13 May, 2013

Flash 500

I am very pleased to be able to tell you that my story 21 Reasons Daddy's Not Coming Back (and one why he mght) was shortlisted in the 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?


  1. Congratulations on the shortlisting! I'm sure you'll get a prize there before long.

    I like Flash 500, although it's a tricky one to target because there's a different judge each time and the stories that end up winning vary hugely. Most of the time they're pretty good, although there have been occasions where I've really liked the story that came second, but not seen any appeal in the ones that won or came third.

    The key, I guess, is to keep submitting and trying different approaches. It's a good competition to aim for.

    1. Thank-you, though I'm not sure about that! I tend to use flash fiction as a fun thing to do between novel drafts or as an experiment, as in this case. Occasionally I win a small competition here or there, butI don't know that I'll ever be very good at it. It's a lot of fun though :)

  2. Well done Chloe - I think you should post your entry on here so we can see it!

    And the winner is very good, but I can't tell her so because I steadfastly refuse to become a Twit!

    1. Thank-you :) I think I won't just because I might try to get it published. But if that fails, I'll post it. E-mails on request!

      Yeah, I held out a long time, until I started getting interest from agents and found out how much this sort of social media interaction is expected now when approaching publishers! I didn't like it for the first few months, but I'm warming to it now.


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