Today is the last day to submit your 50 word story for this year’s Flash Fiction Writing Competition, so if you’d like the chance to see your story printed on a series of exclusive Festival bookmarks (plus win a £50 Waterstones voucher) you need to get started!

We’re looking for stories of up to 50 words within the theme of ‘Our World’. You can interpret the theme any way you wish, but it must be original and must tell a complete story. The competition closes at 10pm tonight (Wednesday 8 May).

What if you’re stuck? Don’t let the tyranny of the blank page get you down – we’ve got all the inspiration you need to get your imagination flaring with ideas.


Here’s a selection of some previous stories, including a brand new one of our own!

A tall tale
Beneath the feet of giants, a race of people lived
Until forbidden songs were found, words that bore a gift
With clear voice the smallest rose to meet the titans
Who thundered at the thieving of their stature, now disheightened
But hearts enlarged with music cannot once more be muted
Derby Book Festival

A year younger
If only I was a year younger, I wouldn’t be here, bound to this mud clogged trench waiting to die. I wouldn’t be cursed to lie looking at the shells arcing above, will one hit me today? Or will my heart be pierced by their cold steel bayonets, if only…
Bobby Derbyshire

“Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you worlds.” And he did: lapis palaces and red rock caves; deep sea trenches and coral gardens; wind carved deserts and disappearing ice. When he died he left me his books. Now I travel the pages alone and think of him.
Sherri Turner


Podcasts are a brilliant way to find inspiration from the voices of authors across the world. Try this list of 20 writing podcasts collated by The Write Life.


Tube Flash is a website dedicated to bringing together brief encounters from the underground in Flash Fiction form. You can read stories on the site or listen to their podcast.


If it’s advice you’re after, literary website Writer’s Digest has an appropriately concise article called ‘3 Things You Need to Know to Write Great Flash Fiction’.


Our theme should show you where to aim, but what about how to start? Author Nancy Stohlman has a great list of 30 Flash Fiction Prompts that could help kickstart your writing.


If all else fails, try giving your mind’s eye a jolt with a random image generator, courtesy of the website Writing Exercises.

Find out more about our Flash Fiction competition and how to enter at the competition page.

Derby Book Festival

29 May – 6 June 2020

Site by Codemakers

Derby Book Festival is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales Number 1159763