Best British and Irish Flash Fiction 2020 – 2021

After the success of the BIFFY50 2018-2019 Awards and the BIFFY50 2019-2020, TSS is delighted to be running the project for another year.

About BIFFY50

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 five editors will be reading throughout the year and selecting the best fifty flash fiction published online in the period from 1st August 2020 to 30th July 2021.

Key Dates

Editors from online journals will be able to submit up to three Flash Fiction in February 2021 and a further three Flash in July 2021.

Editors will be emailed with a link to our submission form and they’ll also be able to access it via the site.

Our Editors

Farhana Khalique

Farhana-KhaliqueFarhana Khalique is a writer, editor, voiceover artist and teacher from south-west London. Her writing has appeared in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize Anthology 2020, The Brown Anthology, Reflex Fiction, Lighthouse Literary Journal, Litro, Popshot Quarterly and elsewhere. Farhana has been on TSS’s best fifty British and Irish Flash Fiction 2019-2020 list, she has been longlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award, shortlisted for The Asian Writer Short Story Prize, and she has won a Word Factory Apprentice Award. She is also the editor of Desi Reads and a submissions editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. Find Farhana @HanaKhalique and www.farhanakhalique.com

What are you looking for in Flash Fiction?

Does anyone really know what they are looking for? As long as it is a Flash (as opposed to a fragment, character study, micro, or random list of words – you’d be surprised what elbows its way through Submittable sometimes), then I am open to almost anything. Just make sure that you are interested in the writing to begin with, that something happens, and that it’s written in the best way possible that’s true to the spirit of your piece. No second guessing – write what you really want to write about. If all that’s a bit too vague, then I’ll add that I’m also a sucker for a persuasive voice and striking imagery. Be bold and, most importantly, keep submitting!

Ashling Dennehy

Ashling-DAshling Dennehy is a writer of short fiction and novels. Her work appeared on the BIFFY50 list for 2019/20. She was awarded a Flash Fiction Introduction at the Cork International Short Story Awards 2019 and was long-listed for the Fish Flash Fiction Prize in 2018. Her writing has appeared in Splonk, Lunate, Ellipsis, Cabinet of Heed and others. Ashling recently relocated to Kerry with her husband and two small children, where she founded Mum’s The Word Book Club, Tralee

What are you looking for in Flash Fiction?

I’m a big fan of emotive stories, regardless of genre, tone, subject matter, or whether the prose is poetic or sparse. If a piece of flash can make me laugh, or cry, feel uncomfortable, or afraid, or lustful, or angry, then it’s a winner for me. I especially love when this feeling comes from what the writer chooses to leave unsaid. Kathy Fish’s Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild is decidedly my favourite piece. I can never think of it without sobbing. Chris Stanely’s Little Black Holes has stayed with me for two years at this point, as has Cathy Ulrich’s Murdered Ladies Series and Janice Leagra’s Kitsch Confidential. I’m hoping to find writers I haven’t read before along with ones I am familiar with so please feel free to recommend pieces!

Hannah Storm

Hannah StormHannah Storm is a journalist, mental health advocate and writer. She now lives in Yorkshire, having spent years travelling the world for her work. Her stories have been published widely online and in print, including most recently in The Phare and Craft Literary. In 2020, she won the ‘I Must Be Off!’ travel writing prize, placed second in the Bath Flash Fiction Award, and was named in the BIFFY 50. This January, one of her stories was named in the Best Microfictions, 2021. She writes flash fiction, memoir and creative non-fiction and her debut flash collection ‘The Thin Line Between Everything and Nothing’ is published this year by Reflex Fiction.

What are you looking for in Flash Fiction?

My favourite flash fiction takes me on a journey. It leaves me thinking and wanting to return there to the place painted by those words. It leaves me hungry, hurting or hoping. And each time I do revisit it, I find myself surprised by things I hadn’t seen and find different depths. I’m a sucker for strong characters – I don’t need to love them, but they do need to make me feel. I like a good hermit crab flash, as well as pieces that are multi-layered. For me the best flash is where the writer pays attention not just to what’s said and how it’s said, but the rhythm too. Flash should sing, or scream, sob, flash should stick and stay.

Amanda O’Callaghan

ACallaghanAmanda O’Callaghan’s short fiction has been published and won awards in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Her work has been awarded and shortlisted in the Bath Flash Fiction Award, Flash 500, Cambridge Flash Fiction Prize, Bristol Short Story Prize, Fish Short Story Prize, Aeon Award, Allingham Flash Fiction Award and others. Her debut collection, This Taste for Silence, published by University of Queensland Press (UQP), was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction (2019) and longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize (2020). She lives in Brisbane. www.amandaocallaghan.com

What are you looking for in Flash Fiction?

I’ll be looking for pieces that plunge me straight into the story. That doesn’t mean I’ll know, immediately, where I am, or what’s going on, but it does mean it will make me believe I’m right there, seeing it, feeling it, understanding the energy of the situation. By the end of the story, I want to be clear what’s happened, and I want to be moved. Whether it’s sad, frightening, whimsical, overwhelming–or perhaps hardest of all, funny—I want to feel the strength of the piece, the conviction. I’m looking for pieces of flash that take me away on a short but powerful journey.

Amy Barnes

Amy BarnesAmy Barnes has words at sites including: FlashBack Fiction, Popshot Quarterly, Flash Fiction Magazine, X-Ray Lit, Stymie Lit, No Contact Mag, Streetcake Magazine, JMMW, The Molotov Cocktail, Lucent Dreaming, TunaFish Journal, Reckon Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Flash Frog, Janus Literary, Leon Review, Lunate Fiction, Rejection Lit, Perhappened, Cabinet of Heed, Spartan Lit, and others. She has been long and shortlisted at Bath Flash Fiction, Reflex Fiction (3rd place) and the Cambridge Prize. She is an Associate Editor at Fractured Lit and reads for CRAFT, Taco Bell Quarterly, Retreat West, NFFD, The MacGuffin, and Narratively. Her flash collection, “Mother Figures” is forthcoming in 2021 from ELJ, Editions Ltd.

What are you looking for in Flash Fiction?

I’m not looking for something in flash. I want the flash to find me, be found, illuminate, darken, soften. Hit me over the head. Light my soul on fire. Drag me into someone else’s life, someone else’s world. Speak quietly with tears and grief and grace. Paint my house rainbow hues, build a new world for me to surround myself with and pull the sun down into that new earth. I want to hear old words and new words and words that no one else has said before — all jumping at me from the page like alphabet warriors and wands and wizards and whales — whales are good in flash. Play songs with syllables and tag with characters. I don’t care which point of view you come from. Speak to me in 2nd, teach me in 1st and reveal it all in 3rd. Whether you curl everything up in a hermit crab or list or surreality or go completely traditional, I want to play hide and seek with your words until all I remember is the prose, the story, the flash.

 


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