Abandoned: Themed Flash Winners

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The results are in for the Abandoned themed flash competition. Thank you to Gaynor Jones — award-winning writer and part of Retreat West’s publishing team — for judging this month’s entries.  As ever, the quality of submissions was very high — so massive congratulations to our winner and runners up:

Winner: It Was the Horse That Killed Her by Matt Kendrick

Gaynor says: I think I can safely say that no one else could have written this story, as it is utterly unique! At first, I was struck by the voice; a sort of clipped mish-mash of quaint language, child speak and slang. I didn’t even clock the character names in my first read, but when I got to the final line I thought, ‘what?!’ and then I went right back to the title, and started again at the beginning, half-laughing at myself. It’s such a fun idea for a story, but it’s also a story with many shifts in it — sinister, funny, inventive, unusual. I’ve read it over and over and I’m still enjoying it.

Read It Was The Horse That Killed Her here.

Author bio: Matt Kendrick is a writer based in the East Midlands, UK. His stories have been published in Bending Genres, Fictive Dream, Lucent Dreaming, Reflex Fiction, Spelk, Storgy, FlashBack Fiction and the BFFA Anthology.

mattkendrick.co.uk
Twitter: @MkenWrites

First runner up: Space Raiders by Jess Moody

Gaynor says: I was immediately taken with this piece when I read it for the first time, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t falling for an unusual structure (a form I’m particularly fond of). I read it and re-read it and it still pinged something inside me each time. And it is the words as much as the structure; the story it tells in these fragments of a person’s life — the people and past-times they have abandoned along the way. It’s bitter while also nostalgic and it just spoke to me.

Read Space Raiders here.

Author bio: Jess Moody is a Wulfrunian in London, who likes her words and worlds on the weird side. Fiction in Lunate, Reflex, Storgy and Ellipsis.

Twitter: @jessmoodhe

Second Runner Up 2: She Didn’t Look Back by Gail Warwick Cox

 Gaynor says: I hope the author won’t mind me saying that this is a fairly simple narrative, but when simple is so well done, it’s incredibly effective, as is the case here. There’s such a strong sense of era, of time and place in these words. It only takes a few minutes to read, but in those few minutes I am taken out of my own life and home and planted firmly in another. There’s real storytelling skill here.

Read She Didn’t Look Back here.

Author bio: Gail Warrick Cox enjoys writing flash fiction and the particular conciseness it commands. She has twice been shortlisted at the Mere Literary Festival and has previously won a micro fiction competition. Gail lives in sunny Bournemouth with her husband.

Well done again to our winner and runners up — and to everyone who entered!
Head over to our Flash Fiction section to read their pieces. Plus: the next themed flash deadline is 28th June and the judge, FJ Morris, has chosen the theme: music. So get writing! FJ Morris’ debut flash fiction collection This is (not about) David Bowie was published by Retreat West Books in November 2018, and received a special mention in the Saboteur Awards for Best Short Story Collection in 2019. Get all the info on this year’s comps and judges here.

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