The Best British Irish Flash Fiction Awards (BIFFY50) is a celebration of the brilliant writing being written and published by citizens of and those resident within the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Our four editors, Emily Devane, Christopher M Drew, Damhnait Monaghan, and Karen Jones will be reading throughout the year and selecting the best fifty flash fiction published online in the period from 1st August 2019 to 30th July 2020. Each editor will be taking the lead for a three month period.
1st August 2019: Reading begins
3rd – 15th February: Nomination period
25th – 31st May: Nomination Period
31st July 2020: Reading ends
1st September: BIFFY50 list published
August-October: Emily Devane
November – January: Damhnait Monaghan
February – April: Christopher M Drew
May – July: Karen Jones
*Dates may be subject to change.
Meet the Editors
Emily Devane, a teacher and writer, lives in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. Her stories have been published widely, most recently in Ellipsis and The National Flash Fiction Day Anthology. Emily won the Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2017 and was a Best Small Fictions Finalist. A former Word Factory apprentice, she last year won a Northern Writers’ Award for her short story collection-in-progress. Emily is on the editorial team for historical flash fiction literary magazine FlashBack Fiction.
I’m excited to find diverse stories that represent the very best of flash fiction. Pinning down what I’m looking for is no easy task because my favourite flashes are those that cannot be categorised. I love the versatility of flash fiction and admire stories that play with form in emotionally resonant ways, writing that brims with energy and exuberance, stories that make me laugh out loud or sit open-mouthed, as if I’ve been hit over the head. But equally, I’m an advocate of the quiet story: those subtle, skilfully-told pieces that take some excavating but settle deep, revealing hidden layers with each re-read.
Damhnait Monaghan was born and grew up in Canada but now lives in the UK. Her flash fiction is widely published and anthologised and has won and placed in various competitions. Her mosaic flash The Neverlands, published by Jellyfish Review, was selected for Best British & Irish Fiction 2018-19. The eponymous novella in flash was published by V Press in 2019. Damhnait is also an editor for FlashBack Fiction and is on Twitter @Downith.
What I’m looking for: There are stories from years ago lodged in my heart; others from yesterday I barely recall. Those with staying power make me feel something, be it anger, sorrow, joy, fear, nostalgia. Stories that feel personal but have something much bigger to say. An unforgettable voice, playful or striking language or imagery. Give me a cracking title and a final sentence that lingers. Make me laugh; writing funny is hard, which is kind of sad, but when a writer pulls it off, it’s magic.
Christopher M Drew is a writer from the UK. His work has appeared online in places such as SmokeLong Quarterly, Literary Orphans, Third Point Press, MoonPark Review, New Flash Fiction Review, Ellipsis Zine, and others. He has won Second Prize in both the Bath Flash Fiction and Reflex Fiction competitions, and has a short story chapbook, Remnants, published by TSS Publishing. His story, Alligator, was selected for Best British & Irish Flash Fiction 2018-19. You can connect with Chris on Twitter @cmdrew81, or through his website cmdrew81.wordpress.com
We all have our favourite flashes. Those that we bookmark, read and re-read, dissect, admire, and emulate. What is it about this particular piece, this specific arrangement of words, that sings to us? For me, a title that expands the story. Attention to detail on the sentence level. Carefully chosen words that generate strong images. Images that sharpen tone. Tone that sets mood. And mood that evokes emotion. This last point is certainly not least. Inviting the reader to feel something is key, and is what lingers long after the words have been forgotten.
Karen Jones is a prose writer from Glasgow with a preference for flash and short fiction. She is addicted to writing competitions and is a perennial long/short-lister – Commonwealth Short Story Competition, Bath Flash Fiction, Bath Short Story, To Hull and Back, TSS 400, HISSAC– though she has reached the prize-winning stage with Mslexia, Flash 500, Words With Jam, Ink Tears and Ad Hoc Fiction. Her work is published in numerous ezines, magazines and anthologies. Her story Small Mercies was nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize and is included in Best Small Fictions 2019 as well as the last BIFFY50 list.
What I’ll be looking for: I love stories that make me feel something – make me cry, make me laugh, make me angry, make me terrified – just some emotional impact. I’m not mad keen on poetry masquerading as flash, though I still love beautiful language. I love humour – not punchline humour – darker humour. If a writer can make me laugh and cry in one flash, that’s wonderful. Oh, and a beginning, middle and end is always nice. Mainly I’ll be looking for stories that make me stop and think and sigh and say, “Man, I wish I’d written that.”