Earth Themed Flash Longlist

Earth Themed Flash Longlist

Many thanks to everyone that entered the final themed flash comp of 2019. We received 92 entries this time around and enjoyed reading them all.

Congrats to everyone whose story appears on the longlist below. Please don’t tell us which is yours if it’s there as readings are still anonymous! Shortlist will be announced in a couple of weeks.


  1. A Carillion For Earth
  2. All This Talk
  3. And Far Away
  4. Buried
  5. Celestial Bodies
  6. Coming Out Of The Upstairs
  7. Don’t Pity The Whistle Pig
  8. Earth
  9. Earth To Tilda: Can You Read Me?
  10. Folly
  11. For Sale
  12. Freewheeling
  13. Gone To Earth
  14. Grounded
  15. How Trees Breathe In Winter
  16. Ice Between Us
  17. It Came From Below
  18. Looking After The Earth Dog
  19. Rasul: Spa Treatment With Rosie
  20. Stones Among Trees
  21. Safe In The Earth
  22. Soil
  23. Ten Things I Have Learned From Being A Troglodyte
  24. The Death Of Mother Earth
  25. The Five Stages Of Hopelessness
  26. The Rhubarb Rebellion
  27. Unearthed
  28. Undertaker, Sexton, Mourner
  29. Warpaint
  30. What She Sees When The Earth Moves



The next themed flash deadline is 29th March and the judge, Gaynor Jones, has chosen the theme: Abandoned. So get writing! Get all the info on this year’s comps and judges here.


2019 Flash Fiction and Short Story Prize Longlists

2019 Flash Fiction and Short Story Prize Longlists

Many thanks to all the writers who sent us stories this year. We received 190 flash fictions and 277 short stories. We’ve had a mammoth reading task over the past 7 weeks and my thanks go to my fellow readers, Mary-Jane Holmes and Emma Finlayson-Palmer. We’ve whittled the stories down to the longlists shown below. Well done if your story is shown here. We received two flash fictions entitled Remembrance so they are numbered below.

Readings are still anonymous until we have chosen the shortlists so if your story is shown here, please don’t tell anyone what it’s called! We are going on a festive break from this week so will have the shortlist in January now and then the 10 stories in each category will go to our judges for the final decision. Good luck!

2019 Flash Fiction Prize Longlist

  1. A Rare Bottling
  2. Atrraversiamo
  3. Buried
  4. Caged Light
  5. Cuba
  6. Dancing On Broadway
  7. Die And See Paris
  8. Die Young, Stay Pretty
  9. Echoes
  10. Enormous Gigantic Titanic Love
  11. Flesh And Water
  12. Good Girls Really
  13. How To Hold An Umbrella
  14. Insta-Life
  15. Love Is Many Things, None Of Them Logical
  16. Mouse Racing
  17. Omne Vivum Ex Ovo
  18. On The Death Of A Friend
  19. Pink. Bright. Bold.
  20. Remembrance (1)
  21. Remembrance (2)
  22. Riverwater Cistern
  23. The Albatross
  24. The Arctophile
  25. The President Comes Home
  26. The Short-Term Mourner
  27. The Way She Looks At Me
  28. The Woodsman
  29. Thistles
  30. Ticket
  31. Treating The Stains And Strains Of Marriage
  32. We Don’t Kill Our Mothers
  33. What Lawrence Did
  34. Wormholes, Mushrooms, Silverfish

2019 Short Story Prize Longlist

  1. Angerland
  2. Breathing Backwards
  3. Contacting Caroline
  4. Dead Tissue
  5. Every Scar Has A Story
  6. Latecomers
  7. Load More Comments
  8. Mess Of Love
  9. My Kind
  10. National Order
  11. Prime Meridian
  12. Sal
  13. Strawberries
  14. The Black Hole Of Westminster
  15. The End Of The Pier
  16. The Eyeglasses
  17. The Forest Road
  18. The Language Of Flowers
  19. The Pendulum
  20. The Thing That Happened To Philip
  21. The Time Of Their Lives
  22. There Is A War
  23. To Daydream On Dewdrops
  24. Tonight’s The Night
  25. Trotter
  26. Whale Watching
  27. What Counts As Theft
  28. Wings On Her Feet

November 2019 Micro Fiction Winners

November 2019 Micro Fiction Winners

The voting has been so close this month and the stories in the top spots were continually changing places. And this has resulted in a joint first place win this month! Many congratulations to everyone that was shortlisted and especially to our winners…


Joint first place winners: Lost in America by Tina deBellegarde and The Way Home by Sally Doherty

Read Lost in America           Read The Way Home

Second place: Repair by Karen Jones

Read Repair



We’re having a month off this competition in December for festive holidays so the next competition launches on 6th January 2020 with a prompt by Susmita Bhattacharya, author of the award-winning short story collection Table Manners and contributor to the Retreat West charity anthologies, Nothing Is As It Was and No Good Deed. We look forward to reading more great stories next year!

Lost in America by Tina deBellegarde

Lost in America

Tina deBellegarde


The other girls zip along on bikes.

She wrestles with rusty roller skates.

“The bearings are shot,” dad says, “save your money for a new pair.”

What money, she wonders? She gets no allowance.


Her bearings aren’t shot; she’s lost her bearings.

Her parents speak with an accent.

Her hair isn’t blond: her eyes aren’t blue.

She brings scrambled egg sandwiches to school,

and Dad’s radio only plays Neapolitan songs.


She hides in the closet with her transistor.

Hours pass. She learns all the words to every top ten song.

Monday she walks to school. Familiar lyrics her new compass.


About the author: Tina deBellegarde’s novel manuscript WINTER WITNESS was long-listed in the Retreat West and the Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award competitions. Her story “Second Chances” will appear in SEASCAPE: Best New England Crime Stories 2019. She is new to flash and micro fiction. Her winning flash piece “Let Them Eat Cake” can be viewed at Ad Hoc Fiction She is a member of Hudson Valley Writers Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She lives and writes in Catskill, New York. Connect with Tina on her website at or on twitter @tdbwrites.

The Way Home by Sally Doherty

The Way Home

Sally Doherty

I peer out of the window. ‘How do they do it?’

‘How do who do what?’

‘Racing pigeons – how do they find their way home?’

The old lady next door opens the coop and the flock takes flight.

‘I read they have some sort of magnetic compass.’ Tom snaps his suitcase shut. ‘They don’t

always make it back though.’

‘I’ll miss you!’ I hug him tightly.

His body stiffens. ‘It’s only a week.’

‘Is Polly going?’

‘She’s my PA! She has to.’

Outside, a pigeon strays off course.

I take a magnet from the fridge door, slip it inside Tom’s pocket.


About the author: Sally Doherty lives in leafy Surrey with her two-legged husband, three-legged Labrador and four-legged Jack Russell Terror. She started dabbling in flash fiction a year ago with pieces published by Reflex Fiction, Spelk Fiction and Funny Pearls. She placed first and second in Retreat West’s June and July 2019 Micro Fiction competitions respectively and she has a piece in EllipsisZine’s ‘2119’ anthology. Primarily, Sally writes middle grade novels. Her debut TOBY AND THE SILVER BLOOD WITCHES will be published by March Hamilton. You can find her on Twitter @Sally_writes , Facebook and on her blog


Repair by Karen Jones


Karen Jones


Jess looks at the painting hanging on the wall behind her friend – that Ikea one of the shambolic wooden jetty stretching out into a loch – and realises she’s seen it in every house recently. Every friend she’s visited to console, calm, let coorie into her as they weep their weary words of wastrels or widowhood or want.

She closes her eyes, lets her mind drift onto the jetty, feels wood splinter her bare feet, water pull her to the edge of a cold darkness.

Back home she kisses her husband then takes the jetty painting down from above their bed. 


About the author: Karen Jones is a prose writer from Glasgow with a preference for flash and short fiction. She is addicted to writing competitions and is a perennial long/short-lister – Commonwealth Short Story Competition, Bath Flash Fiction, Bath Short Story, To Hull and Back, TSS 400, HISSAC– though she has reached the prize-winning stage with Mslexia, Flash 500, Words With Jam, Ink Tears and Ad Hoc Fiction. Her work is published in numerous ezines, magazines and anthologies. Her story Small Mercies was nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize and is included in Best Small Fictions 2019 and the BIFFY50 2019.