Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Image from Making Space exhibition, inspired by 'The Egg Pyramid'
It's here! National Flash Fiction Day (NFFD) - the brainchild of UK writer and super-organiser Calum Kerr. It will be a busy and fun day, that's for sure.

There are tons of events happening including readings and workshops. This is mostly a UK based event but there's a reading tonight in Dublin at the Big Smoke Writing Factory (inter)national flash fiction event in the Back Loft, La Catedral Studios, 7-11 Augustine Street from 7-9pm.

There are also free e-books to download if you go here. (At the moment* these seem to be only available at, which means Irish downloaders are out of luck as we have to download from I have asked if they will be available on and will update with the answer later on.) *UPDATE: Jawbreakers, the NFFD anthology, is now free on Some of the others are too but you will have to check them individually.

FlashFlood is the pop-up flash journal for the day and my story '12th July1691' will be live there at 4pm BST today. Stories are being added every few minutes so you can be entertained all day long.

To celebrate the day, I also have a story 'The Egg Pyramid' on Thresholds along with short shorts from Nik Perring, Calum Kerr, Tania Hershman, Vanessa Gebbie, Valerie O'Riordan and David Gaffney.

The NFFD Write-In will take place between 11.00-15.00 BST. They will be posting prompts from 11am. The idea is to get as many stories written in that time, by as many people as possible, and posted to the Write-In blog. Anyone can take part - I hope to. UPDATE: Here's the story I wrote from three prompts, 'The Smell of Salt-sea Rime'.

Also on the Thresholds site, Steve Wasserman has an excellently questioning article about flash fiction here. His bugbears have crossed my mind too. ("Powerful opening. But I think you may have forgotten to include the rest of the story.") There are plent of rubbishy flash stories written and published, just as there are plenty of rubbishy novels, poems and short stories. But there are plenty of excellent ones too.

Lydia Davis divided opinion when she read at Cúirt recently. One friend reckoned there was no artistic merit to much of her work. I liked a lot of what she read (I laughed a lot during her reading) and I admired her ability to turn everything to art. I did feel that some of what she calls 'short short stories' (she dislikes the term 'flash') were really aphorisms. I prefer to call them 'short shorts' too but 'flash' is being embraced more and more as the generic name so it's hard not to use it.

A Very Famous Writer said to me recently 'You are not going to become a better writer by writing short shorts.' I disagree. Writing flash/short shorts makes the writer attentive to language and they hone concision. What can be bad about that?

Have a great day!


Rachel Fenton said...

Disappointed the write in is at an impossible to join in time - will be sending out the escalator to dreamland by then - but really glad it's going ahead and loads of people I enjoy reading are taking part. Great work, Calum!


Poor Kiwi friend :(
Maybe some of the prompts will work for you tomorrow!
Nite nite.

Rachel Fenton said...