Flash Fiction 2021

30 days. 30 prompts. 30 Words.

#WVFlashFic21


2021 is the third year that Writers Victoria has run its April Flash Fiction competition.

Every day for thirty days, we'll post a prompt on our Twitter and via email for participants to write 30 words about – the theme for 2021 is 'unfold'.

A winner will be chosen by the Writers Victoria staff every day of the competiton. As a prize the winner will be mailed a personalised postcard from a Writers Victoria staff member. One overall winner will also be awarded a free workshop of their choice from our program!

Read on for guidelines and information about taking part in #WVFlashFic21.

 


FLASH FICTION 2021 WINNER AND RUNNERS-UP


WINNER: DISPLAY

Another marvellous display. She was a star.
Backstage; she takes off her earrings, removes her wig, wipes the makeup off her face.
 Returning home— plain.
“Welcome back, son.”
Another display.
– M. Korps

 

RUNNER-UP: OPEN

We scratched and scraped our memories from the walls, hiding the darkest under lavender-coloured paint. The auctioneer opened the bidding low, though. A garden overgrown by weeds and rumours.
– Matthew S. Wilson

 

RUNNER-UP: HANDS
It’s early onset, they said. But keep her hands busy; her mind will focus. So i found mum’s crochet hooks and that unfinished blanket. Now i sit here, unraveling.
 – Dr Paula Hanasz

 

RUNNER-UP: CRUMPLE
Amma tsks at my crumpled sari. “Who will marry you now?”
“One who is truly worthy of her” answers Appa.
They smile at each other, remembering past crumpled saris.
– Sumitra

 


DAILY WINNERS


DAY 1: CREASE
The crease in her elbow couldn’t hide the tell-tale pinprick scars, a sad past. But this needle, colour saturated and gliding over skin would create a new story.
– Sylvia Mendez


DAY 2: DEVELOP
‘The key,’ he explains, stirring slowly, ‘is allowing the flavours to develop.’
It takes her a moment to realise he’s serious. ‘They’re baked beans, Tom,’ she scoffs. ‘From a tin.’
– Allison Black


DAY 3: SEGMENTATION
He was multi-tasking, peeling the orange and glaring at me. I sank lower into the couch, deeper into my book. Too bad the pith in his soul couldn’t be removed.
– Ashara


DAY 4: BLOSSOM
Her lips pursed, a petulant blossom, moments before the quiver began, eyes shining with unshed tears. She was trying very hard, but I was not buying her an ice cream.
– Devin Jeyathurai


DAY 5: HANDS
It’s early onset, they said. But keep her hands busy; her mind will focus. So i found mum’s crochet hooks and that unfinished blanket. Now i sit here, unraveling.
 – Dr Paula Hanasz


DAY 6: ILLUMINATE
Illuminated by candlelight, I recite the spell. I’m summoning true love. Together forever.
Flashes of blood-red, sparks of midnight-black. Smoke swirls and the smell—
Oh-oh.
‘Wrong page,’ says the demon.
– Louise Zedda-Sampson


DAY 7: CRUMPLE
Amma tsks at my crumpled sari. “Who will marry you now?”
“One who is truly worthy of her” answers Appa.
They smile at each other, remembering past crumpled saris.
– Sumitra


DAY 8: RENEW
Charred and scorched-decimated earth,
Yet blackened stump resolves rebirth.
From bushfired heart, green tendril grew,
Answering nature’s call, “Renew. Renew!”
– Rebecca Fraser


DAY 9: OPEN
We scratched and scraped our memories from the walls, hiding the darkest under lavender-coloured paint. The auctioneer opened the bidding low, though. A garden overgrown by weeds and rumours.
– Matthew S. Wilson
 

DAY 10: POP
Skinny-dips. Salted hair. Summer freedom. Ryan stands across, beaming. Johnny leans forward, his heart palpitating like an upbeat pop song. Finally, they kiss. It’s squishy, magical. Perhaps... life-changing.
– Zachary Pryor


DAY 11: ELABORATE
Grandma lived her life like she did her knitting. Nothing elaborate. Never stopping for a dropped stitch; moving forwards, never back.
It didn’t matter she had holes.
She was warm.
– Keshe


DAY 12: UNRAVEL
All eyes are upon her.
It has been another challenging case to unravel.
Murders always are. 
"In summary," she breathes, "I submit Professor Plum, in the ballroom with the candlestick."
 – David Wilson
 

DAY 13: MANIFEST
She always thought love would be loud: fireworks, violins, skywriting. But true love arrived unannounced, manifest by nine-to-five drudgery, peeled potatoes, a kiss goodnight.
– Andrea Barton


DAY 14: SCRUNCH
Gloves off, hard work done, she spies a single autumn leaf. She’ll scrunch it and sprinkle it on the soil, no harm. Except for wetness revealing the leaf’s hidden occupant. 
 – AJ Collins


DAY 15: CONSCIOUSNESS
After confessing to her, I squeeze the landline, listening for her response. Only ocean static. I feel slimy, molluscan. Even the receiver’s plastic shell spirals inward, self-conscious of its conch-iness.
– Matthew Wojczys


DAY 16: BURST
After he’s gone, the yard fills with dehiscent fruit, splitting on the vine or dropping wetly to the grass. The old tom sleeps beneath the pomegranate, waiting for the birds.
– Jane O’Sullivan


DAY 17: LEARN
Cheryl had learnt recorder at primary school, a passion she shrill-ly revived, too often, after drinks. When her husband attempted violin, producing screeches as accompaniment, their children finally left home.
– Daphne Briggs


DAY 18: EXPLORE
A timorous nature rendered her unable to explore the world. Lockdown supports reimagining as an astronaut who stargazes from Space Station Bedroom. Her rich inner cosmos now nurtured by lockdown.
– Anne Murphy


DAY 19: REVEAL
Neck stiff. Finger sore.
Straining from constantly smacking refresh!
Anxiously awaiting the change of that little number beside 'inbox'. For the outcome to reveal itself.
Nothing.
"Have you checked spam?"
– Olivia Muscat


DAY 20: ORIGAMI
She referred to them as her two princes. Origami crowns atop their heads, they rode broomstick stallions around the yard until she called them in for bath time.
– Melanie Haley


DAY 21: EXPAND
Seventy-one years, living alone in that same farmhouse.
"Poor, old girl", folks would say. "Imagine living like that, never expanding your horizons."
Of course, they had never seen her library.
– Tarik Bacchus


DAY 22: EMERGE
Thought my love would emerge from a lake, white-shirted and wet but still smouldering. Found him rewiring my parent’s home, flannel-shirted and deserted-booted, dry and funny. And far more useful.
– Dr Karen Downing


DAY 23: UNFURL
Memory fades like the last light of dusk. First she forgot my name, then she forgot her own. And I stood by helpless watching time itself unfurl in her eyes.
– Anna Burns


DAY 24: LETTER
Dear Heathrow Airport,
R.e. Penalty Notice
I did not believe I required a flyover permit, on account of the fact I was a bat at the time.
Yours sincerely
Dracula
– Adam Fleet


DAY 25: UNWRAP
Time bifurcated into before and after her daughter died. Her husband straddled their forked and foreign world. As if his intent diminished her loss, kindness to him was rarely unwrapped.
– Fiona Lynch

 

DAY 26: DISPLAY
Another marvellous display. She was a star.
Backstage; she takes off her earrings, removes her wig, wipes the makeup off her face.
 Returning home— plain.
“Welcome back, son.”
Another display.
– M. Korps

 

DAY 27: BETRAY
"Not racist, is it?" They all turned to him. He considered sharing hard truths. Wasn't worth the risk. He smiled. The moment passed. Their tension dissipated as he betrayed himself.
– Noren Haq

 

DAY 28: BECOME
Joel's parents always told him he could become anything he put his mind to.
In the emergency department, both arms in plaster, his Dad whispered, "Anything but Superman son." 
– Ray See

 

DAY 29: DISCOVER
The shipmaker smooths a hull, imagines waves he’ll never cleave, harbours he’ll never discover. His wife wakes, smelling sawdust and ale. The back of his hands leave her knotted, splintered.
– Marion Taffe

 

DAY 30: UNFOLD
“My coffee, Priscilla! Growing the beans from scratch, are we?”
 “Coming, sir!” 
 She tips in the second laxative sachet; delivers it with a smile; waits for the rest to unfold.
– Kate Rassie

 


FLASH FICTION GUIDELINES

1. The prompt will be released every day at 8AM on our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and via the Flash Fiction newsletter (sign up to the daily prompt newsletter here).

2. Write up to 30 words inspired by and/or including the prompt in your writing.

3. Submit your entry in one of two ways: on Twitter by tagging @Writers_Vic and using the hashtag #WVFlashFic21; or by email to editor@writersvictoria.org.au, using the prompt for that day as your subject.

4. Submit by midnight the day of the prompt is released for your submission to be considered.

5. Winners will be announced every Tuesday throughout April, with the overall winner announced at the start of May.

6. Each daily winner will be sent a writerly themed postcard from one of our staff members, and the overall winner will win a spot in a workshop of their choice with Writers Victoria.

 


 

Can I submit more than one entry?

We only accept one entry daily per person. If you're writing multiple entries daily, we suggest waiting to send through your entry until the end of the day (entries close at midnight) so you can choose your favourite piece of writing as your official entry.

 

Does a title count as part of the 30 word limit?

No - not everyone chooses to use a title for their entry, so we won't be counting any titles in the thirty word limit.

 

I have a question!

If the information on this page hasn't answered your question, please feel free to get in touch at editor@writersvictoria.org.au.

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