Sunday 21 April 2024

FlashFlood is OPEN for submissions until 27 April 2024!

FlashFlood is OPEN for submissions from 12:01 a.m. BST on Sunday, 21 April to 23:59 BST on Saturday, 27 April 2024.

You can read our submission guidelines here, and read about this year's editors here.

We're looking for submissions of up to 300 words on any theme.  (Shorter pieces are very welcome; there is no minimum word count.)  We are happy to read up to three pieces per author per year.

We are happy to consider previously published work as long as it was published before 2022, you give us full publication details, and you retain rights to republish.   We consider all previously unpublished pieces for award nominations; we nominate for Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction and Best of the Net.

Please note that we do not accept AI generated work at this time.  Whilst we appreciate that AI can come up with some very interesting things, we have a very human team of editors volunteering their precious and limited time.  We simply don't have the resources to deal with a deluge of AI generated work.  Please be kind to our editors by only submitting work that you yourself have written.

Friday 2 February 2024

Congratulations to our 2023 Best Small Fictions Nominees!

We are delighted to nominate the following 2023 FlashFlood stories to the Best Small Fictions Anthology:

Congratulations to our nominated authors, and best of luck!

Congratulations to our 2023 Best Microfictions Nominees!


We are delighted to nominate the following 2023 FlashFlood stories to the Best Microfictions Anthology:

Congratulations to our nominated authors!

Friday 1 December 2023

Congratulations to our 2023 Pushcart Prize Nominees!

We are delighted to nominate the following FlashFlood stories to the 2023 Pushcart Prize:

Congratulations to our nominated authors!

Sunday 26 November 2023

Wandsworth Carers Series 2023: 'What do I tell the grand kids?' by Layide

This piece is part of our 2023 Community Writing Series showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group, in observance of Carers Rights Day 2023. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.


What do I tell the grand kids?
by Layide

Mum’s care needs have now changed.  She no longer communicates with words, but with screaming and shouting like Chewbacca from Star Wars!  The screeching is soul piercing, sorrowful and painful.  The Mother tongue (Yoruba language) is more dominant than the English language once fluently spoken . A dark cloud sits over her head, with occasional glimpses of sunshine bursting through the clouds. 

Mum spends all day lying vertically in bed, just waiting like a mascot for some sort of movement or interactions. As you enter her room her eyes gaze at you for instructions for you to either tell her to lift her legs or arms, or to sit up. She waits either for the family, or from the carers to dart in and out of her room doing the same daily routine.  The carers both caring and motherly women, greet mum with “Hello Aunty! how are you doing today?”  Mum smiles, as she recognises their familiar faces, and instantly knows the usual routine.  Anything out of the ordinary can set her back, and needs to be reset like a computer device being put back to factory settings.

The colourful box entertains her all day.  It watches her more than she watches it.  Whenever I phone  and ask her what is she watching, she always says BBC 2.  I know it’s not always BBC 2, as she likes the Food network channel and the Film channel too.  Mum was always one to watch Colombo & Ms Marple.  She was her own Detective, as she always solved the crime before anyone else!  She would watch the Drama and interact by talking and shouting “He’s behind you! “ Or she would guess who the murderer was before anyone else would.  It was a delight to watch mum in her element on a Saturday night watching TV.

I look into mums’ eyes looking straight back at me.  Innocent eyes, memories lost. Whenever she has the need to cry out, she shouts “my mummy oh!” followed by sorrowful cries, sometimes accompanied by nervous laughter just like a little child.  I offer her food or water, then she stops the cries and finds some sort of comfort in the feeding of food or drink.  I extend my hand to hold hers, then stroke her arm.  Simple touching connects and grounds her, she feels safe and secure.  She smiles a very warm sweet smile, then asks a random question.  There are times when she remembers things that have happened a long time ago, or asks me about a particular person that even I cannot remember.  She is still here; she is still present.  If only that were 100% true, and this ghastly disease was not true.

Prayer and faith are what keeps me going strong.  She spent most years in church and praying for other people.  Anytime I had a problem she would say pray about it, there is nothing too difficult for God.  She knew scripture by heart; she would run bible study groups and Caring hearts home groups as a leader.  She was well known and respected in the church.  Now it’s our turn to lift her up to God for healing and encouragement.  

Mum looks very well, her skin unblemished, unwrinkled for 82 years is not bad at all.  The odd grey hair bursting through the dyed black hair reminds you of her age.  Mum never liked the fact that she was growing old.  She would always ask me to pluck out the grey hairs when they made their first appearance.  It felt like effort trying to pluck the slippery grey hairs from her scalp.  Mum made sure I caught all of them before I could leave her presence.  She would keep on checking her head at all angles in the mirror.  Only problem was the more you plucked them the more they seemed to appear!  In the end I had to keep her happy by dying it black which lasted a long time.

Mum was always chatting, laughing, bubbly and very popular at work and in church.  Now, she rarely speaks, only talks when prompted with a few words or grunts.

Mum where have you gone, where are you hiding, what has happened? Are you scared? Are you worried? Are you ok?  

I could hear the grand kids asking, as they play around her.  Every now and then they ask Grandma “are you ok?”

What do I tell the grand kids?

She smiles back at them with that Grandma smile, then closes her eyes to catch a moments sleep.  The grand kids vary in age.  The oldest one remembers grandma’s booming African voice and laughter.  Always shouting and being heard above all voices, cracking jokes as she dominated her space.  The middle children remember her visiting them and going out to various functions where grandma was always in attendance too.  The youngest child only sees grandma at home either in her chair or in her bed.

I now realise there is so much I can tell the grand kids. Grandma has the greatest memory since she has lived long. It’s all locked into her mind and comes out every now and then when she wants to let it out.


Wandsworth Carers Series 2023: Extract by Nicola

This piece is part of our 2023 Community Flash Series showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group, in observance of Carers Rights Day 2023. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.


by Nicola

Days had melted into weeks and Fae had gotten considerably better with the handle of her powers. The anxiety she experienced still crept in from the shadows from time to time but the whispers of doubts were slowly getting quieter. Combat training had been somewhat smooth for her even with a few hiccups Fae was able to pick herself up and try again. Step by step, things began to look up and Fae took it in her stride. Through those same weeks, Fae was comforted with words of courage from Lura when they would meet. It had a profound affect that lingered within her, as if it had caused an internal shift. Fae hoped that whatever was to come would not turn out bad like it had done the last time.


There had been a downpour that night as the girls and their parents took refuge in the nearby woodlands. The earthy smell swayed through the trees as the wind blew the fallen leaves from where they had rested. Small puddles of mud were trodden through as the group made their way past, and the animals of the woods scurried through the trees, jumping from branch to branch causing a ruckus for all to hear. The forest looked refreshed after the rainstorm and all the group could hear were the sounds of the forest.

“We should probably try and set up camp here and rest for a while. Who knows when we’ll next get a break?” Suggested Anthony. The batch started to relax and unload, letting out a chorus of sighs. They had been on constant alert ever since the loss of Althea’s mother, the brutal attack that left her half an orphan and everyone was on edge. Althea’s heart was breaking, and she did not have the time to mourn properly. Hearing something in the distance, Richard absorbed his surroundings and heard roars coming towards them from a distance.

“Dad, what’s going on?” Questioned Althea. She clung to her father in hopes of relief but to no availas her heart continued to race.

“I think I can hear the Algonites. They’re marching towards us, we need to leave, now!” The crew hastily got their baggage together making sure not to leave anything behind, as any trace would give them away. Out of nowhere an explosion erupted a few feet from them, following with a collection of screams.

“We’re too late.” Said Hannah nervously. In the distance a sapphire sea of foul-smelling creatures paced evenly towards them.

“Stop where you are! You are outnumbered and outmatched.” Growled an invader. It scanned the group from left to right as it took a few steps closer to take in their appearances.

“He’s looking for the Elementals.” Whispered Jade to Richard. With his enhanced hearing, he was sure to have heard her message.

“On your knees you insignificant creatures, you are in the presence of the Dark Fleet, you are now our prisoners.” The group started to bend their knees into submission, but Fae took a step forward in defiance and squinted.

“Not today.” Her hands ignited in fury and threw two fireballs which collided with a ball of electric. Fae shot a beam of Fire out both hands and burnt three of the blue beings, smirking at their part melted forms. Another globe of flames appeared in her palm, burning fiercely with her raged emotion, ready to launch. Just before she could throw the fierce flames, her father grabbed her out harm’s way whileburning himself in the process. Daryl cradled his forearm as he grunted in pain, trying his hardest to rock the pain away.

“Dad, I’m so sorry.” Apologised Fae. She crouched down to support her father’s arm to see the full damage, while the others covered them. It had melted through layers of skin and blood flowed from the wound profusely.

“You dare defy us!” Raged the invader. With a roar, the invaders charged their claws and launched a cluster of electricity in their direction. Eva-Rosebolted next to Fae and blocked them from danger with a boulder. The huge lump of stone crumbled on impact and showered dust fragments between thefighting foes.

“Quick Simon, take the girls out of here. They can’t be taken, or we’re all doomed.” Ordered Joy. Althea blew a gust of wind throwing a few invaders back as a cover for her and the girls to reach Simon. Teleporting was a tricky one. The more people he had to move with, the more difficult it was. Richard and Daryl charged towards the enemy, firing lasers from his gun. Hoping to bide time for them to escape. Slashing and shooting their way through the mass they took down a few more blues monsters. Fae, Eva-Rose and Willow placed their hands-on Simon and Joy, and Jade ran to join them.

“Dad no. Come back please!” Screamed Althea, tears falling from her watery eyes. Her yelp of sorrow caught her father off guard. The closest Algonite threw waves of electricity, shocking him to the floor where he trembled in discomfort and laid motionless as his heart came to a stop.

“Father!” Exclaimed Fae.

“Go!” Cried Daryl. In a swift motion the group escaped, leaving behind a teardrop from Althea’sand Fae’s anguish.


That was the last time they saw them. 

Wandsworth Carers Series 2023: 'My Childhood Memory' by Bernadette

This piece is part of our 2023 Community Writing Series showcasing new writing by the Wandsworth Carers Centre Writers Group, in observance of Carers Rights Day 2023. You can read more about the background to this project in our introduction to this series, find out more about Wandsworth Carers Centre on their website, and find them on Twitter @CarerWandeworth.


My Childhood Memory
by Bernadette


I remember my first week at my Catholic Boarding High School...

How the fear of leaving my parents, my siblings and my home built up as my drop-off day fastly approached, never had such fear in my ten years of life...

I remember how I was made to cut off my beautiful long hair...

How I watched with ignorance as the hair stylist repeatedly drove her sheers through my head, plucking off my God-given gift...

I remember when the day finally came...

How my heart overweighed my being as we drove pass the extensively lengthy school walls leading to the entrance gates...

I remember having the feeling of being sold away by my parents as they handed me over to the Reverend Sister and drove away...

How my fearful thought of migrating from free to lost became more real...

Being put in their care meant growing up fast, enduring torture, and discovering yourself in hardship...

I remember how the seniors bullied me as a junior...

How they ignored my plea for empathy and allergies from manually cutting wet grass...

I remember how that first week I got home-sick and wrote a letter to my father, asking him to come rescue me and take me home...

How my teared baggy eyes gave me clear insight and acceptance that my father was not going to answer my cry for help...

I remember many more stories of my childhood after that first week at my Catholic Boarding High School...  

How I had to protect my sisters when they were brought in later years to join me in the boarding school life...

I remember that hot sunny afternoon when my mother came to the school gates with tears, feeling empty and lost, to inform my sister and I of how she was forced out of our home and her marriage by my father's family...

How I had to grow up quickly again as a child to care for my mother and my siblings, always sharing my school provisions and teaching my siblings to do the same...

Many stories but a few shared...

Now I've had over forty years of life, I see that my father's rejection to my cry for help was his gift of tough love, to make me stronger to survive the remaining years at the boarding school...

Now I see clearly, that my father's actions helped build my independence, taught me lessons of life and how to face its challenges...

Many years I forgave my father and mother, as is the habit of love to keep conquering many actions...

Through life's waves, I am thankful for courage...

FlashFlood is OPEN for submissions until 27 April 2024!

FlashFlood is OPEN for submissions from 12:01 a.m. BST on Sunday, 21 April to 23:59 BST on Saturday, 27 April 2024. You can read our submi...