Water Themed Flash Shortlist

Water Themed Flash Competition Shortlist

Firstly, well done if you made it to the prior longlist stage. The theme clearly got your creativity flowing! And a super-duper well done if you’re listed below, there was much debate (and enjoyment) to reach this selection. The final winners will be announced soon!

  • The Absolution
  • Baptism
  • Between the Main Course and the Pudding
  • Chickens Crossing Roads
  • Climate Change
  • The Fairy Tale Ending
  • Last Piece of the Puzzle
  • The Oxbow Parenthesis

The next themed flash comp deadline is 29th December and the theme is EARTH. Enter your stories here.

We will have guest judges for the quarterly comps in 2020 who will pick their themes. Details coming soon!

Wind Themed Flash Shortlist

Wind Themed Flash Competition Shortlist

Thanks everyone for your patience while we have been reading the stories again. Well done to all who made the longlist and congrats to all whose stories have made this shortlist. Winners will be announced soon!


  • Blowing My Mind Clear
  • Emmylou, Patron Saint of Dirt-Poor Folks
  • I am a feather for each wind that blows
  • Kite
  • The Nest
  • The Perfect Word
  • Zephyr Zefferelli


The next themed flash comp deadline is 29th September and the theme is WATER. Enter your stories here.

We’ve started thinking about the quarterly comps for 2020 now and we’ll be having guest judges who will pick their themes. Details coming soon!

The Future Will Wait by Emily Harrison

The Future Will Wait

Emily Harrison


The morning light falls across them like train tracks – the blind half shut. His bare chest rises then falls in a steady motion. He’s a brick of a man, self-confessed. “Take more than a kitchen knife to cut through me.” He fills the space on his side of the bed in a solid, concrete lump.

Later in life – when devotion slips to tired semi-love, revelations abound, she’ll grow repulsed by this body. She’ll think of him as an unruly ham-hock. Sloppy butchering with specks of hair. But she’s not there yet. It’s all still fresh. He is an anchor to which she can moor herself. Hands dug into his shoulders. Legs tight around his waist.

His lips part, and she can see the white of his two front teeth. He lets out a snore and she retracts her hand. She’s been following a yellow fleshy scar on his upper-arm, ghosting her index finger over its grooved edges. His skin is akin to tiger bread. The scar stands out like a beam from a lighthouse. He has more of them on his hands, stretched across the palm, two on his thighs. A single scar, on the left side of his torso, traversing the length of his rib-cage. She’d licked it from base to tip the night before, their first time together. It stung of salt.

He lied about the scarring hours earlier, their limbs sated, curled together. “I got them saving a pretty woman from a burning building. Marks of a hero, really.” He thought it was funny. She let him have the omission and humoured him for more truth. He shrugged and faltered, cheeks red with unease. It was clear he wasn’t ready. She kissed him for an apology.

His breath settles – particles of residue dust swirl above them.

As the weeks weave into months; causality turning to commitment, he’ll reveal his truth. “It happened at home, when I was younger. My sister nearly died.” She’ll feel bad that she pressured him. She’ll tell him so between his sheets. He’ll tell her not to be sorry. He’ll tell her not to mention it again.

Her fingers return to his skin. She skates them slowly.

Sailing on the horizon of near repulsion and the coming collapse of love, she’ll learn beneath truths. Not the patchwork pieces of his cultivated puzzle. He’ll admit, in an argument, that he set the fire when he was seventeen. He rigged it to appear accidental. No one suspected him. He did it to hurt his sister; driven by childish, misplaced spite. His anchor will slip forever loose from the seabed. Actions will speak louder than words. She’ll wonder who her man is.

She runs the backs of her fingers over the scar until he wakes. He turns and kisses her soundly, lips biting at lips. He tastes of possibility. Parched, she drinks him wholly in.


About the author: Emily enjoyed creative writing in 2018, despite everything she may have previously said, and has decided to stick with it for the foreseeable future. She can be found on Twitter @emily__harrison, and has had work published with Ellipsis Zine, Storgy, Soft Cartel, Retreat West and Riggwelter Press to name a few.


Fire Themed Flash shortlist

Many thanks to all the writers on the longlist for your patience while we re-read the stories to decide on the shortlist. Congratulations again for being longlisted. It’s a tough decision once we get to this stage.

The following stories have now been shortlisted – readings are still anonymous until I’ve chosen the winners so please don’t let us know which is your story if it appears on this list!


Fire Themed Flash shortlist

  1. A Fire in Drimnagh
  2. Diversity
  3. Each Visit Goes Like This
  4. In the Backyard
  5. Fire Hazard
  6. Searching
  7. Warm Hands
  8. The Future Will Wait
  9. We Lit Fires
  10. Yia Yia Burns Olive Leaves To Ward Off The Evil Eye
Final results will be announced soon and the winning three stories will get cash prizes and published on the website. In the meantime, get writing for the June deadline with the theme of WIND. Enter your stories here.
Plus, watch out for our new monthly micro comp opening soon where we want stories of just 100 words. The prompt will be posted on 3rd June and you’ll have until the 9th June to send us your stories…
And, if you can write quickly on the theme of REBELLION – there are four more days to enter the free comp running on Lucy Writers Platform to win a free place on our Fantastic Flashing group online course starting on 3rd June. Get all the info here.


Running Away Themed Flash Shortlist

Thanks to all the longlisted writers for your patience while we re-read the stories. The shortlist is now shown below. Readings are still anonymous until I have made my decision so only story titles shown here. Well done to these writers, and to all that made the longlist too.

Running Away Themed Flash Shortlist

  • How Not To Feel
  • Resolution
  • The Book Group
  • The Bunker
  • The Names of Stars
  • The Hanging Tree
  • Unfinished


I will now read all of these again and announce final results soon.

The deadline for the next themed flash competition is 31st March and the theme is fire. There’s £400 in cash prizes available and winners get published on the website. Get all the info on how to enter here; and you can read previous winning stories here.

If you’ve got some flash stories that have been gathering dust in a drawer, then we’ve just launched a new weekend course – Flash SOS – which will help you revive old stories and get them out in the world. Get all the info on the course here.


Reunions themed flash comp shortlist

Reunions themed flash comp shortlist

Once again, a big thank you to all the writers that submitted an entry for the Reunions competition! We’re happy to say, it’s always a challenge to narrow down the entries for these lists. Well done!

Shortlist (alphabetical order)

  • Agape by Fiona Mackintosh
  • Chicken Bones by Emily Slade
  • Do You Remember Me? by Nancy Ludmerer
  • Itchy Knee by Jenni Griffiths
  • Meeting My Sister by Hilary Taylor
  • Milk Chocolate. Grapes. Earthworm. by Michael Loveday
  • Reunions by Catherine Morris
  • The Last True Harrison by Jules Diamond

Amanda will be making her final decision as soon as possible, and the announcement will be shared across our social media, so watch this space!

We’re looking forward to a wide range of entries for the next comp, on the theme of Protest. So get creative! Enter your stories here. It closes in September, and no doubt, our debating over submissions will continue!

Join our author community and you can get entries to the themed flash comps included as part of your benefits package, plus lots of other great stuff. Join here.

Develop your flash writing and create lots of new work by joining us on our online Fantastic Flashing courses. Info here.