Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Flash Fiction and Crimefest

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..


Sarah Hilary said...

Many thanks, Martin. I'm so glad you're a convert to flash fiction! Your story InDex is a terrific example of it - I'd love to link to it online, if it's up there?

Martin Edwards said...

I'm afraid it isn't at the moment, Sarah. But I'm giving thought to how to e-publish my short stories at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin, thanks for bringing the Flashbang competition to our attention. I’ll see what I can come up with.

I’m delighted you’re getting into flash fiction now! ‘InDex’ is a brilliantly original and amusing piece and I’ve often wondered what else you might produce in the short-short form.

I’m into FF myself but agree it’s an exacting form. Despite keeping a strict word count, I usually over-run and have to trim back – a process which is all a part of the fun to me. Not everything comes off but it’s very satisfying when something does.

FF clearly lags a long way behind poetry so far as print publication is concerned. Given it’s increasing popularity on the web, though, I wonder whether a forward-looking publisher might be prepared to bring out a print or electronic anthology of quality FF in a popular genre such as crime, supernatural or SF, perhaps with a big name intro. What do you think?

Good luck in e-publishing your own short fiction.

Best wishes,