AUDREY NIVEN

Author | Editor | Coach

Flash Fiction Competition

The Propelling Pencil

Stories that move us forward

First prize : £80, Second prize £50, Third prize £20

All proceeds from the competition will go to the DEC Ukraine and Afghanistan Charity Campaigns


Spring 2022 Shortlist

Congratulations to everyone who made it to the Shortlist! And thanks to all our longlistees – we’re sorry your stories didn’t progress to the next round but please stay tuned for a celebratory flash reading event in May.
As ever, if your story made the shortlist, please celebrate on social media without giving away which one’s yours.

Ambulance
Ask the colours, not the scalpel
Ceropegia Woodii
Concealer
Dimly into the future
Find shelter
Mind the gap
Tightwire
When The After came to stay
When the words disappeared

Guest Judge Emily Devane now has the 10 stories for her deliberations over Easter and our winners will be announced by the end of the month.

Spring 2022 Longlist

Ambulance
And the light shines in the darkness
Animal nature
Ask the colours, not the scalpel
Broken
Carol tries the Keto Diet but still puts on weight
Ceropegia Woodii
Concealer
Dimly into the future
Down from the door
Find shelter
If our relationship were a song
Long slow day with Berocca and PIPIS
Mind the gap
Pianissimo
Soar
The colour of birdsong
Tightwire
When The After came to stay
When the words disappeared


Guest Judge Emily Devane

Emily Devane is a writer, teacher and editor from Ilkley, West Yorkshire. Her short fiction, poetry and essays have been widely published, most recently in Ambit, Bath Short Story Award Anthology, Best Microfiction Anthology and Smokelong Quarterly. She has won prizes including the Bath Flash Fiction Award, a Northern Writers’ Award and a Word Factory Apprenticeship. Emily co-hosts Word Factory’s online Strike! Short Story Club. She is a founding editor of FlashBack Fiction, and teaches creative writing at Moor Words @WordsMoor.

What Emily is looking for in flash:

“I have broad tastes when it comes to flash fiction – so, try me. Make me laugh, or cry or ponder. I like quiet, layered stories that linger, and also loud, bold stories that capture me from the very first sentence and don’t let go. I love it when a writer has taken care over every word, though that doesn’t mean stories need to be careful. Avoid editing the life out of a story – often, that first draft is where the energy lies. I appreciate innovation when it comes to structure and language, but the story must always come first. Above all, I want to see stories that feel as if the writer has put a piece of themselves on the page. Those are the sorts of stories I don’t forget in a hurry.”