I don’t mean climate-wise. It feels okay for me write ‘cool’. If I attempt to say ‘cool’ out loud, I sound like a pigeon, apparently. The word just doesn’t sound right coming out of my mouth. It’s an age thing.
Anyway, the cool February events: Three of my tiny flash fictions have been published on Great Jones Street, the short story app which contains around 1000 stories to read on the move, on mobile devices. And I got money and a free tee-shirt too. Search my name to find my fictions.
I won the Retreat West yearly flash fiction contest judged by David Gaffney with my flash fiction ‘At the Hospital’. I wrote the first draft of this in one of the brilliant flash fiction online weekends with Kathy Fish. Winning first prize was a huge and wonderful surprise. I thought I had included a big spelling typo in this story. But apparently not. A different version will be published in my forthcoming pamphlet from V Press. David made some very nice comments
“At The Hospital is an intimate and moving encounter between a young girl and her dying grandparent, and the way it focusses on the minutiae of the scene – the grape she is peeling for her granddad, the colour of his skin, the bird outside the window opening and closing its beak – create a emotionally powerful vignette. ‘The hairs on his chest are still black and wiry,’ she says and ‘a pulse ticks in his throat. I don’t like the way the grape trembles in my fingers. ‘ Its hard to end a scene like this but the author does it brilliantly with the stunning last line ‘I still don’t know how to put on the brakes.'”
The third piece of big news this month was the launch Bath Flash Anthology at the beginning of this week. Ad Hoc Fiction, designed the cover, and laid it out beautifully. It’s the first book from their new press. People (and me) love the way it looks and reads. I am so pleased. 145 page-long stories from authors in eleven different countries from the first four rounds of the Bath Flash Fiction Award Do buy it, because it contains such a wide variety of flash fiction.
Finally, with the help of Festival Curator, Meg Pokrass and the festival team, Diane Simmons, Michael Loveday, Tino Prinzi, Ken Elkes and Linda Selick-York, I have organised the first UK festival entirely devoted to flash fiction, taking place at the New Oriel Hall in Bath on 24th and 25th June, the same weekend as National Flash Fiction Day on the Saturday.
Every one of the UK’s finest Flash Fiction Practitioners said ‘yes’ when we asked them if they would like to come and lead workshops or do talks. Also, it was a major achievement on my part to obtain Arts Council Funding to cover costs for the workshop leaders and more. Pats self on back for that. It’s going to be fabulous. We hope anyone who wants to find out more about flash fiction or extend their skills will come and get addicted to the creative potential of flash fiction. It’s now open for booking. Do come. Look at the action-packed programme on flashfictionfestival.com and you won’t want to miss it.