#flashfiction #writeprompt & great submission opportunity

Here on the blog for the May Carnival of Creative Possibility I’ll be throwing out writing challenges and prompts and we may even work up to a writing competition later in the month.

Here’s an interesting one for you, a writing prompt that will get you really thinking and also give you the opportunity of submitting to the wonderful National Flash Fiction day anthology. I’ve been involved in the last two anthologies Jawbreakers and Scraps and the standard of the work included was just wonderful. I’ve waxed lyrical about the wonders of flash fiction before and how it’s been the single most inspiring avenue of writing that I’ve been involved in and has helped me produce an abundance of work within a busy life. If you haven’t written much flash fiction before this will help you hone that craft & hopefully get the same buzz at producing a dynamite piece of writing in a short space of time.

National Flash Fiction Day director Calum Kerr says this

Once again we are delighted to open our submission floodgates to your stories for the annual NFFD anthology. This year, our topic is ‘The Senses’ and you should feel free to interpret that however you like. There are the 5 usual ones, but there is also that strange 6th sense. And what about a sense of fair play, of right and wrong, of place or of humour?

However you care to work with our theme, we want to read your stories. The word limit is 500 words, and you can submit up to 3 stories. Please include them in the email, not as attachments, and follow all the guidelines below.

All writers who have a story selected for the anthology will receive a free print copy of the book upon publication.

This year’s editors will be the Director of National Flash-Fiction Day, Calum Kerr, and this year’s Costa Short Story Award Winner, Angela Readman. The deadline date for entries is 23:59 (UK time) on Sunday 18th May 2014. 

So here is your challenge for the next few days. Explore the idea of the senses, chose one or several and really have a think about what a particular sense means and how the lack of it, or a heightened version might affect a particular character and lead to strange circumstances. Surely with the senses the writing should be vivid. I’m writing a book based all around the sensations of food and taste at the moment. The book is very visceral and sense based. One of my recent excerpts was nominated for the Glass woman prize. It might get you inspired to read it. If you’re looking for more inspiration I’ve put some of my tiny stories together in Stories to Read on the Train (for a tiny price).

I’ll give this submission challenge a go, let us know if you’re going to have a go. It’s a particular inspiring prompt so it will be interesting to hear how you got on. Also come back and say if your piece is accepted. The anthology is very well regarded and great fun to be a part of!




Literary Orphans, Stinging Fly and Glass Woman prize finalist

Literary Orphans

I’ve just put up a new post on Writing.ie about the  beautiful Irish themed issue of The Chicago Based mag Literary Orphans

 Including fiction, essays and artwork from a wealth of Irish contributors it’s beautifully put together and was launched at Easter. In conjunction with Editor in Chief Mike Joyce, this Irish issue was guest edited by Westmeath native (and now Californian resident) James Claffey whose fabulous debut short story collection Blood a Cold Blue was released earlier this year.

I was delighted that my Fish shortlisted story All that Thinking was included in the issue and you can read it here

The Penny Dreadful

Cork-Based The Penny Dreadful magazine are also featured in the Literary Orphans mag, they are an innovative and vibrant lit mag whose submission deadline for fiction and poetry ends May 4th.

To read more about Literary Orphans and the Penny Dreadful sub opp see here.


Stinging Fly Launch

Apart from a dreadful flu which has delayed plans to bring out some ebook publications on headspace and creativity based on several years of blogposts, I’ve had some lovely highlights over the past month or so.

One of these was reading at the Stinging Fly launch on March 27th which was a real honour. I read from my flash fiction Eat! and apart from the fact that I should have brought my reading glasses, it was a terrifically enjoyable night, attended by almost 100 people with readings also from Dimitra Xidous who has just launched Keeping Bees with Doire Press) Patrick Chapman, June Caldwell and David Mellerick Lynch.

To read more about the issue, see here

Glass Woman Prize Finalist

From my sick bed, I received the lovely news that my short piece Anise Fish and Colin Behind the Glass had been selected by the judge of the Glass Woman prize and that I was one of ten finalists. What was really nice was that Beate Sigriddaughter had included me in the list based on her noticing the piece from her reading across the web (the piece was posted on Fictionaut) rather than through a competition entry. As every writer knows, such a boost of recognition is wonderful for the writer beavering away mainly in isolation. Both the piece selected and the flash fiction published in the Stinging Fly are from my novel in progress Eat! so I hope it augurs well for the future!

Another aspect to consider is that posting your work on your own site as part of Fridayflash or on peer review sites such as Fictionaut is a great way to connect with other writers and also extend your readership. We all love when someone enjoys our work and I’ve certainly discovered new writers through free posting sites such as I’ve mentioned.

To discover the other woman writers honoured with a Glass Woman Prize win or nomination, please see here. You’ll find links also to the pieces nominated including Anise Fish and Colin Behind the Glass.

Bristol Prize

Just a last word to say that the Bristol Prize short story competition closes this Wednesday. For submission guidelines see here