Short Short Story Slam: 28 June 2013

Story Slam socialThe Flashtag Writers’ will host a live literature battle for Didsbury Arts Festival where you, the audience, are the judge.

In the Short Short Story Slam, a panel of plucky contestants will take to the stage with their best very-short stories, battling other fiction-writing foes in a series of tense but hilarious head-to-heads. With voting cards under their seats, the audience decides who stays and who is deleted… there can only be one ultimate Short Short Story Slam gladiator of grammar.

Just to add to the excitement, the event also includes the grand results of the Didsbury Arts Festival Twitter fiction competition (launching on June 15th).

Join us for the contest of a lifetime!

Date: Friday 28 June 2013
Time: 8pm
Venue: The Albert Club. Didsbury
Admission: Free
More details: Here.


And the winners are…


On Wednesday last we gathered our shortlist, our judges, and our favourite flash fiction writer David Gaffney, and tucked ourselves into the tightest little nook Chorlton had to offer. And despite uncomfortable levels of intimacy (or because of it perhaps), we had a simply gorgeous night of little length literature.

Have a look at our Facebook page for pictures.

And the winners? They were and still are as follows:

1st Place: Looking for an Astrolabe by Michael Conley

2nd Place: This Kitten I Knew by Simon Sylvester

3rd Place: Joint winners: The Clockman by Cathy Lennon & Pins and Needles by Guy Garrud

Congratulations to Michael, Simon, Cathy and Guy – stunning stories all round. Many thanks to everyone who came to the event and did a reading; all the shortlistees demonstrated just how strong our entries were this year.

Coming up next, we have a super special event planned for Didsbury Arts Festival. Watch this space….

Flashtag grand final 22 May 2013

Do pop down to the fantastic grand final of the 2013 Flashtag Writing Competition.

The theme of our third Chorlton Arts Festival short fiction competition was Past, Present, Future. We now have a shortlist and there can only be one winner. We’ll reveal the winner in the final. Expect booze and readings and lots of laughs.

Our headliner will be Flashtag groupie and godfather of short short fiction, David Gaffney. His fourth collection of short stories, More Sawn-Off Tales, is an essential book for all short short fiction writers.


(In keeping with the Past, Present, Future theme, our grand final takes place in the Future. During the event, it will be in the Present and after the event, it will be in the Past. We scheduled this deliberately because we’re clever. Bish, bash, bosh.)

The Shortlist 2013

Well hello. We’ve bished, we’ve boshed, we’ve bashed. We’ve taken the stories you sent us and picked apart every single individual letter to find our favourites and, inevitably, all five of us rocked up with different favourites. Seriously. Happens every year. So we bish, bash, boshed it all out and agreed on our tip-top eight. And here, ladyfowls and gentlecocks, are those 8 arranged alphabetically by story title:

Let the Librarian Hold the Book by Allie Rogers

Looking for an Astrolabe by Michael Conley

Nothing Left Behind by Dale Lately

Occasional by Clare Kirwan

Pins and Needles by Guy Garrud

The Clockman by Cathy Lennon

The Girl Who Lived on a Bus Stop by Sarah Butler

This Kitten I Knew by Simon Sylvester

Congratulations Allie, Michael, Dale, Clare, Guy, Cathy, Sarah & Simon! BUT – who has won? You don’t find out, not yet. We will announce the magnificent winner at our glittering Chorlton Arts Festival event on Wednesday May 22nd at The Nook and Cranny in Chorlton. Come along to hear readings of all 8 shortlisted stories, as well as fresh floundering fictions from the Flashtag fivesome.

And if you didn’t make our shortlist this year, don’t be disheartened. We had a stupendously high calibre of stories and a horrible time whittling down to this final octagon of fiction. We say this every year, but if any one of us was a solitary judge for this competition the shortlist would be very different indeed.

So congratulations once again to our shortlisted authors, see you all in Chorlton on the 22nd.

Au revoir


Chorlton Arts Festival 2013 – Flashtag competition 3

We are back for a third Chorlton Arts Festival, and a third short fiction competition. This year we have a theme – Past, Present, Future.

Can you join previous winners Socrates Adams and Clare Kirwan and become the third person to win the #Flashtag Writing Competition? Of course you can.

This year we have lowered the word limit to 400 words. We are like literary limbo instructors, making you work harder and harder. Maybe you will concentrate on the past, or set your story in the future, or maybe you will have a really clever idea for a story that incorporates past, present and future. As long as it is 400 words or less, and it blows our minds, we will be happy.

Take a stroll through our website. Don’t forget to have a close look at those rules. Pick up your pen and submit. Let’s go!

Now Then Manchester

Now Then excerptWatch out for Now Then Manchester in cafes around the city – Flashtag have a double-page spread!

Now Then is a magazine that has tip-toed from the other side of the Pennines. It’s a magazine, a blog and a promoter all mixed into one lovely, well-designed whole.

The debut Mancunian edition has five stories from all five Flashtag writers. The print edition is a beautiful thing to hold – it’s free too! – but if you can’t get your hands on that, then maybe load up this online version (click here) and give your computer screen a good tickle.

Wordplay poster: click for info

The Flashtag writing collective returns to Didsbury Arts Festival for a second year, this time curating an evening of spoken word and music.

Expect a variety of prose and poetry from local artists presented against a backdrop of entertaining visual projections and set to original scores by Manchester-based musicians encompassing genres from electronica to loungecore.

This promises to be an interesting and eclectic night – and very entertaining!

WORD>PLAY 27 September 2012