Southam Book Festival - Winner
100 Word Flash Fiction Competition
I was delighted to be awarded First Place in the Southam Book Festival 100 Word Flash Fiction Competition for my story, Some Moons.
A comment from the judges
'These top three were clear winners and really stood out.'
Thanks to the organisers and judges for their time and for reading the 261 (!) entries.
‘What on earth are you wearing?’
Penny sat at the dressing table, adjusting the enormous lilac pussycat bow. She didn’t answer Jeffrey’s question.
To read more of Penny's transformative story, click the wonderfully apt image which Funny Pearls provided.
Huge thanks to Funny Pearls for publishing my story. I was so delighted to have this submission accepted.
Funny Pearls is a satirical journal dedicated to showcasing humour by women. Based in London, their readership is increasingly global.
I can hear the gas escaping. The sulphurous smell is starting to fill my nostrils.
It was an honour to read this to a forum of fellow writers.
My first reading! I received some wonderful comments. There's are just a few:
'A lovely piece. I loved the style'
'Great job. Really enjoyed the characters' relationship, very realistic.'
'Wonderful, beautifully written.'
Click the image to read the full story.
I was delighted to win the nano-fiction prize for my 2 little stories.
Thanks to The Barrister in Wonderland Bookshop for the generous prizes.
The Scarlet Wanderer
"How much did that set you back?" Jake's worried.
"Never you mind. I can afford it."
Jake's unconvinced. "What did you say you'd called it?"
"The Scarlet Wanderer."
"Of course!" Jake shakes his head.
"Right, I'm off. No idea when I'll be back."
"Don't forget your helmet, Gran."
Tea for Two
Joan sits, all bones, pink cashmere and immaculately coiffed platinum.
"Anniversary tea for 2, madam?"
"Yes. Tom's not coming. On account of being dead."
Joan picks up a scone. "Doesn't matter. I ate his share every year anyway. He always said I had hollow legs."
Fire & Ice Sol 5/19 Honourable Mention
"Tears flowed over her rose-petal cheeks."
Huge thanks to the judges for their time and effort and for their lovely comments:
TS: The fully-budded hothouse roses that often are the primary scent in a funeral parlor contrasted sharply with the simple blue cornflower, peeping from the buttonhole of Ted’s suit, and in that contrast is imbued a storm of feeling about the whole conflict on which the story is based: “Dad and Sal had won.”
EM: What a powerful opening line – it just captured me and wouldn’t let go. Such wonderful imagery doesn’t come along every day.
Click the image to read the story.
Longlisted in the Retreat West Monthly MicroFiction Competition.
Every night, Mother would tuck him into bed and talk to him about the beauty of the night, about the fear being inside him, about how it was just the two of them now and she would always protect him. She would talk until he drifted off.
Every morning, when he got into the Tube cab, he’d imagine her voice in the darkness, pull the lever and the train would edge into the tunnel.
Last night, Mother died. Half way into the tunnel, he couldn’t hear her voice any more. He could only see his father’s face rushing towards him.
It’s just another day. Nothing remarkable. The Tube is packed. Bodies crammed up next to each other. Glorious anonymity. Until someone breaks ranks, does something that’s outside of the norm.
Click the image to read the full story
Longlisted in the Retreat West Monthly MicroFiction Competition. May 2020.
Mary buried her nose in the once-cream sweater. She could still smell him, if she tried very hard. The number of times she’d had to rescue that sweater from the wash and once, of all things, from the charity bag. I ask you!
Of course, Elaine always thought she knew best. “What do you always have to hang onto things for, Mum? Clothes you’ll never wear again and bits of old paper,” she said, shoving things into a bin liner.
“I’ll have me key back, thank you.”
The door slammed. Mary stuck the Knock and Wait sign in the window.
“How are you?”
I’m aching all over but you don’t want to hear that. So, I say, “I’m fine. How are you?”
You don’t really want to know how I am and I understand that.
Click the image for the full story
National Flash Fiction Day 2020
6th June 2020
I was delighted to have two of my pieces published on The Write In.
Playing by the Rules
Prompt #11 - A story in the style of game instructions.
1. Spend at least 3 evenings a week with your friends.
2. Fill your days off with individual chores.
3. Go out to dinner with your partner.
4. Argue over your partner’s choice of restaurant.
5. Return home in silence.
6. Sleep in spare bedroom.
7. Continue silence for days/weeks.
8. Move into spare bedroom.
9. Search internet for studio flats.
10. Book short break for yourself and your partner.
11. Argue over your choice of destination.
12. Return early from short break.
13. View studio flats.
14. Sign contract.
15. Hire storage facility.
16. Pack belongings.
17. Ignore any/all attempts to change your mind.
18. Leave house.
19. Post key through letterbox.
20. Leave your baggage behind.
Top Down Structure
Prompt #7 - Write 5 titles, at least 11 words long each one, and choose one to write a story, up to 300 words.
It was the first day of the summer term. “We’ve got a new car. You know that the registration changes in March now? So it’s brand new.” Joel was one of those kids from the cul-de-sac, where everyone had a front drive and double glazing. The three of us looked at him. We didn’t say a word.
We were none of us kids who could brag about new cars. We’d only got one car between three families up our end of the street. We were lucky, though, because our Mums and Dads were pals, so we kind of shared the car. Although, officially, Evanses owned it, our Dad paid the insurance and Ashley’s Mom paid the tax and petrol.
We shared meal times, too. It was usually something like fish finger and chips or sausage and chips. Basically, anything and chips. We’d eat in the back kitchen, all six of us kids. Sometimes the grown ups would be in the front room. Sometimes they’d be in one of the gardens. Most of the time they were all together. Just occasionally, a couple of them were missing. We never took much notice.
Our Mum put the plates down on the grubby cloth. It was supposed to be wipe clean but we never bothered with that. “Anything interesting back at school?” she asked us.
“Not really. Jerky Joel’s got a new car.”
We all laughed. Our Mum had the worst potty mouth. That’s where we got it from in the first place.
“Where are Ashley and Stephen?” Mum didn’t like food going to waste.
“Think they’re upstairs, playing Mummies and Daddies, like Ashley’s Mum and Stephen’s Dad.”
We wanted to be the same as our parents. That’s all we knew.