25 May 2012

Flashing in the burbs

Once again, the FlashTag gang have been busy busy busy and, on Wednesday, we held a live final for the flash fiction writing competition that we ran as part of Chorlton Arts Festival. There are loads of photographs on the #Flashtag Facebook page, along with a video of Fat Roland reading out a story the audience wrote on the night, exquisite corpse style, on a real-life typewriter. An inspired idea, I think you'll agree (it was my idea). Six of the eight shortlisted writers read their work, one of whom hadn't read before, so well done her. The remaining two stories on the shortlist were read by members of the FlashTag team, and the five of us each read really short pieces, as did our headliner, the talented Valerie O'Riordan. All the stories were really different and the variety and the marvellous company made for a jolly good evening.Congratulations to everyone who made the final eight, and to our winner Clare Kirwan, second place runner-up Daniel Carpenter and third placed Norman Hadley.

18 May 2012

Reading to Manchester

Some videos of me performing on National Flash-Fiction Day...

...at Cornerhouse...

...and at Waterstones Deansgate.

More from the rest of the FlashTag gang on our website.

17 May 2012

Flash fiction flashmobbers

Yesterday was the first-ever National Flash-Fiction Day, and, boy, were the FlashTag gang busy.

As well as getting various pieces published to coincide with NFFD (Dave on Lancashire Writing Hub, me and Ben in Jawbreakers, me on Paragraph Planet and FlashFlood), we also flashmobbed flash fiction all around Manchester, from 10am until 5pm, in about 30 different locations, and I can tell you my feet hurt.

Here are just a few of the highlights: getting coverage in the Manchester Evening News; being interviewed by Sarah Walters from City Life; having security chuck us out of Spinningfields; meeting and remeeting loads of lovely lovely people in venues around town including Cornerhouse, Royal Exchange theatre, The Hive, Manchester Art Gallery and John Rylands Library; encountering a chalkboard announcing our arrival at the People's History Museum; shouting over Great Abel on Albert Square; chatting to the peregrine-watching lady in Exchange Square; joining some of our other writerly pals Dan Carpenter and Zach Roddis and David Gaffney at various moments in the day; gaining lots of new Twitter followers and making new friends; drinking shedloads to celebrate after we finished; going to the evening event held by Bad Language at the wonderful 3 Minute Theatre...

Audio evidence of me on the day:
Royal Exchange
Eighth Day
Manchester University

More on our Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/Flashtag

Photographic evidence of the day:


15 May 2012

Flash fiction flashmob

Blimey, that came around quickly: the first-ever National Flash-Fiction Day is tomorrow, and I'll be touting my wordy wares in the rainy city. Starting at the Whitworth Art Gallery at 10am, me and the FlashTag boys will then wander around various venues until 5pm, dropping morsels of prose from our mouths and into the ears of an unsuspecting public. We'll be live Tweeting the whole shebang, so you can find out where we'll be ahead of time as we mosey along, and Dan Carpenter from the Bad Language collective will be recording our flash fiction flashmob to screen later on at their event at 3 Minute Theatre.

There are more details in this post I've just put up on the Manchester Literature Festival blog and you can read a really ace article about flash fiction by David Gaffney in yesterday's Guardian here.

08 May 2012

Five read a lot of stories

Last night was the meeting of minds we consider our FlashTag get-togethers to be. It was time for the famous five to scrap over the entries to our latest flash fiction-writing competition (oh, and drink boozes and eat pizza, as this photo of me and Ben proves). We received 66 submissions in all - a not inconsiderable amount to go through, so sustenance was, I think you'll agree, quite necessary.

The shortlist will be revealed on Friday and the winners will be announced at an event on Wednesday 23 May at 8pm in The Beech on Beech Road, Chorlton (full details on the Chorlton Arts Festival website here). You'd be a fool not to come - as well as getting to hear some fantastic stories from loads of talented writers, you'll be treated to all kinds of other fun and games, including a glittering awards ceremony which will be hugely glamorous and I will wear a frock.