Sarah Hilary has asked me to mention on this blog a venture connected with this year's Crimefest, to be held in Bristol at the end of May. As regular readers will know, I'm a big fan of Crimefest and have attended each year since its inception. The panels are good, but in many ways the greatest strength of this very friendly event is the social side. There's a great deal of mingling between authors and fans, and speaking as an author who is also a fan, I find that very enjoyable indeed.
The Flashbang competition, is open to people who are not established writers (pity, I've recently developed a taste for writing flash fiction myself!). The aim is to write a story in 150 words or less,and Sarah tells me that this year the judge will be that splendid crime writer Zoe Sharp. Zoe, incidentally, is one of the most knowledgeable people I know on the subject of e-publishing, and has entered that area with her customary zest and effectiveness. She's also, among other things, a highly talented photographer and I well remember a cold day in Ilkley when Murder Squad did a photo shoot with her. I'm sure she'll be a very fair judge.
Flash fiction has gained in popularity due to the internet, I think. A short-short story is ideally suited to online publication, and there are some very good examples around. I haven't actually seen a conventional print anthology of flash crime fiction, but there may well be some around that I haven't caught up with.
Writing a very short story, say of less than 1000 words, might seem easy, but brevity demands concentration, and I'm not sure writing a really good flash fiction story is much easier than writing a good short poem. One short-short that I did have published conventionally a few years ago, as Sarah reminded me, was a story called InDex, which gave me a lot of pleasure. I hope lots of people will give the competition a go..