sherri Turner

Hide and Seek by Barbara Leahy

How to Clean Out a Cupboard… by Cheryl Powell

Just One by Sherri Turner

King of the Castle by Vanessa Savage

Nothing to Do But His Laces by Russell Reader

On the Tissue Paper Wings of Angels by Rachael Smart

Record Breaker by Tracy Fells

The Alphabet Game by Pauline Brown

The Cleaner by Rhonda Wilson

The Glass Ballerina by Jonathan Gough

Tie Die by Steve Startup

Tomorrow, Maybe by Jamie Stacey

Want a Thrill, Enjoy a Spill? by Robert Wood

Weight Matters by Julie McGowan

Which Came First, the Name or the Legend? by Sharon Boyle

 

Long Listed Entries — in alphabetical order

 

A Man of Means by No Means by Emma Myatt

A Place More Silent by Stephanie Samp

After Life by Susan Howe

Bats by Jo Derrick

Because of the Moon by Rachael Dunlop

Beekeeping for Beginners by Barbara Leahy

Bit by Bit by Pauline Brown

Continental Drift by Margaret Callaghan

Cyan Summer by Filipa Komuro

Dressing Up by Susan Howe

Earth by Laurie Theurer

Egg on My Face by Alison Clink

End of the Road by Kathryn Anne Ratzko

Eternity by Adrian Wilson

Five Minutes by Sherri Turner

Helion's Cottage by Ann Abineri

Hide and Seek by Barbara Leahy

His Yellow Line by Jamie Stacey

How to Clean Out a Cupboard… by Cheryl Powell

Just One by Sherri Turner

Killing Aunt Maud by Zena Hagger

King of the Castle by Vanessa Savage

Kiss by Emma Myatt

Knit One, Purl One by Edwina Jones

Nothing to Do But His Laces by Russell Reader

Now and Then by Jacquie Roffe

On the Tissue Paper Wings of Angels by Rachael Smart

Possession by Katie Stevens

Record Breaker by Tracy Fells

Road Kill by Russell Reader

Salvation by Angie Pegg

Spice Up Your Life by Jennifer Harvey

Synaesthesia by Jack Wheeler

The Alphabet Game by Pauline Brown

The Cleaner by Rhonda Wilson

The Glass Ballerina by Jonathan Gough

The Recidivist by Paula Philpott

The Sands of Time by Rose Stevens

Through the Window by Jeanette Sheppard

Tie Die by Steve Startup

Tomorrow, Maybe by Jamie Stacey

Unbraided by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger

Unique Treats by Benjamin Langley

Want a Thrill, Enjoy a Spill? by Robert Wood

Weight Matters by Julie McGowan

Which Came First, the Name or the Legend? by Sharon Boyle

Wrong Number? by Anthony Farmer