Flash 500 quarterly competition. Of course I would've loved to have won a prize, but making the shortlist is genuinely better than I ever expected.
When I first heard of Flash 500 I was a bit dismissive. A competition that runs every quarter I assumed would pull in only a few entries, lacking the sense of occasion annual competitions have about them. How wrong I was. Flash 500 regularly attracts hundreds of entries and, having read some of the past winners, the standard is high. I went from being sniffy about it, to being uncertain whether there was any point entering, I was so sure my inexpert flash fiction could never be noticed in that sort of company!
The piece I wrote was an experiment. I wanted to play around with writing an entire story in the form of a list - not an original idea, but one I'd never tried before. It was also an experiment in trying to write short fiction at the same time as being immersed in novel-writing. My main aim was to make the longlist of about 50 entries, so I was pleased to find out that I had done so. I was even more pleased to find I'd made the shortlist of about 25 entries a week later. It means I might be optimistic and give the story a run-out in another competition some other time.
The winning entry by Karen Jones is wonderful. At less than 500 words long it only takes a couple of minutes to read, so if you've got a moment pop by and read it. If you like it, why not tell her so on Twitter?