Skip to content

New Writers Flash Fiction Competition 2024 – Results

We had almost 700 entries to our latest Flash Fiction Competition and, as always with our competitions, the standard of the entries was exceptional.

We send our thanks to our amazing head judge, Dr Stephanie Carty, who has selected the winners after careful consideration.

We’d also like to mention the creative writing charity, First Story – £1.00 from each entry (£669 in total) has been donated to First Story to help them continue their excellent work.

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition and commiserations to those who didn’t win or make the shortlist or longlist. There were so many brilliant entries and we are confident that many of those we didn’t select will find homes elsewhere, so please don’t give up on them.

We’re delighted to announce the winners and those who made the shortlist and longlist (click on the titles to read the entries).

Head Judge Stephanie Carty’s Report

The winning pieces are very different from one another, however they shared an initial impact on reading and then that magic ingredient of being so memorable as to leave ‘residue’ in my mind in the following days. This usually means that a piece has layers and so permeates the unconscious and nestles in to trigger further emotional responses and memorable images.

Another strength the pieces shared is the writers used the particular format of flash in an appropriate way. One of the reasons that I love flash fiction, is that it can be created in different, playful ways. Our winners used different techniques but essentially these were not random or to stand out, but were related to the meaning or mood of the story itself, as I will discuss further.

Finally, these writers have a clear love of language. They took care with their word choices – the sound, shape, movement of them. They surprised with key stand-out phrases but didn’t overwrite. They are the kind of pieces that you could dissect in a class to find your favourite elements.


First Prize (£1,000): States That Shaped Your Octopus Brain by Gail Anderson

Gail Anderson is a former stop-motion animator from California who lives in Scotland. Her short-form writing has taken first prize in competitions including the Edinburgh Award for Flash Fiction, the Scottish Arts Trust Story Awards and the Winchester Writers’ Festival. Recent work appears in The Southampton Review, New Writing Scotland, New Flash Fiction Review and Mslexia.

(Website: | Twitter/X: @smallgreenberd)

Head judge’s comments:

I knew this flash would be in my top three from my first reading of it. It’s a confident, beautiful and layered piece. Written in second person, it pulls you in to experience the story while at the same time hurtling you into a bizarre set-up that feels alien. However, as you read on, I found the story works on two levels – you can attribute meaning and read it as an allegory or you can allow yourself to be swept up and accept the story as truth, the last sentence playing out in your body. The flash needs re-reading several times with new clues to show with each layer that is peeled away playfully. An important aspect is how this piece created such emotional resonance in me – perhaps even discomfort – leaving my unconscious to tiptoe into the hidden yearnings it reached. Stunning work!

Second Prize (£300): Instructions for an unswallowed life by Jane Dugdale

Jane Dugdale is a researcher and writer. Her short fiction has been published by the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize, Reflex Fiction, The Bath Short Story Award and NFFD. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and can be found on X and Bluesky

(Twitter/X: @janeannedugdale | Bluesky:

Head judge’s comments:

This flash is written as a list of instructions which fit so well with the character we are learning about, how she has been judged and unheard, following the expectations of family and society. In the most terrible circumstances (which are not heavy due to the playful nature), I could feel her strengthening and shouted ‘yes!’ as I read.

This work is like a miniature piece of therapy. I don’t want to spoil it by pulling any lines or the theme but suffice to say I experienced it as fierce and necessary. Read it aloud for full impact. Even better, read it to a friend or sister.

Third Prize (£200): Treasure by Twig Firth

Twig Firth lives in York, UK.

Head judge’s comments: This quieter flash brought me joy in its child’s lens. It froths with images and uses language so deftly that it feels on the cusp of a poem. The sentences are choppy and take us into the experience rather than telling us about it. I would love to read a novella by this writer using the same voice. Let the quiet of this piece roar inside you.


Here are the other entries that head judge Stephanie Carty selected for the shortlist of the competition:

  • Calima by June O’Sullivan

June O’Sullivan lives on an island in Co. Kerry, Ireland. Her writing has appeared in the Leicester Writes Short Story Anthology 2022, The Ogham Stone Journal, The York Literary Review, Seaside Gothic, The Storms Journal, The Waxed Lemon, Sonder and online as part of the National Flash Flood Day. She is a student of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.

  • Love, Broken by Danielle Mund

Danielle Mund grew up in the urban jungle known as New York City, though she currently lives in Puerto Rico, where rainbows are as common as mosquitoes and enormous iguanas roam like prehistoric monsters. She writes fiction across multiple genres, and most recently, her writing was long listed for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and short listed for the Fractured Lit Anthology Prize. She is currently debating whether her next move will be a cappuccino or a nap.

  • Moondrunk, Colorado by Leila Einhorn

Leila Einhorn lives and writes in Fort Collins, Colorado. Her work has appeared in 8 Poems, Apricity Press, Always Crashing, and elsewhere. She is a former editorial assistant for the Colorado Review, as well as a co-founder of the Philadelphia Free Poetry Workshop in West Philly. She is currently working on a poetry chapbook about trauma, recovery, and the messiness of ordinary lives.

  • Rock Hammer by James Borley

James is a graduate of Bath Spa University’s Creative Writing BA programme and writes in his spare time from his home in Somerset, UK. He has been shortlisted for both the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize and Bridport Short Story Prize. He is currently working on his first novel.

  • Saltwater by Anne Byrne

Anne Byrne is a writer from County Sligo, Ireland. Highly commended in the Dorothy Dunnett HWA Short Story Competition 2023 for historical fiction she has won and been placed in various competitions for short fiction and poetry. She was the winner of the Roscommon Chapbook Bursary Award 2021 with her first collection of short stories, The Bottom of the Hourglass, published in 2021. She is currently working on her first novel.

  • Sunday in the Convent School Library by Jennifer Riddalls

Jennifer Riddalls is a high school librarian by day and a writer, reader, cat & child wrangler at all other times. A Scot in England, she recently graduated from Birkbeck, University of London, with an MA in Creative Writing. Her words can be found in lovely places like Mslexia, Reflex Fiction, Retreat West and more.

  • That Indian Girl Who Dreamt of Space by Mansi Patel

Mansi Patel is an astrophysics student determined to learn more about the wonders of space. She has been an avid creative writer since the age of nine and enjoys merging space and writing into extraterrestrial stories! An advocate for representation in the physics field, Mansi endeavours to share her story through the power of words: maybe there’ll be another Indian Girl who Dreamt of Space?

  • White Heat in a Hammock by Mila Moriarty

Mila Moriarty currently writes from Paris where she studies at the Catholic Institute, while painting and working in fashion. She received her BA in comparative literature from Reed College studying fine art and dance. She grew up in the woods of New England among fairies and sheep. (Instagram: @amhmori)

  • Hungry Ghosts by Râna Campbell

Râna Campbell is an editor currently based in Montreal, Canada. Her writing has previously been longlisted for AWC’s Furious Fiction showcase, and she will have four 42-word stories and a chapter introduction appearing in the 42 Stories Anthology. One of these stories was selected as the Story of Excellence for the anthology’s Utopia/Dystopia chapter. For your entertainment, Râna has started an online collection of her rejected works of all genres.

  • Intersection by Grant Wandle


Here are the entries and writers that were weren’t far off making the shortlist:

#Witchfinder by Abby Williams
A forest first, a lesson last by Debra Waters
A Special Affinity for Widows by Penny-Anne Beaudoin
Amongst by Robert Vander Leest
And Counting by D. M. Clemens
Back to the Future by Liam Brown
Before the Bees Took Sudden Flight by Marvellous Chukwukelu
Carpark Catharsis by Polly Shephard
Chapel of Dreams by Chris Cottom
Chicken by Rebecca Klassen
Colossus by B. Dance
Contradiction by Jupiter Jones
Cushioned by Jane Broughton
Ebb Tide by Jacky Taylor
Larry the Cat by Miranda Husain
Lost/Found by M. Lea Gray
Margaret, Mark, Manish and Makali by Frances Gapper
Parka of Invisibility by Shelley Roche-Jacques
Reasons to live with by Richard Hooton
Satiated by Katia Isabel
She was always much quieter when you were around by James Gladden
Sister Spider by Trudie Wingfield
Still Famous by Helen Rana
Supper by Mariah Feria
Talk to the Hand by Glenn Holmes
Tea and biscuits by Mary Francis
The Fiction I’m Creating by Felipe Efeiche Zahr
The Law Of The Playground by Alison Wassell
The Maddening Crowd is This Silence by maiaruna
The Mouth on You by Paul Bassett Davies
The Person who Transforms via Hiccups by Ruairi Bolton
The Tributary by Nick Havergal
The unbearable grinding of gears by Rhian Healy
Three Little Letters by C.C. William
Tick Tock by Helen Roberts
Time Doesn’t Heal A Single Thing by Niamh Cunningham
Waste Ground by Wendy Fisher
Whisky Sunset by Maxine Alterio
White on White by Lucien Rae Gentil
Wrong place, Buddy by Jon Groom
Your Filth and Frailty by Christina Andersson

A note to the other entrants

If you entered our flash fiction competition and your name does not appear above, it may come as a disappointment (we’ve been there and we understand!). The judging process is necessarily subjective, and choosing which entries made the longlist, shortlist and which were awarded prizes is no easy task. Please do not view this as a rejection of your work – there were hundreds of brilliant flash fiction entries and if your entry wasn’t picked this time, in this competition, there’s every chance it could do well in another competition or find a home at a literary magazine.

Putting your creative work into the world takes courage and we applaud everyone who entered, whether you made the longlist/shortlist or not. We thank you all for entering and hope you continue to write and create.