Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Save the Date! The 2021 FlashFlood submission window is open from 2 - 8 May....

 The next FlashFlood will take place National Flash-Fiction Day's 10th Anniversary, next mass-writing event taking place on 26 June 2021.

We will open for submissions from 00:01 BST on 2 May to 23:59 BST on 8 May. 

Full submission guidelines can be found here.


Tuesday, 26 January 2021

FlashFlood Contributes to Best Microfiction 2021!

Huge congratulations to Bill Merklee and Regan Puckett, our two 2020 FlashFlood nominees who have been chosen to appear in Best Microfiction 2021!  You can read their flashes here:

 The anthology will be available from the Best Microfiction website later this year.


Wednesday, 23 December 2020

FlashFlood's 2020 Award Nominees

We'd like to mark the end of 2020 with a little celebration of this year's FlashFlood writers.  Congratulations to the following writers who have been nominated for the following awards this year:

Pushcart Prize 2020

 

Best Microfictions 2020

 

Best of the Net 2020

 

Best Small Fictions 2020



Monday, 30 November 2020

Save the Date: Flash Flood 2021

The next FlashFlood will take place National Flash-Fiction Day's 10th Anniversary, next mass-writing event taking place on 26 June 2021.

We will open for submissions in Spring 2021. 

Full submission guidelines can be found here.


Sunday, 7 June 2020

GREEN STORIES: ‘Fruits of Labour’ by Holly Schofield

This piece is part of our Green Stories series, showcasing the winners of Green Stories' first flash fiction competition in which writers are challenged to envision what a sustainable future might look like. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series.

Highly Commended, 2020 Green Stories Competition

Fruits of Labour
by Holly Schofield


The customer pressed his thumb firmly on Hannah's tablet, adding a one-merit tip to the cost of the apples.

"Thanks." She slumped back on the stool as the man placed the fruit in his carry bag.

 "You look glum." He squinted at her from beneath his hemp straw hat.

 "Uh, I just had some bad news. Well, an absence of news, really." She poured herself some sun tea from the glass jar. Her bioplastic cup would be composted when it wore out, a pleasing example of the circularity of things. Hannah, on the other hand, was doomed to spend her life stuck in this market stall, selling fruits and vegetables she hadn't actually grown.

"Turned down from university?"

She glanced up, startled.

The man chuckled. "Just a guess. Notifications went out to the applicants last week, right?"

"Yeah, if you must know. My best friend got into upcycling at Harnley, my other friend got into oceanography, but I never heard back at all. They don't notify the unsuccessful applicants. I guess I shouldn't have aimed so high."

"High? You wanted to be a medical doctor? A scientist?"

Hannah mumbled her answer. "A farmer." All her friends thought she was dreaming to even try-thousands applied and only a handful ever got in. She'd poured her heart out in the entrance essay but, clearly, that hadn't been good enough.

The man laughed outright. "Every child's dream. If you can learn all the soil science, robotics, and genetics that's needed, you can certainly make a fine living from it."

 "I don't care about accumulating merits! I mean, I do want to stay on the plus side of my sustainscore but that's all." Hannah frowned, trying to get her phrasing right. It might not matter to this jerk but it mattered to her. "I want to make something from the soil, create good food for people, fill a market stall as splendidly this one."

 "Might as well get rich, too, Hannah."

"How do you know my name?"

 He winked at her. "I'm with Total Spray Corp. You agree to use KillMax on your crops for five years after you graduate, and I can pull some strings to get you into the Agriculture faculty."

 It wasn't even worth a moment's consideration. "No way! KillMax is a neonicotinoid!" She could never condone the slaughter of bees. She thumped down her cup. "No one would ever agree to that!"

The man grimaced. "You'd be surprised. That's why we screen all our applicants. Let me introduce myself for real this time. I'm Francis Malk, head of admissions for Harnley Agricultural College."

"I don't understand--"

 "Congratulations, Hannah, you passed our admission's test." He leaned over the heap of tomatoes and held out a hand. "Welcome to our program."

Stunned and ecstatic, Hannah shook his hand, then shook it twice more, knocking tomatoes everywhere.


GREEN STORIES: ‘Table for One’ by Kimberly Christensen

This piece is part of our Green Stories series, showcasing the winners of Green Stories' first flash fiction competition in which writers are challenged to envision what a sustainable future might look like. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series.

Highly Commended, 2020 Green Stories Competition

Table for One
by Kimberly Christensen


 


Leave it to Terry to be at the cutting-edge of the latest Millennial trend – killing the death industry. No corpse flambĂ© for him. Nope. He picked the newest in death technology and got himself composted, leaving me – a newly-minted widow – suddenly in possession of a cubic yard of dead-husband/dirt. Thanks, Terry.

As there was no place to plant Terry in our condo and I hated being there without him, I searched around for one of those new senior-focused pod-living high rises. A tiny apartment for myself, active neighbors nearby, and a memorial garden where I could plant Terry. It was the rational thing to do. Except that rational doesn’t exactly keep you company in the shared cafeteria. How can a room full of people be so damn lonely?

 Day One of pod-life I sat at my own lunch table, no one to talk to, imaging Terry making sarcastic remarks about the sea of gray hairs diligently stopping at the clean-up station to sort their lunch-time waste. There was a system to it. An overwhelming system. I considered hiding my lunch tray behind a potted plant and sneaking out the back. 

“You’re new here, aren’t you, love?” Damn. I’d been spotted. But at least the woman’s voice was kind. Warm even. “Have you figured out where everything goes?” Before I could answer, she took the tray, scraping most of the food waste into a bin labeled “compost” but depositing an apple core into a separate tub with a picture of a red earthworm taped to it.

She leaned toward me, conspiratorially. “Can I tell you a secret? The worms love apples, but watermelon is really what makes them happy.” 

 Happy? Worms?

 “I’ve never considered the emotional state of worms.” Great. The first words out of my mouth to this kind woman were sarcastic. I flashed her a weak smile.

 “Oh, you’re a funny one,” she chuckled. “The emotional state of worms depends entirely on food. Come on. You can see for yourself.”  

She exited the cafeteria through a side door into a shady and sparsely vegetated area. After hoisting the lid to a wooden bin, she dug around in the fruit scraps to retrieve a red worm. I hadn’t touched a worm since I was a kid, but I thrust my palm out so that she could tip the worm into it. It flopped and wiggled, moist on my dry palm. I was going to put it back in the bin, but then I had an idea.

 “Would it be OK?” I jerked my chin toward the memorial garden.

 “Absolutely.”  

Terry’s tree was so newly planted that the mulch around its base still formed a perfect ring. I knelt, lifting the worm to eye level. “Tell Terry I miss him.” I set it on the mulch, where it poked around until it found a tunnel into which it disappeared segment by segment.

The woman waited at the bin for me. “See you tomorrow?” she asked.

I nodded. “I’ll bring the watermelon.”

GREEN STORIES: ‘Notice of Violation’ by Summer G. Baker

This piece is part of our Green Stories series, showcasing the winners of Green Stories' first flash fiction competition in which writers are challenged to envision what a sustainable future might look like. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series.

Highly Commended, 2020 Green Stories Competition

Notice of Violation
by Summer G. Baker


The  nice  thing about  bureaucracy  was  how long it took  city  governments  to do something about  anything they  didn't  like. Like following through on warnings  to tear up front  yard  vegetable  gardens. Or get rid of farm animals living in backyards. Or pull down all those  wires  attached  to the  power lines. Or dismantle that miniature  solar plant. Or shoo off all those birds.

Failure  to  comply with  this notice  of violation... blah  .

Martha  held  a  stack  of  these  warnings  in  a  fist propped  up on one  ample hip, standing at the  mouth  of  her neighborhood  before  a  handful  of  parked  police  cars  and  one  city representative. A  suit-clad  white  man with  a  head  shaved  clean and  a  dimple in his  chin. Jared  Miller, she  knew, because  his  name  appeared  at  the  bottom of most of  those notices. And  also on the  city's website  under the  listing for City  Manager.

Through a  megaphone,  City  Manager Jared  Miller called  out, "Everyone  in this neighborhood  must  vacate  their homes  or face  several  fines  as  well  as  severance  of  gas, water, and  power  sources. As  none  of  you..."  his  voice  trailed  a  little  in bafflement, "have paid  for any  of  these  utilities  in some  time."  He lowered  the  megaphone.

 At  Martha's  back, a  screen of  greenery  shielded  the  neighborhood from the  outside, thick trees  blocking view  of  the  haven within. Crops, animals,  plant  and  solar power, and  rising above  it  all, a  small, handmade water tower. People  living a  sustainable  life. The  tower itself  was  painted  blue  with  the  words Good  Vibes in enormous  white  letters. Though Martha  didn't  always  understand  the  behavior of  the  younger folks,  she  knew they  had  the  spirit. Her neighbors. Her  dream. This  was  a  small  start, but  still something.

As  evening  set  in, house  lights  began to flicker  on. But  only  the  necessary  ones.

 "We all  own our properties,"  Martha  called  back, voice  loud  enough  without  a microphone. She  flapped  a  hand  at  the  City  Manager. "And  y'all  don't  maintain our roads  worth  a  damn. So go right  ahead!"

Miller nodded  at  a  nearby  cop, who mumbled  something into his  shoulder mic. In  a moment, a  loud  buzz  echoed  through the  still  evening as  some  tech  somewhere  cut power to twenty two blocks of  land  in the  poorest district  of  the  city.

Everyone  kept  looking around, waiting for darkness  to descend,  yet  the  lights  stayed  on.

Martha raised her eyebrows and couldn't help the shit-eating grin as she shrugged at the City Manager. "Guess we don't need your infrastructure no more." She turned around and headed for home.

 "Hey... you can't..." Miller blustered. He continued in a shout, "I'll bring a warrant for your arrest!”

 Before disappearing behind the trees, Martha waved an unfriendly wave at him. "Mm hmm... and bring some of those Notices of Violation with you. We can always use the recycling."


Save the Date! The 2021 FlashFlood submission window is open from 2 - 8 May....

 The next FlashFlood will take place National Flash-Fiction Day 's 10th Anniversary, next mass-writing event taking place on 26 June 202...