Writers Event: National Flash Fiction Day

One international event for writers keen on flash fiction:

The National Flash Fiction Day: 16 May 2012

This event, organized by writer and lecturer Calum Kerr, celebrates the short story form. Check the website to know what events are being organized and where, how to get involved, competitions and more. You can also find Calum on Twitter: @calumkerr and follow National Flash Fiction Day here:  @nationalflashfd

To me, short fiction starts from the drabble – strictly 100 words only (stipulations can be made for including or excluding the title from this word count), then moving up to double or triple drabble. From 500 words upward it’s definitely flash fiction, up to the 1500/2000 words, and then we enter the realm of short stories. Others may think differently, though.

What’s your take on flash fiction and short fiction?

I want to read more in the field of short stories, but I do have one short stories collection to recommend:

love songs for the shy and cynical by Robert Shearman

I had the chance to meet Robert Shearman during my CW MA. Yes, he came with the shiny aura of being that Robert Shearman, Daleks writer extraordinaire (TV geeks unite), and also with the warmest personality and copies of his short stories collection. He signed it, I read it, I loved it. (I will review it in this blog soon).

As to flash fiction, have you written any? I have, and love it. The form is incredibly precise and restrictive, especially if you go for the strict word count, as I do. And yet, as the Oulipo theorists have shown, constraints can and do promote creativity, forcing writers to come up with innovative ways of writing. To know more about the Oulipo, you can check their website here (in French), a list of books written by Oulipo writers on the website Conversational Reading, and yes, wikipedia if you have to ;)

Do you like constraints in your writing (a fixed word count, a set theme, etc)?

 

This entry counts for MNINB April Platform Challenge Days 19, 20 and 21 (new post; editorial calendar; social media management tool)

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10 Comments

Filed under Book Festivals, Events

10 responses to “Writers Event: National Flash Fiction Day

  1. I don’t do well with constraints, I guess that’s why I’m a pantser when I write. A few times I’ve wanted to write short stories because of writing contests in my area but it seems I fail to ‘tie’ up the story. Thanks for the links because maybe they’ll help me figure it out.

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    • I hope the links will help, let me know. I’ll revisit flash fiction before the celebration day. Constraints are tricky, but also a sort of guidance. As to writing contests, I find it easier to just write the stories I want to, and then look around and see if they fit anywhere. It helps with lifting the pressure.

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  2. I admit that as primarily a poet (though I do write both fiction and creative nonfiction as well) I have never fully understood what “flash fiction” meant! This was very helpful! And I love that it has its own day! I’m looking forward to celebrating this year :)

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    • I’m glad it was helpful:) I’m still struggling with how much information, how technical, and so forth (I can easily write very long posts, lol). I want to revisit it before the celebration day (a brand new thing) if Real Life permits. I write secret poems that no one will ever see, lol Thanks for letting me know it was useful :)

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  3. Since #MNINB, I’ve been reading about “flash fiction” via Twitter. Didn’t know what it was until now. Thanks for sharing. I write picture books and we have writing challenges too. Word count for picture books run about 500 words. I guess you can also call that flash fiction. :o)

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    • Hello :) before I forget, I like your blog! I subscribed by email – I find it’s easier for me to get to reply to entries this way. I trained as an illustrator, always thought picture books are really difficult to write :)

      I’ll come back to flash fiction (still working on that editorial blog plan, ouch), and elaborate on it. I think it’s a fascinating constraint/challenge. And yes, picture book stories are definitely flash fiction, with the added constraint of addressing a very specific audience (children! AND their parents) :D As I said: really difficult to write! (that’s why I stuck to illustrating ;)

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  4. I’ve come by way of MNINB FB, going through all the blog lists! Sometimes restraints on writing work well as I can focus more, but I like the freedom to do whatever as well.

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    • Hello :) I’m just starting to go through the MNINB FB blog list myself…it’s like being at a party and being excited and just shaking hands nervously, lol. Thank you for commenting :D

      Oh, I like the freedom as well, some times you just have to abandon the rules and see what happens (I did that with an academic essay I was writing, and it was slow and boring and horrible and clunky…so I restarted it and wrote it as a fictional trial – not the most original of settings, but I had so much fun writing it, and it worked well! )

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