Monday, 14 May 2012

National Flash Fiction Day

"What," I hear a lot of you thinking, "is 'flash fiction'?" As the name suggests, it is a type of fiction, but told in a very concise way. Whereas, in my humble opinion, a short story should be the length of a 20-30 minute commute to work, flash fiction should be short enough to read whilst the kettle is boiling for a cup of tea. Some stories can be as short as 250 words, but the average seems to be about 500. 

Brilliant image taken from

Short stories are generally thought to be the poorer sibling of both novels and poetry. But times are changing. People have less time to read nowadays. Also, modern technology, such as iphones, ipads and kindles, have changed how people are reading. And where. I can't imagine anyone wanting to read War and Peace on an iphone. But a 300 word story on a 15 minute bus journey would be a different kettle of fish.  

After successfully finishing NaNoWriMo in November 2010 (where participants aim to write 50,000 words in a month), Calum Kerr, writer, lecturer and editor of Gumbo Press was looking for a new challenge. He set himself the target to write a piece of flash fiction for every day in January (2011), which led to the pamphlet, 31. Following that he decided to write a piece of flash fiction every day for a year (starting on 1st May 2011). He said it was sometimes really difficult, but he achieved his goal. His daily updates are still available on his blog and the December stories appeared on Radio 4, and on top of all that he genuinely feels that this project made him a better writer. 

After embarking on this project Kerr decided to set up the first National Flash Fiction Day, which is to be held on 16th May 2012. There will be events going on throughout the U.K. including 'Flash Flood'. Authors have been sending in their contributions in the week leading up to NFFD and a team of dedicated editors will be releasing the stories as the day unfolds. If you'd like to contribute, check out this link: Simple Rules.   

I've decided to try out a project of my own. I will be writing a flash fiction piece every day and posting what I perceive to be the 'best of the week' on my blog every Friday. I'm very open to comments and suggestions, so please feel free to read them and let me know what you think! 

Leaving you with what could arguably be one of the best short stories of all-time. Six words, but it speaks volumes. 
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn." - Ernest Hemingway

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