On the 1st of December we announced that the annual writers and illustrators contest, Beyond Realities, would be taking a break for 2017. This is due to the increased volume of submissions which Luna has been receiving, some of which will be published in the next three years. So, sad news but also of course good news.
However, we are not letting you off the hook, dear writers - oh no! At Luna we love a challenge and the opportunity to keep you practicing and testing your skills. And here is where BR-FLit enters the fray.
From the 1st of January to the 30th of April, we will run BR-FLit as our new annual writing contest. It is a flash-fiction challenge, and just like its big brother, Beyond Realities, it will be open to all stories of Fantasy, Dark Fantasy and Science Fiction.
There is a maximum word count of 500 words, with up to five winners. The authors of the stories will be sharing a cash prize made up of the entry fees (£1.50 per entry) and their stories will be published on the Luna Press website.
Now, you might think that it's easier than writing in a more conventional format, but don't be fooled by the "FLit" in the name: flash fiction is a different beast altogether and, just like novels, novellas and short stories, has its own set of rules.
Flash fiction does not mean quick, meaningless or easy to write. On the contrary, the ability to tell a story with such a limited word count is truly a skill. A paragraph or two extracted from something larger does not constitute flash fiction.
The most common example of very short fiction is one that (supposedly) belongs to Ernest Hemingway. Here it is:
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Now, we are not going to stop you at six words - you'll have up to 500 - but it is a great example nonetheless. Poetry is probably the closest word to help understand flash fiction, in that you need to allow the reader to fill in the blanks. Look up at the story again. I bet your mind is suggesting several different interpretations for those words. It's like sunlight filtering into a dark cave: what will it show us?
Visit the BR-FLit page for more information and take the plunge!