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Flash Fiction Prize 2023: RESULTS

Winners

Short-list

Long-list

 

From all of us at Fish, thank you for entering your flashes. So many gems deserving of a readership have left their imprint on the Fish editors and judge, Kit de Waal. It was an honour to read them all. Congratulations to the writers whose Flash Stories were short or long-listed, and in particular to the 10 winners whose flash stories will be published in the 2023 Fish Anthology. (Launch will be during the West Cork Literary Festival, Bantry, Ireland – July 2023.)

 


 

Winners

Judge: Kit De Waal

Here are the 10 winning Flash Fiction Stories, as chosen by Kit De Waal, to be published in the FISH ANTHOLOGY 2023.

Comments on the flash stories are from Kit De Waal, who we sincerely thank for her time and expertise. 

 

 


 

FIRST PLACE

First Steps in Probability: by Susan Wigmore

Clever story, with a great sense of place, class and young love.  A tiny bit of a whole world.  Lovely to read, such joy in it.

 

SECOND PLACE

Dynamics:  by Barbara Tarrant

Funny, bright, intimate writing that gets right inside this family and the dynamics between them.  Lovely touches of wit and longing.  A joy to read.

 

THIRD PLACE

 

BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE AND YET
: by Emma Goldman-Sherman

 

 

 

SEVEN HONORABLE MENTIONS (In no particular order)

 

HUNGER WALL:  by Mark Bowsher

 

 

NO!:  by Patricia Newbery

 

 

I SEE JESUS IN MY FEVERED DREAM IN QUAY STREET IN GALWAY:  by Linda Nemec Foster

 

 

WITNESS STATEMENT:  by Molly Underwood

 

 

THE FULL PACKAGE:  by Martin Daly

 

 

The Story of Our Beautiful, Smiling Family in Twenty-One Chapters:  by Kurtis Burton

 

 

He Who Dares Wyn Jones by Ian Johnson

 

 

 

“The Fish Prize is very dear to my heart so it was an absolute pleasure and privilege to judge the Flash Fiction category this year.  It’s always amazing to read how much story writers can cram into such a small space and every shortlisted story is a testimony to the skill and inventiveness of the flash fiction writers who entered the prize.  Choosing the winners and honourable mentions was a very difficult task – so much quality vying for attention – and every writer chosen should know that have managed to shine in a very strong field.  Congratulations to everyone and thank you for letting me read you work.”
Kit De Waal


 

A LITTLE ABOUT THE WINNERS:

A Londoner by birth, SUSAN WIGMORE grew up on jellied eels and cockney rhyming slang, but after spells in South Wales and Japan, has lived in Oxfordshire more years than she cares to remember. She loves writing short things, canoeing, climbing mountains (slowly) and challenging herself in all three, which can get her into trouble sometimes. She is currently working on a novella-in-flash (at pretty much the same rate as she climbs mountains).

 

BARBARA P TARRANT loves a challenge, recently she turned her attention (and curiosity) to Flash Fiction. Last year she undertook the Fish Playwriting course and has just finished writing her first play.
Barbara returned to education in her forties and received a BA and scholarship from UCD then later an MPhil in Creative Writing at Trinity. Barbara has won the Hennessy New Irish Writing award for new Fiction and been shortlisted for The Francis Mac Manus.

 

EMMA GOLDMAN-SHERMAN (she/they), is an outspoken Autistic, Agender, Queer, chronically ill, Feminist and Antizionist Jewish creative with plays produced on 4 continents. You can listen for free at TheParsnipShip.com and PlayingOnAir.org among others. Their poetry has been curated by American Athenaeum, Non-Binary Review, Oberon, Queerlings, Writers Resist and elsewhere. This is their first published Flash Fiction. They work as a coach and support writers and artists around the globe via https://www.bravespace.online/ 

 

MARK BOWSHER is a writer and award-winning filmmaker from Gravesend in Kent, now living in Bristol. His debut novel ‘The Boy Who Stole Time’ was published by Unbound in 2018. He is proudly dyspraxic and feels that it’s partly his short, neurodivergent attention-span that makes him want to write escapist YA fantasy books one minute and sweary satirical whodunnit movie scripts the next. He once climbed a mountain dressed as Peter Pan. 

 

PATRICIA NEWBERY’s work has appeared in Ambit, the Bath Flash Fiction Anthology, The Rupture and elsewhere. She’s a translator and editor and lives in Egypt.

 

LINDA NEMEC FOSTER is a poet and writer, living in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA). Granddaughter of immigrants from southern Poland who settled in America before WWI. Author of 12 collections of poetry including Amber Necklace from Gdansk, Talking Diamonds, The Lake Michigan Mermaid (2019 Michigan Notable Book), and The Blue Divide. Her book of flash fiction, Bone Country, will be published in 2023. The Inaugural Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids (2003-05), Foster is the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series, Aquinas College. www.lindanemecfoster.com

 

MOLLY UNDERWWOOD is an eco-poet and writer living in Cambridge. She was the winner of the 2019 Manchester Poetry Prize, and has been shortlisted for awards including the Alpine Fellowship Poetry Prize and the Charles Causley prize; her work appears in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology 2020. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found up a mountain or parked up in her converted campervan with a cup of tea.

 

MARTIN DALY was born in Douglas, Co. Cork to family lines of weavers and stone-cutters. He grew up surrounded by storytellers. He was a financial analyst in the construction industry and a stone mason for several years. In a nod to his ancestry, Martin’s preference now is to weave words together and to cut away what is unnecessary. He has completed his first novel. Martin remains deeply rooted in Douglas, but maintains no fixed abode.

 

KURTIS BURTON is a plague upon Colorado, USA who’s never published nor written about himself in the third person. “Kurtis enjoys hiking and skiing” is what this bio would say if he were a good Coloradan; he’s frail, allergic, and, when exposed to snow or sunlight, irritable. His only cultured and respectable hobbies are reading and writing. He is thankful for his confused and concerned family, who appreciate his writing but wish he’d go outside.

 

IAN JOHNSON escaped from Strangeways prison 30 years ago, dressed as a nun, and afterwards masqueraded as a nurse and CBT therapist in various mental health establishments which were unlucky enough to have him. He found the people he worked with a joy and, inspiration for a lot of his writing. Recently retired, he is now joint Chair of Tyldesley Creative Writers whom, on a weekly basis, he burdens with his jokes.

 

 


 

Short-list:

(alphabetical order)

 

There are 37 flash stories in the short-list. There were 1,127 entries in total.

TITLE

FIRST NAME

LAST NAME

Meeting Beethoven in my Imagination

Helen

Bar Lev

Hunger Wall

Mark

Bowsher

Lakota WIdow

Kevin

Burns

The Story of Our Beautiful, Smiling Family in Twenty-One

Kurtis

Burton

Happy Holidays

Leah

Carter

The crone remembers what she’d been told to forget

Lisa

Clapper

The Full Package

Martin

Daly

NIGHT RECEPTION

Tim

Fywell

Because It Is Impossible And Yet

Emma

Goldman-Sherman

Slogan to Nowhere

Mark

Grant

He Who Dares Wyn Jones

Ian

Johnson

Mischief Maker

Simon

Kensdale

Ninety-Nine Invocations

Lauren

Khater

Rattlesnake

Kathleen

Latham

Installation Art

Priscilla

Lawler

Crash

Roland

Leach

Please listen carefully to the safety instructions,
even if you are a frequent flyer

Jack

Lethbridge

Encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’: a letter from His Holiness The Pope to The Faithful, May 1968.

Finbar

Lillis

Illya Kuryakin Is Dead

Thomas

Malloch

The Other Side of Laughter

Michael

Mcloughlin

Little Boys Have Need Of Wings

Jennifer

McMahon

A Candy Bar Existential For Life

William

Natale

I See Jesus in my Fevered Dream in Quay Street in Galway

Linda

Nemec Foster

No

Patricia

Newbury

Smokey Eyes

Vlad

Nikolic

The Worst, Times Two, Wouldn’t Have Happened

Hannah

Retallick

We Three

Shelley

Roche-Jacques

The Sheriff of Nottingham is more sexually attractive and more reasonable than people think

Shelley

Roche-Jacques

Grating

Nicholas

Ruddock

Delivery Failure

David

Sherman

An Hour Earlier

Karen

Storey

Dynamics

Barbara

Tarrant

Witness Statement

Molly

Underwood

Last Kiss, Age 10

Nate

Van Sweden

The Ask

Lauren

Watel

First Steps in Probability

Susan

Wigmore

Mother Love

Joanna

Will

 

 


 

Long-list 

(alphabetical order)

There are 105 flash stories in the long-list. There were 1,127 entries in total.

 

TITLE

FIRST NAME

LAST NAME

Duck, dip, dive

Juliana

Adelman

The Big Red Truck

Susanna Jade

Angolani

Inheritance

Alison

Archer

An Irreverent End

Canaan

Asbury

Meeting Beethoven in my Imagination

Helen

Bar Lev

Like a Penguin’s Flipper

Helen

Bar Lev

Am I an unofficial granddaughter of Elvis Presley?

Daria

Beger

Strangers

Jack

Bennett

Happy

Hayley

Blair

The Hunger Wall

Mark

Bowsher

Hunger Wall

Mark

Bowsher

Lakota Widow

Kevin

Burns

The Story of Our Beautiful, Smiling Family in Twenty-One

Kurtis

Burton

Happy Holidays

Leah

Carter

The crone remembers what she’d been told to forget

Lisa

Clapper

Things I Can’t Forget from Six Days That Summer

Chris

Cottom

After the Flood

Dominic

Creed

Lucky, Blessed

Nikki

Crutchley

The Full Package

Martin

Daly

Torture Dreams

Paul

Doolan

This message is for. Jonathan.

Ciaran

Fitzpatrick

I See Jesus in My Fevered Dream on Quay Street in Galway

Linda Nemec

Foster

NIGHT RECEPTION

Tim

Fywell

Aberrant

Maureen

Gallagher

Persephone in Later Life

Frances

Gapper

A Brief Natural History of Fairies

Amy

Goldmacher

Because It Is Impossible And Yet

Emma

Goldman-Sherman

Gone, Move On

Sam

Gordon Webb

Slogan to Nowhere

Mark

Grant

Teacher

Christine

Guillen

Self love

Caitlin

Gunthorp

Transience

Liam

Heffernan

The Story of Yellow

Lizzie

Holden

Shapes of Pure Desire

Patrick

Hopkins

Look Outside

Radhika

Iyer

The atomic structure of Dolly’s seclusion room

BM

Johnson

He Who Dares Wyn Jones

Ian

Johnson

The Petrified Forest

Fin

Keegan

Mischief Maker

Simon

Kensdale

The Wake of the Big Top

Liz

Kerr

Ninety-Nine Invocations

Lauren

Khater

Haircut

Mary Catherine

Lake

Bog iron

Shane

Larkin

Rattlesnake

Kathleen

Latham

Installation Art

Priscilla

Lawler

Crash

Roland

Leach

Lost

alfie

lee

Flash Fiction

alfie

lee

Please listen carefully to the safety instructions,
even if you are a frequent flyer

Jack

Lethbridge

How to Enrage Your Husband by Suggesting he Paint from a Photo

David

Lewis

Gone

Lynn

Lidstone

Encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’: a letter from His Holiness The Pope to The Faithful, May 1968.

Finbar

Lillis

Mother Tongue

Kik

Lodge

Pa’s a wonky shopping trolley

Kik

Lodge

Berries of Belladonna

Lourdes

Mackey

Illya Kuryakin Is Dead

Thomas

Malloch

The King’s New Clothes

Caroline

McCartney

A Theatrical Entrance

Mary

McClarey

The Probability App that Measures Your Level of Happiness

Michael

Mcloughlin

The Other Side of Laughter

Michael

Mcloughlin

Little Boys Have Need Of Wings

Jennifer

McMahon

The Ticket Taker

Ken

Millman

Rough Awakening

Lois

Morrison

Market Street

Laura

Muetzelfeldt

The magic word for happy

Pauline

Murphy

A Candy Bar Existential For Life

William

Natale

I See Jesus in my Fevered Dream in Quay Street in Galway

Linda

Nemec Foster

No

Patricia

Newbery

Smokey Eyes

Vlad

Nikolic

Aurora Borealis

June

O’Sullivan

The Habitual Boredom of a Forty-Year-old Woman

Aileen

OBrien

Reflection

Gabriela

Paloa

Miniatures

Alan Michael

Parker

strangers breathe air into you

Jesus

Pena

Temporal Origami

Steph

Percival

A Dubious Hybrid

Tom

Rand

They Killed my Love

Nozhan

Resalati

Six Videos

Hannah

Retallick

The Worst, Times Two, Wouldn’t Have Happened

Hannah

Retallick

Double Act

Douglas

Reynolds

Wind Turbine

Kate

Rigby

Furiously Beneath

Shelley

Roche-Jacques

We Three

Shelley

Roche-Jacques

The Sheriff of Nottingham is more sexually attractive and more reasonable than people think

Shelley

Roche-Jacques

Do Good and Share With Others, For With Such Sacrifices, God Is Pleased

Belinda

Rowe

Grating

Nicholas

Ruddock

Death Dances on the Head of a Pin

Robin

Schwarz

Everything You’re Looking For

David

Sherman

Delivery Failure

David

Sherman

Waste Games

Jamie

Stacey

Inheritance

Bernard

Steeds

still air

Caroline

Stevens-Taylor

The Locust Men

Mark

Stewart

An Hour Earlier

Karen

Storey

Penance

Nora

Studholme

Dynamics

Barbara

Tarrant

Your Connection is Too Weak Please Try Again Later

Geraldine

Terry

Countdown to Departure

Jennie

Tucker

Witness Statement

Molly

Underwood

Last Kiss, Age 10

Nate

Van Sweden

The Ask

Lauren

Watel

First Steps in Probability

Susan

Wigmore

Mother Love

Joanna

Will

Minnow

Jo

Withers

 

 

 

 

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12th July 2023
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