September 2023 Monthly Micro Winners

Well done again to all who made it through to the shortlist this month and congratulations to our winners!

First Prize: Why My Big Sister Won ‘The City of The Future’ Art Competition by Mairead Robinson

Why we chose it: A sad and timely, but also hopeful micro

Second Prize: Two Boys, One Book, In Jim Crow’s Jackson by Fiona Dignan

Why we chose it: A poignant and powerful micro

People’s Prize: Two boys, one book, in Jim Crow’s Jackson

(Winner by just one vote this month!)

Shortlisted Stories

Mairead and Fiona win the cash prizes and Fiona also wins feedback on 1000 words.

We have a new workshop on the first Sunday of the month related to this competition for our community members to sharpen up their micro writing skills and get the prompt ahead of it going live on the website the next day. Join the community here.

Cycle Of Love

I’ll never forget the day I put your favourite jeans on the wrong wash cycle — the ones you looked so wonderful in on our first date. The latest fad diet was never getting those worn again.

And the time you wanted to shrink into obscurity, when I got horrendous hiccups, as the vicar turned to the congregation and asked ‘that’ question at your sister’s wedding. 

Now I watch you lying in bed; your shrunken version that’s been forced upon us. And I think how beautiful you’d still look in those jeans.

And hate the different reason why they’d fit you.  

This story was shortlisted for the September 2023 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Julian Cadman. I live and work in Hampshire and took up Creative Writing as a hobby seven years ago. I particularly enjoy writing flash fiction and short stories.


Mum doesn’t agree with enclosed/silent orders, nuns who waste their lives praying when they should be helping people. You silently dissent. Extreme nunhood is for you the ideal, unlike being in a rowdy family.

Books about nuns keep arriving from the Catholic Book Club. You know eighteen is old to be accepted for a noviciate. Best apply the moment you turn fifteen.

Or get a quiet job, buy a quiet flat/house, live a quiet life. And find quiet places to go on holiday, places that smell of incense.

Mum sighs. “You were a bouncy little girl, but you went quiet.”

This story was shortlisted for the September 2023 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Frances Gapper’s stories have been published in three Best Microfiction anthologies and online in places including Splonk, Switch, Wigleaf, Twin Pies, trampset, 100 word story and New Flash Fiction Review.

My Name Was Different

I apologise to dad in the Arrivals Hall.

‘The flight was delayed. Hardly your fault, was it?’ He takes my backpack, saying, ‘That smell is familiar. How was Amsterdam?’

I describe cafés and riding bikes downhill without brakes. I don’t say that I arrived early at Schiphol, checked in, then fell asleep across metal chairs. Or that upon waking, my eyes opened directly into eyes the colour of Delft Blue, and we spoke fast, ignoring our lack of common language. Or that my name was different in Dutch, announced repeatedly by loudspeaker until I understood, rose and ran without turning.

This story was shortlisted for the September 2023 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Kate Coghlan is a freelance writer/editor with an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths. Her work has been published by Mslexia, Loft Books, the Dulwich Festival, Spillwords, Visual Verse and the Personal Bests Journal. Twitter/X @Kate_Cogs


If, opening the fridge, you had noticed the last two eggs and decided to poach them, instead of cereal, or if I had not pointed out the baby sick stain on your shoulder, or if Eliza had not pleaded with you to hear her spellings, or if you had not paused to brush my hair off my tear-streaked face and tell me what a great job I was doing, then the woman who lost control of her Fiat Panda at 8.46am this morning would have ploughed into someone else’s life, and today would have been a day like any other.

This story was shortlisted for the September 2023 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Alison Wassell is a short story, flash and micro fiction writer from North West England.

Needs Must

We’re not sure who first came up with the idea, but we all applauded when the decision was made. We turned out with balloons, tight and shiny as blisters, the day the Pump was pieced together in the dead centre of town. Faced with the need for more and more sacrifices, the Pump has now streamlined the process. Of course, it takes at least two men to operate, three if there’s a struggle, and it isn’t without its heartbreak. But it’s efficient. There’s hardly any mess, now they’ve perfected the procedure. I’ve started a business selling earplugs, which is thriving. 

This story was shortlisted for the September 2023 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Katie Holloway writes tiny stories in the south of England. She is often tempted to uproot her family to go and live in a tree. Katie has received a DYCP grant from the Arts Council England, a nomination for the Pushcart prize, and the first prize in the 2023 Retreat West prize (flash fiction category). Katie tweets @KatieLHWrites