So after watching this year’s entrants read their work alongside judges Calum Kerr and Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn I felt inspired enough to try my hand at a ‘flash-blog’ as it were. So here goes.
Dramatic black walls; my first impression of the downstairs room in the Worcester Arts Workshop, as we enter for an afternoon of flash fiction! The bright lights beam down on us yet the room keeps an oddly cosy air, with shabby sofas lining the walls and once again nearly every seat is taken. The audience filled the space. Just like last night, the standard of work is impeccably high as we listen to 21 readers (or ‘flashers’ as we like to call them) which had been narrowed down from an original 99! Humorous stories were plentiful, with tales of tax returns finding you the remotest of locations, the woes of being a young boy whose friends dare you to eat worms, and hiding bodies in your cupboard to be used later for fertilising your vegetables.
With entrants from all over the world including places such as Dubai, Canada and Switzerland it’s safe to say that competition was tough and the judges had a hard time choosing the finalists, let alone the winners.
However they did manage to come to a decision and I can safely say a big well done to Alice Oven, Diane Simmons and Fern Bryant for coming 3rd, 2nd and 1st respectively.
The winning piece by Bryant was entitled ‘The Quiet Life’ and depicted a woman whose life seems to be exactly this, but appearances can definitely be deceiving as is revealed in this dramatic yet amusing bit of writing.
To finish off, a few words from the ‘King of Flash Fiction’ Calum Kerr , the atmosphere so cheerful that he does some extra readings as the audience clamour for more, and from writer Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn as well as Calum’s wife, Kath Kerr who took up the challenge this year of writing a flash a day. Seems it is contagious as audience members scribble down their inspiration on tiny cards; these can be purchased for £1 and entered into the Worcester Literary Festival prize draw at any time.
I also would like to mention Barney Rainbow who just turned 12 yesterday, and who raised £60 for charity writing a piece of flash fiction every day for a week!
He set the standard of the evening very high with his charming tale of a pair of shoes which get up to mischief when their owner isn’t looking. Well done Barney for such a wonderful achievement!
Article by Kate Lakie