A beautifully written tale of discovering a ‘mermaid’s purse’, with an ultimately tragic conclusion, is the winner of this year’s National Flash Fiction Youth Competition – self-contained tales for the Twitter generation.
The competition is organised by the Department of English at the University of Chester and the International Flash Fiction Association (IFFA), and is open to current AS level, A level, and Scottish Higher students aged 16 to 19 and studying in the UK.
Each story submitted for consideration is no more than 360 words.
For the third year running, a pupil from Winstanley College, Wigan has achieved first place.
The first prize was won by Lucie Stanfield (who won Highly Commended in the same competition last year). Her story The Mermaid’s Purse was partly inspired by her own childhood memories and love of the beach, and has a deliberately shocking ending to contrast with the rest of her story.
Her prize was £100 of Waterstones vouchers, online publication of her story, and in the April issue of Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine.
Second prize went to Frankie Rufolo, from Exeter College, in Exeter, for Confession. Frankie won £75 of Waterstones vouchers and online publication.
A Decaying Matter by Daniel Blurton, from Bilborough College, Nottingham, was the third prize winner. His prize was £50 of Waterstones vouchers and online publication.
The judges were the author and senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Chichester, David Swann, and the editors of Flash, Dr Peter Blair and Dr Ashley Chantler.
Dr Peter Blair said: “This was the fifth year of the competition and we had a particularly strong (and large) batch of submissions from schools around the country.”
Dr Ashley Chantler added: “It was pleasing to see such a wide range of styles and subject matter. The future of flash fiction looks bright.”