Last week, we held the live final of this year’s Chorlton Arts Festival writing competition. We listened to all eight shortlisted stories (six of which were read by their authors, so a special thanks to them for coming down to join us on the night, from as far afield as Lancaster and Chesterfield), we read some of our own work, and we heard from Bristol Prize-winner and National Flash Fiction Day editor Valerie O’Riordan, so there was a nice variety of flash fiction in Chorlton that night!
We also created a piece right there and then, inviting audience members over to a proper old manual typewriter (and a left-handed on, no less) to add lines to a story in the style of the Surrealist Exquisite Corpse (or Consequences) game. The resulting tale was actually rather marvellous, so thanks to everyone who contributed! You can hear our very own Fat Roland read it on our Facebook page…
Anyway, without further ado, here are the top three stories, in reverse order, as is tradition: third place went to Norman Hadley with Bit Flood. In second place was Daniel Carpenter with Battery. And finally (drum roll)… first place went to Clare Kirwan with Two Swans. Well done to them, and well done to everyone on the shortlist and indeed to everyone who entered stories.
This Wednesday, 23 May 2012, the FlashTag collective will be in The Beech pub on Beech Road from 8pm. As well as undoubtedly sampling the fine hand-pulled ales on offer, we will be hosting our latest event: the FlashTag Writing Competition Live Final.
All shortlisted entrants have been invited to read at this spoken word night and glittering prize-giving ceremony, which takes place as part of Chorlton Arts Festival 2012. The winner and runners-up will be announced and we’ll also be having some word-based fun and games, readings by the five members of the collective, plus a guest slot by Bristol Short Story Prize-winner Valerie O’Riordan.
Going on last year’s event for CAF and our Smut Night for Didsbury Arts Festival, it promises to be a good evening!
For more details, click here…
Yesterday, #Flashtag, made up of Tom Mason, Fat Roland, Sarah-Clare Conlon and David Hartley, flashmobbed dozens of Manchester venues to celebrate National Flash Fiction Day. From 10am to 5pm, the writing group sped across the city reading their short fiction at venues likes Manchester Art Gallery and the People’s History Museum.
Here’s just some of the highlights from the day:
Today, the Flashtag writing group take to the streets of Manchester in celebration of Flash Fiction Day. Over the course of the day, we’ll be reading our fiction out in some of Manchester’s most iconic venues. Here’s where we’ll be (and when) if you want to pop along. And even if you can’t, please do tweet your encouragement to us at @flashtagmcr or on the #flashtag hashtag. All performances will take place in the main lobby/atrium of the venue unless otherwise stated.
The set list
10.00 – Whitworth Art Gallery
10.20 – Contact Theatre (Space 5)
10.50 – Manchester Museum
11.00 – University Place
11.10 – Blackwells Bookshop
11.20 – Manchester Aquatics Centre
11.40 – 8th Day Cafe
11.50 – Royal Northern College of Music
12.30 – John Rylands University Library (Blue 4)
12.50 – The Cornerhouse
13.00 – Oxford Road Train Station
13.30 – The Royal Exchange Theatre
13.40 St. Anne’s Square
13.50 – Exchange Square
14.40 – Waterstones, Arndale Centre
14.50 – Piccadilly Gardens
15.00 – Stevenson Square
15.10 – The Hive (The Classroom, ground floor)
15.30 – Manchester Art Gallery
15.40 – St. Peter’s Square
15.45 – Manchester Town Hall
16.00 – John Rylands Library, Deansgate
16.20 – People’s History Museum
16.40 – Hardmann Square, Spinningfields
17.00 – Waterstones, Deansgate
Wednesday 16th May is National Flash Fiction Day, a national celebration of short fiction which features literary events taking place all across the country. The project, which has funding from the UK Arts Council, aims to promote short fiction to a new audience of would-be writers.
As part of National Flash Fiction Day, the innovative Flashtag team are travelling across the city of Manchester to perform a number of pieces of short fiction to the city’s masses. We’re dashing around town to read our flash to the general public in and around a number of iconic buildings and locations such as Manchester Museum, The Cornerhouse, John Rylands Library and The People’s History Museum (to name but a few of the 27 venues and public spaces we’ll be visiting).
From 10am until 5pm on Wednesday 16th May, Fat Roland, Sarah-Clare Conlon, David Hartley and Tom Mason will be racing around in a frenzy of flash fiction in a celebration of the written word. We’ll post confirmed times and venues early next week but, in the meantime, you can help us spread the word by using the hashtag #Flashtag on Twitter. You can also follow us on the site and like our Facebook page.
Don’t be sad if you can’t catch one of our performances though; we’ll be tweeting, filming and blogging the entire thing as the day progresses.
Alternatively, if you’re a venue in Manchester and would like us to consider stopping by for three minutes of fiction, drop us a tweet and we’ll be in touch.
A little insight into the judging process of our competition. Five writers, also bloggers, each with their own bag of opinions, emotions, and fragrances read 66 stories, twice, three times perhaps, and then argue fiercely with each other to whittle those 66 to a measly 8. This is equally the most exciting and the most straining time for the five of us; each of us right, all of us wrong, none of us willing to relent, all of us backing down to the others. And somewhere out of that maelstrom of maniacs comes a shortlist upon which we finally agree and 3 empty pizza boxes. And then we look upon the eight and we see that they are good. And we look upon the other 58 and realise that they are also good, so we turn away and look at the pizza boxes, realise they are also good and before you know it we are handing out prizes to pepperoni and eating reams and reams of flash fiction. After hours of this something snaps. A light turns on and we stop.
And then we regurgitate.
And so, ladies and gentleman, out of five conflicting opinions, in alphabetical order, comes the 2012 Chorlton Arts Festival #Flashtag Flash Fiction Competition shortlist;
Battery by Dan Carpenter
Betty by Kerry Slater
Bit Flood by Norman Hadley
Daguerreotype by James Smart
Know Your Onions by Sarah Schofield
Tarnished by Rachel Green
Two Swans by Clare Kirwan
Walls by Laura Maley
Our winners will be announced at our Chorlton Arts Festival live event which takes place on the 23rd May at The Beech Inn, Beech Road, Chorlton. There will be readings from the shortlistees, fun, games and readings from the five of us lot too. If we can make up with each other by then. You see what you’ve done you brilliant, brilliant writers?