Archive for March, 2013


The third-annual #Flashtag writing contest for Chorlton Arts Festival is now open for entries.

This year we have a theme – Past, Present, Future.

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.

Send your stories to

Please put “#Flashtag Writing Competition 2013 – (name of your story)” as the subject header. In the body of the email we will need your name, and the name of your story.

This year we will be giving away a big goodie bag full of goodies to the winner, and slightly lots smaller goodie bags to the writers of the second and third place stories. As part of their goodie bag, the winner will also receive a collection of postcards with messages and writing tips from a host of our favourite authors. We’ll top it up with books and pamphlets and words and love.

This year the awards ceremony will be at the Nook & Cranny, Chorlton, on Wednesday the 22nd of May. Keep the evening free. We’ll be announcing more details soon. You can check the rules of the competition here.

Words: 267

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She is summoned from a place of fire and ice; a shadow land of white-hot fury and frozen sadness. In the darkness, she hears their anguish and their pain. And she comes to them.

She appears at their window in the dead of night, crouching on a narrow ledge in the cold, tap-tap-tapping on the glass with thin yellow fingers. Tap-tap-tapping to come in.

She smells of lavender. A cloak of midnight feathers hangs loosely from her thin frame, suffocating the floor around her feet. She talks in shallow breaths.

They will learn that she was not so different to them once. Long ago. Consumed by the same rage and the rejection that eats away at the core.

She asks them to make a choice. It is important they have a choice. They stare into her black sockets and glimpse the future; a vision of the what could be. A good husband or father, or doctor or teacher. They will grow and love and lead a good life. Good.

Some, less than you would expect, turn her down. Some, more than you would expect, do not.

She will ask them to make a choice and then she will vanish.

In the morning, they will awake next to a single sharp feather, as black as coal, resting on the pillow at the side of the bed. And they will know the deed has been done.

Words 237

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