Abandoned: Themed Flash Winners

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.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *