17 May 2012

How Long is Yours? - Underword: National Flash Fiction Day 2012, May 16

27ish fantastic flash fiction writers performed last night at Underword, hosted in celebration of the first National Flash Fiction Day by the bebearded Gavin Inglis.

It turned out that nobody really knew what flash fiction was, but it was the resulting variety of lengths and forms that made the evening so interesting. Some of the flashes, tbh, were just short stories to my haiku-addled mind.

My own contribution, “The Bach Prelude”, weighed in at a hefty seventy five words:

Featured on Paragraph Planet, April 20th
It looked this little paragraph would be the shortest short of the evening, but my parade was swiftly pissed on by a bloke called Roddy Shippin who spat a three-word story at the audience without a thought for my feelings.*

The third shortest short, if that’s an accolade, was Gavin’s “Sex and Death” which costs twenty five of your English words. If you are drinking a cup of tea, I suggest you put it down before you open the link.

Gavin Inglis demonstrating the correct size of a flash ficlet.
You can find piglicker's full Underword photo set on Flickr, including a pic of me blinking seductively.
Other stories I particularly liked were “The Last Supper” by Katy Hastie, “Letters” by Mark Harding, “Metamorf” by Andrew C. Ferguson and “Kewpie” by Jane McKie, but there were too many super contributions to mention individually.** ***

It was exciting to see so many people read in one evening. The fast turnarounds (not to mention the flashy flash fictions) meant it was hard to be bored. Perhaps that sets a bad precedent: encouraging the increasing standards and decreasing attention spans of Edinburgh’s spoken word scene can only be a dangerous proposition.



* I met him afterwards and he says he didn’t do it on purpose.

** I did notice there is actually the beginning of a black mould on the ceiling of my bathroom last night. I let you guess what happened next.

*** My favourite audience member was Charlotte’s flat mate. Apart from Charlotte that is. And mum.

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