The Last Minute Club! Guess the colour of the badge today

Thanks again to all flash fiction writers for your support for our Bath Flash Fiction Awards. Our readers are very busy reading your entries for the 27th Award which closes tomorrow Sunday June 2nd at midnight BST. For up to 300 word flash fiction. Entry costs: £9.00 one entry £15 two entries £18 three entries. Prizes £1000 first prize, £300 second prize, £100 third prize, £30 each for two runners up. All fifty longlisted stories are offered publication in our 2024 print anthology and posted world wide. Top stories are always nominated for Best Small Fictions The Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize.This round is being judged by writer, and editor (senior editor at Best Small Fictions), Michelle Elvy.

To remind everyone, The Last Minute Club, for intrepid flash fictioneers is only open on the final day. Anyone entering on Sunday 2nd June will receive a (virtual) Last Minute Club badge. Everyone loves badges don’t they? Our mini-competition to guess the colour of the badge is open on X and Facebook today, Saturday 1st June Feb. The first person to guess the colour (or colour combination of the new badge will receive The Weather Where You Are the 2023 Bath Flash Fiction Anthology (or another BFFA anthology of choice) We often give prizes to two people for near guesses. You won’t know the colour until first thing on Sunday morning. Read in Full

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Pre-order Clearly Defined Clouds, new collection by Jude Higgins

I am so excited that Clearly Defined Clouds my collection of flash fictions is open for pre-orders, at a 25% discount, from Ad Hoc Fiction, today, May 28th ( my birthday)! Thank you very much to the production editor at Ad Hoc Fiction for arranging this. It’s a collection of 75 short-short fictions which have been published in magazines and anthologies over the last eight years or so, plus some new ones. I was going to get a collection out in time for a big, big birthday four years ago, but that was in the middle of the pandemic, and it didn’t work out. The book is released on Monday July 8th in time to be launched at the Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol later the same week.

I love the gorgeous cover, in my favourite colours, created by artist and writer Jeanette Sheppard. The image reflects the title story. I am blown away by the wonderful comments John Brantingham Kathy Fish, Sara Hills, Diane Simmons and Alison Woodhouse made about Clearly Defined Clouds. All these comments are included on the pre-order page at Ad Hoc Fiction. Those from Kathy, Sara, John and Diane are also reproduced on the back cover and Alison’s are inside the book. She ends hers with quoting the last line of ‘Before The Diggers Come’, my last story ‘If you join all chinks of hope together you make a necklace that can’t be broken. I hope the collection which features much concerning the ups and downs of relationships and the state of the world in general leaves the reader with a sense of hope that some things, at least, can be resolved.

If you are coming to the Flash Fiction Festival 12-14th July in Bristol UK, Clearly Defined Clouds will also be sold at a discount there and I can sign copies. If you want to buy it now, I can also send signed copies, and it will make my birthday very special. Thank you.

Jude Higgins has been writing flash fiction since 2013. Her flash fiction pamphlet, The Chemist’s House was published by V.Press in 2017 and her stories have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies and have won, been placed or shortlisted in many contests. She has fictions included in the 2019 and 2020 lists of Best Flash Fictions of UK and Ireland, has been long listed for the Wigleaf, nominated for Best Small Fictions, a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Two of her stories have been selected for different volumes of Best Microfictions. She founded the Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2015, co-runs the Bath Short Story Award, directs Flash Fiction Festivals, UK, the short fiction press, Ad Hoc Fiction and runs reading events and offers flash fiction workshops online.

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More BFFA 3rd Prize winners from the archives!

In the run up to the closing date of our 27th Award, I’m posting a series of third prize and commended stories from the archives of our Awards to inspire last minute writers or final tweakers. The current Award closes one week today, Sunday 2nd June. 300 words maximum. Michelle Elvy is judging. It’s worth reading my Q & A with her here. Results out at the end of June. £1460 in prizes. Anthology publication offer for all 50 longlist writers.

Today I’m posting winners from other countries apart from the UK. In our third-prize winner archives, there are stories from writers in Ireland, the US, New Zealand, India, Spain, France and Sweden. They are really great reads. Lots of different styles of flash. With interesting locations and subject matter.

Writers based in Ireland with links to their stories:

Julianna Holland 2016 with ‘White Matter’. Published in To Carry Her Home. White Matter was also publuished in the Best Small Fictions anthology,2017.

Clodagh 0’Brien, 2017 with ‘Billy’. Published in The Lobsters Run Free

Writers based in the US with links to their stories:

Molia Dumbleton in 2018 with Why Shit Is Still Like This Around Here And Probably Always Will Be
Published in Things Left and Found by the Side of the Road
Lavanya Vasudevan in 2019 with Sunday Crossword: These Three-Sided Polygons Trap Lovers (9 Letters).Published in With One Eye on the Cows
Christine Dalcher in 2020 with ‘Dressage’ Published in Restore to Factory Settings
Kathleen Latham in 2022 with ‘Fourth Grade Science Lesson, Chickasaw City, Alabama’. Published in Dandelion Years
Kevin Burns in 2023 with ‘Lakota Widow’. Published in The Weather Where You Are
Noemi Scheiring-Olah with To All the Copies of Us, Published in the The Weather Where you Are

Emma Neale from New Zealand won third prize with ‘The Local Pool’ in 2018. Published in Things Left and Found at the Side of the Road

David Rhymes from Spain won third prize in 2017 with The Place We Live Before We Don’t . Published in The Lobsters Run Free

Xavier Combe from France won third prize in 2019 with ‘The Games People Play’. Published in With One Eye on the Cows

Emma Zetterstrom from Sweden won third prize with Manganese won third prize in 2017. Published in The Lobsters Run Free

Gayathiri Dhevi Appathurai won third prize this February (2024) with How to Make A Realistic Paper Rose and her story will be published in the year-end anthology.

Thanks to everyone who has entered the current award so far! It is getting very busy for our readers. We looking forward to seeing who wins and where they are from at the end of next month.

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Pre-orders open for the 3 winning NIFS from our 2024 Award!

Up for pre-order from Ad Hoc Fiction now, three marvellous prize-winning novellas-in-flash from our 2024 NIF Award, to add to your collection, Hereafter, by first prize winner, Sarah Freligh from the USA and the two runners up, Nose Ornaments by Sudha Balagopal from the USA and Marilyn’s Ghost by Jo Withers from Australia. Three amazing writers who have also won prizes in our single-flash Awards. You can pre-order all three novellas now from Ad Hoc Fiction at a 25% discount on the full price until publication on 27th June. These brilliant novellas were selected by our 2024 judge, John Brantingham and you can read what he said about them here in his report. We’re really excited that Sarah is coming to the Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol, UK (12-14th) July and her winning novella will be launched there. John Brantingham will also be at the festival
We’ve included descriptions or quotes from other readers here, so you can see how special and intriguing they are

Hereafter is a gorgeous and devastating triumph. This award-winning novella follows Pattylee’s journey from early motherhood through the fog of bereavement after she loses her teenage son to brain cancer. Infused with surprising imagery and textured, poetic language, Sarah Freligh guides us through the oft-fractured landscape of grief and memory, time and hope. This is prose that sparks with remarkable depth and emotional honesty. In her signature micro-style, Freligh delivers a true masterclass of the novella-in-flash form.
— Sara Hills, author of The Evolution of Birds

When Sudha Balagopal describes food, you get hungry. When she describes sadness, you feel tears in your own heart. And so it is with Nose Ornaments, this finely crafted family saga of Lakshmi, and her daughter, Savi, and Savi’s daughter, Mini. Spanning years and geographies and cultures, we see how each woman lives in her particular time. So much changes in terms of men and marriage and work life. It’s a testament to how women adapt and blossom. But even more than that, it is the exquisite detail of Balagopal’s writing which is so precise and sensory, you may very well feel that you are not just reading this beautiful story, but living it as well.
— Francine Witte, author of RADIO WATER and The Way of the Wind

A reporter who sees her as nothing but a meal ticket
A rookie cop dazzled by her fame
A seasoned police inspector who’d seen it all before
A man’s voice on the phone
Pills and champagne on the nightstand
Photographs from a disconnected life
Stories from the death scene of Marilyn Monroe – daughter, wife, starlet, legend, ghost…

The 2025 Novella in Flash Award for novellas inbetween 6000 and 18000 words will open for entries in July. And closes at the end of September this year. Results out in January, 2025.

Our single flash award closes on June 2nd. And sometimes, that single flash can spark off a whole series culminating in a novella.

Jude Higgins

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More 3rd prize and commended BFFA writers!

I’m posting stories from writers who have won third prize or been commended in previous awards ahead of the closing date for the 27th Award on Sunday June 2nd. Still time to be inspired and write a new story or to work on a draft. £1460 in prizes.

You’ll have heard it said that it helps to read your own stories out loud before you declare them finished. But do you read other people’s flash fictions out loud too? I heard a podcast last week by Michael Moseley, a broadcaster who hosts a series on BBC Sounds called ‘Just One Thing’ to promote heatlh and well-being. In this recent podccast be brings in researchers to show that reading poetry out loud boosts your mood and relaxes your body Of course, flash fiction with its careful attention to language is going to do the same.
And what better place to start reading aloud than with the brilliant stories I have linked today, by Stephanie Carty and Elisabeth Ingram-Wallace.

Stephanie won third prize in June 2019 with her story ‘Cosmina Counts’ ( published in the 2019 BFFA Anthology,With One Eye on the Cows and was commended, a year later,in June 2020, with her re-working of the fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, The Price of Ginger Bread in print in the 2020 anthology, ‘Restore to Factory Settings’

Ad Hoc Fiction also published Stephanie’s excellent book, Inside Fictional Minds‘,in 2021 available from Ad Hoc Fiction and from Amazon. It’s a guide on how to create characters with psychological depth in fiction. Read the Q & A about it here. And you can find out more about her new writing guide books and other books on her website

Elisabeth Ingram-Wallace, SmokeLong Quarterly tutor and another extraordinary multi-award-winning writer won third prize in June 2016 with The Baby Came Early, Screaming in print in the first anthology, To Carry Her Home
and was commended in February 2017 with My Thirty-Eight Step Korean Cleansing Routine i which is published in the 2017 BFFA anthology The Lobsters Run Free. She was also commended in 2018 with Satin Nightwear for Women Irregular published in print in the 2018 anthologyh. Things Lost and Found on the Side of the Road.
Read more about Elisabeth Ingram Wallace’s work on her website

Please do read the stories linked out loud. There is a fantastic use of language in them.

If you are entering this time round, we are heading for the Last Minute Club. Virtual club badges for those who enter on the last day, Sunday June 2nd at midnight BST.

Jude, May 22nd 2024

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BFFA 3rd prize & Commended from South West, UK

Our 27th Award, judged by Michelle Elvy, closes two weeks today,Sunday June 2nd. £1460 in prizes. Double and triple entries reduced. Results out by the end of June.

For inspiration I’m gathering up the BFFA 3rd and commended writers from our Awards. So far, I’ve posted winning and commended stories from Tim Craig and Debra A Daniel. This time, I’m posting stories from the third prize and commended writers who live in the South West of England. (which is where I live in between Bristol and Bath). Sometimes, these writers have been able to come and read in the reading evenings I organise in Bath. Others come to the Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol.. All these stories are published in our yearly anthologies, which you can buy either from Ad Hoc Fiction or from Amazon.(Links to Amazon for buying in your country on the Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop page).

They are all amazing stories of 300 words or under, on different subjects and in different styles.

Michael Fitzgerald from Bath was commended in June 2016 for his story, Faulkland Island Walk
Anita MacCallum from Bristol was commended in June 2016 with her story ‘Boobless’

These two are published in the first BFFA anthology. To Carry Her Home

Alison Powell from Somerset was commended in October 2020 for her story Our fathers, who we have strewn like seaweed behind us
Sam Payne from Devon won third prize in June 2020 with The Man You Didn’t Marry

These two are published in the 2020 anthology Restore to Factory Settings

Chloe Banks from Devon was commended in October, 2021 with her story If Everyone was a Superhero

This story is published in the 2021 anthology, Snow Crow

Kathryn Aldridge Morris from Bristol was commended in February 2022 with her story Rip Tide

Abigail Williams from Devon won third prize in June 2022 with her story Don’t mistake me for your crabapple

As well as winning third prize in 2020, Sam Payne from Devon,was also commended in February 2022 with her story
When a Youtube clip of Diego Goes Viral

These stories are published in the 2022 anthology, Dandelion Years

More third prize winners and commended writers coming in the next two weeks

Thanks to everyone who has entered the 27th Award so far. We look forward to reading all your stories and seeing who reaches the top five this time round!

Jude, May 19th, 2024

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Debra A Daniel another 3rd prize BFFA winner & highly commended writer

For inspiration for our 27th £1460 prize fund Award, closing Sunday June 2nd, in just over two weeks (flash fictions up to 300 words) I posted the three third prize winning stories and one commended story by Tim Craig earlier this week. This post features more inspirational stories by award winning poet and prose writer, Debra A Daniel ,who won third prize in February 2022. She has also been highly commended twice, once in June 2021 and once in October 2022.

In addition, Debra has twice been successful in our Novella in Flash Awards and her wonderful novellas-in-flash The Roster, highly commended in our NIF Award in 2019 and A Family of Great Falls, shortlisted in the NIF Award in 2021. (are published by Ad Hoc Fiction and available on Amazon or Ad Hoc Fiction. (A Family of Great Falls is sold out on Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop)

Read Debra’s third prize winning story in February 2022 Grand Canyon Official Form 477D,her highly commended story In The Darkest Dark She Takes My Sleep in October 2022 and her highly commended story Across The Street The Old Man Clears Out His House June 2021

For Novella in Flash Inspiration, read the interview with Debra about The Roster. Our next NIF Award will open for entries in July with a closing date of September 30th 2024. Results January 2025. Judged by Jude

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It’s 3 weeks before our 27th Award ends, on June 2nd!

Our June 2024 Award, judged by writer and editor of Best Small Fictions, Michelle Elvy, ends on Sunday June 2nd, So you have today and three more Sundays until the deadline at midnight BST. And thank you to everyone who has entered their up to 300 words stories so far. There’s a £1460 prize pot and an opportunity for all 50 longlisted to be published in our 2024 anthology.

The judges for our awards very often say that there is a hair’s breadth between the top five stories A while ago, I made a list of all the first and second prize winners from the award and arranged them according to themes. It is very interesting to read the stories and to see what people are writing about. For the final three weeks, I will list the third prize winners and commended since 2015.

Now You See Him by Tim Craig,

To begin here are three third prize wins by brilliant author, Tim Craig plus one by him which was highly commended
Tim’s first win was in June, 2018 with Northern Lights, also included in Bestmicrofictions in 2019, the second time was in February,2021 with ‘Now You See Him’, the title story of his collection, which was longlisted for the prestigious Edge Hill Prize, last year and shortlisted for the International Rubery Award and for the Saboteur Awards. Tim won third prize again in October 2021 with That’s all there is, there aint no more, which is the final story in his collection. In June 2019, Tim was highly commended by judge Christopher Allen with The Falling Silent, which I remember him reading at the 2019 Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol, just after the winners were announced. This story is also included in his collection Tim Craig June 2019 Commended If you haven’t got it, have a read of all four stories and support an author friend by buying the book or reviewing it on Amazon if you already have it. Thank you

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Six Novellas-in-flash from Two Different Publishers

The three novellas-in-flash from the 2024 BFFA Award will be published soon by our small press, Ad Hoc Fiction. You can look forward to excellent and very different takes on the form by winner, Sarah Freligh and runners-up Sudha Balagopal and Jo Withers. Find out a little more about them on John Brantingham’s judge’s report.Jude is judging the BFFA 2025 Novella in Flash Award. It will be open for entries in July 2024 and will close at the end of September 2024.

In the meantime,here are some links to and descriptions of other NIFS recently out from two different publishers, so you can see the variety within the form if you want to try your hand at writing one. You can also read the array of novellas in flash published in previous years by Ad Hoc Fiction Read in Full

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Novella in Flash Award 2025: Judge Jude Higgins

Jude Higgins is a writer, writing tutor and events organiser and has stories published or forthcoming in the New Flash Fiction Review, Flash Frontier, FlashBack Fiction, The Blue Fifth Review, The Nottingham Review,Pidgeon Holes, Moonpark Review, Splonk, Fictive Dream, the Fish Prize Anthology, National Flash Fiction Day anthologies and Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine among other places. She has won or been placed in many flash fiction contests and was shortlisted in the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize in 2017, 2018 and 2023. Her debutflash fiction pamphlet The Chemist’s House was published by V.Press in 2017. Her micro fictions have been included in the 2019 and 2020 lists of Best Flash Fictions of UK and Ireland and she has been nominated for Best Small Fictions 2020, Best Microfictions, 2023, a Pushcart Prize, 2020 and Best of the Net, 2022. Her story ‘Codes To Live By’ was selected for Best Micro Fictions and was longlisted for Wigleaf in 2022. Her story ‘Spinning’ is forthcoming in Best Microfiction 2024. She founded Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2015, directs Ad Hoc Fiction, the short-short fiction press, co-runs The Bath Short Story Award, founded and directs the Flash Fiction Festival, UK, organises reading events and teaches flash fiction sessions online.

The 2025 Award

The 2025 Novella in Flash Award, this year judged by me, Jude Higgins, will be officially open for entries at the end of July with the closing date at the end of September. If you are writing/or thinking of writing a novella-in-flash, here’s some information and FAQ’s. To help write and understand the form, we recommend reading Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: From blank page to finished manuscript Michael Loveday’s multi-award-winning guide on the subject. Read in Full

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