National Flash Fiction Day celebrations

Flash Fiction Day booksThis year National Flash Fiction Day falls on 27th June, with events unfurling across the UK to celebrate and share creative writing’s shortest form.

“It is with words as with sunbeams—the more they are condensed the deeper they burn.” Robert Southey.

Over the years, Bristol has become the hub for National Flash Fiction Day, and will kick off with free flash fiction workshop sessions at the Central Library. The workshops will take place from 1.30-4.30pm, led by NFFD director Calum Kerr and prize-winning author KM Elkes.

From 6pm, head over to Foyles Bookstore Bristol for An Evening of Flash Fiction I’ll be sharing a couple of stories at this free event, along with some serious writing talents, including KM Elkes, Zoe Gilbert, Kevlin Henney, Sarah Hilary, Susan Howe, Calum Kerr, Adam Marek, Freya Morris, Grace Palmer, Jonathan Pinnock, Jane Roberts and Diane Simmons.

It’s a free evening of literary entertainment, so please do come along!

Writing prompt – ribbons

Ribbons cr Judy DarleySometimes I’ll happen across something entirely unexpected and delightful, such as this tree hung with vivid ribbons of cloth.

I’ve no idea what prompted someone, or perhaps a group of someones, to adorn a patch of woodland in this way. The fact the ribbons themselves seem torn from vibrant, possibly hand-dyed, fabric is even more intriguing. What ritual was carried out here? What do the ribbons symbolise? Whose garment was shredded, and why? Did they have to run home naked?

Write a story from this, and send it my way!

If you turn this into a short story, or know the real answers to these questions, I’d love to know. Just send an email to Judy(at)socket You could see your words published on

Book review – Meridian by David Rose

Meridian by David RosePart novel, part interlinked short story collection, this immersive tale takes you into a world of people each deeply absorbed in their own lives. Whether it’s the architect seeing the beauty in the world around him, or the man building a wine rack and obsessing over a misadventure on a quiz show, each character is focused on their activities in a way that can’t help but draw you in.

Objects hold an emotive significance that becomes almost sensual – for the woman bidding at an auction items conjure up a nostalgia in which jam-making “means freedom, expansion of the soul. The clatter of copper pans in her grandmother’s kitchen was the comfort-zone of solitude”.

For me this is the sense the book as a whole offers up – a gaze at life’s minutiae that’s both intensely personal and dizzyingly universal. Often this is simply about our own sentiment and connections, but many ring out, following the protagonists’ rambling thoughts to uncover some wise observation or intriguing information. For example, a section about a remembered pair of binoculars becomes a wonderment over the aftermath of World War II “the returnees, the expulsions, the Displaced Persons housed in barracks, prisons, derelict halls”, finishing the paragraph with the simple, vivid sentence, “Life, he found, was a constant rippling out.” Continue reading