May Monthly Micro Winners

Congratulations again to the writers of our shortlisted stories. Here are the results!

First Prize Winner: The Secret to a Maze is to Keep Turning Left by Keely O’Shaughnessy

Why we chose it: We loved the rhythm, the energy and the imagery. It really encapsulates both friendship and a snapshot of a moment in someone’s life and there was a sense of hope at the end that this summer, although over now,  would be an important, lasting memory.

Second Prize Winner: How to Catch and Keep a Kiss by Steph Percival

Why we chose it: We loved how vividly these characters were brought to life. Fantastic images of kisses like fireflies in the jar then fluttering around. How it ends gave such a sense of happiness and hope despite even though the kisser was dead.

People’s Prize Winner: Catch of the Day by Anne Soilleux

The People’s Prize was a very close run race this month with the two leads swapping right until the last minute, so we would also to extend a special mention to Iqbal Hussain for his story Always Playing Catch-Up.

Shortlisted Stories

Always Playing Catch-Up by Iqbal Hussain – Read it here

Anti-gravity by Paddy Gillies – Read it here

The Lock Box by Alva Holland – Read it here

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Lipstick But Were Too Afraid to Ask by Dreena Collins – Read it here

Rainbow by Stephanie Fluckey – Read it here

CATCH by PJ Town – Read it here

Catch the Drips by Lily Peters – Read it here

Keely and Steph win the cash prizes, and Anne wins feedback on a flash story up to 1000 words.

Well done to everyone!

We’ll be back with the next Monthly Micro prompt on 6th June.


It always snags on my sweater; strands of wool pull free like candy floss. My mother told me to return it—why would I want it—he said keep it with sarcasm imbedded in the words like shrapnel. I saw a rainbow in it the other day when I tilted it toward the sun. While looking at the rainbow I saw a tiny reflection of my eye, red from all the crying. He came to the door, he did not have a key anymore, and I slipped it off and threw it—lightly—in the air and he caught it.

This story was shortlisted in the May Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Stephanie Fluckey (she/her) is a writer and artist living in the Pacific Northwest. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University. When She is not writing to the sound of Seattle rain, she is reading or gardening. Poem ‘Silent Night’ published July 2021 on

Catch the Drips

A bright light spills dark shadows over my new-born’s eyelids. Her weight is nothing, a floating lightness.

They are all present – grandmothers, great-aunts and sisters alike, living and dead – to see me breast feed for the first time. My neck prickles under their collective, anticipatory gaze.

Everyone has a tip:

‘Careful with the head!’

‘Watch the nipple!’

‘Catch the drips!

’My mum tells me – with treasonous pursed lips – that I am too tense.

The baby shrinks in my hold, disappearing with hunger –

I wake.

In the dark quiet, I can hear the beat of her unborn heart.

This story was shortlisted in the May Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Lily Peters is a published writer and teacher based in the north east of England. Her cli-fi novel, Accidental Flowers, was published (2021) by Arachne Press. She was longlisted for both the Bath short story and flash award. Her piece (The Curtain) is included in their 2021 anthology, Snow Crow.


The soldier stops, ruffles her hair. She forces a giggle and steps back a few feet.

“Play with me!”

She throws him her green ball. He throws it back.

To and fro. To and fro.

She lets the ball slip from her fingers and it bounces away, exactly where she wants it to.

With two skips she’s there at the half-ruined wall – the hiding place.

She picks it up. It’s heavy, but she’s been practising with lumps of concrete.

She pulls the pin. Counts to three. Throws it with both hands. Dives behind the wall.

This is for her father.

This story was shortlisted in the May Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: PJ Town is a writer living in Lisbon. He specializes in flash fiction and screenplays.

The Lock Box

The small once-shiny box lies at the bottom of the wardrobe, dusty among the discarded shoes, belts, old train tickets, receipts for things long since used, forgotten, misplaced.

Inside the box lies a curl of auburn hair forty years old.

She doesn’t know what to do with the box now he’s gone. Her time is limited – she knows this. She can’t leave it behind for others to find, to become used, forgotten, or misplaced. She can’t ask people to remember what they don’t know, what they’ve never known.

And the box catch is rusty now, corroded by time and tears.

This story was shortlisted in the May Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Alva is an Irish writer from Dublin. First published by Ireland’s Own Winning Writers Annual 2015. Three times a winner of Ad Hoc Fiction’s flash competition, her stories feature in The People’s Friend, Ellipsis Zine, Splonk Flash, Brilliant Flash Fiction, The Cabinet of Heed and Jellyfish Review. Twitter: @Alva1206

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Lipstick But Were Too Afraid to Ask

The lipstick was in the air before the word had left my sister’s mouth.


My panic raced and arced in unison with the gift. This precious gift. I watched it rise and fall towards me. And I saw adolescence. New decisions. Fear — all looming up behind.

Ham-fisted, it fell through my sausage fingers to the ground.

For a beat, terror hit. I thought she would be furious, sad. Maybe she would walk away — turn, head shaking, brows down. Perhaps.

But I should have known.

My sister simply laughed and laughed. Stayed nearby. Comforted me.

And then threw another lipstick.

This story was shortlisted in the May Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Dreena Collins is a writer who now works as the Service Manager for a Mental Health charity, having spent almost twenty years working in education. She has a background in inclusion and educational needs. Dreena has published several short fiction collections, and one novel. She hates wearing shoes.