Congratulations to the six winners of our Flash Fiction Writing Competition 2016. The winners were announced at Derby Reads on Tuesday and presented with their framed bookmarks by Michael Hall from Foundation Derbyshire, the sponsors of our competition.
This year’s competition, on the theme of ‘Secrets’, had over 300 entries and our judging panel had a hard task choosing the winners. They finally selected two under 16s winners: Halle Burton (aged 11) and Samuel Thomas (aged 11). The four over 16s winners are: Tracy Wilkinson (who was also a winner in our 2015 competition), Felicity Jackson, Mary Bevan and Thomas Birch (who is not only a writer but also works for our design agency, WDA Branding).
The winning stories were then illustrated, in a competition run by the University of Derby for their Art and Design students, and printed together onto our Festival bookmarks. You can collect all six from Festival venues, libraries, cafes and restaurants across the city and county.
Thanks again to our panel of judges for the writing competition: Liz Fothergill – Chair Derby Book Festival, Paul Whickman – Lecturer in English, University of Derby, Richard Pettinger – Marketing and Commercial Manager, Black Apricot Creative and Alex Davis – Publisher, Boo Books. Thanks also to our judges for the illustration competition: artists Anna Thomas and Richard Fothergill.
Here are this year’s winning stories:
Deep down in the rocks lives a wounded dragon, my dragon. Only I know about him. I feed him fish from the sea. He is happy there all alone. One day I’ll teach him to fly. He’s my saviour, for one day I will escape on him.
Secrets and feathers
A girl. Swathed in crimson. Gossamer sunlight filtered down onto her copper tresses and translucent skin. Then, she disappeared, a cloud of musky perfume behind her. It was snowing now, shards of diamond glass caressing spidery, forlorn branches. Who was she? A luminescent feather drifted silently onto the mirror-like lake.
Making The Most Of It
They giggled as their spectacles steamed up over the flask.
Hunching closer, debating.
Is “squoze” in the Oxford English Dictionary?
A passer-by twinkled at them: “Make the most of it – rain tomorrow.”
Hidden fingers gently entwined.
Tomorrow was housework and husbands.
Today they were making the most of it.
It had taken a long time, such hard work.
Now, tucked away from prying eyes, the place was beautifully constructed, secret and secure. The growing family were away from danger.
She heard footsteps approach, then fade away.
Safe. The blackbird slipped out from among the ivy, to forage on the lawn.
Pawn to E4.
Pawn to F5.
A look of deep concentration draws across his face as he furrows his brow.
E4 to F5 pawn takes pawn.
“I have no idea how to play this game”, I think. I wait what seems an appropriate time, stroke my chin and move the horsey one.
“Between you and me,” said Granny, “I pretend to be asleep sometimes.”
“How will I know?” I asked. I was just twelve.
“My little finger,” she said. “If it moves, I’m listening.”
By the hospital bed mother weeps, “Gran doesn’t know us.”
I watch the finger. “She does,” I say.
Photo courtesy of Damian Hayes.