Tuesday 15 August 2023

Flash Fiction trends

Since attending the Flash Fiction Festival I've had a chance to read the books I bought there, and to think about the state of UK Flash. Among those at the conference were people who've helped to promote and popularise Flash. I think they're doing a good job. I feel that Flash is expanding its scope and that influences/sub-genres are being clarified.

Last year at the festival I felt that I could identify some people who had clearly come from the poetry side, and people who had previously written short stories. At this festival there was more explicit recognition of these two directions, with workshops looking at the influence of poetry on Flash, etc. Anecdotes are at one end of a spectrum whose other end might be the prose-poem or formalist prose.

This year I talked to more scientists/programmers than I did last year, and Tania Hershman was one of the speakers. Maybe that's another influence that's making inroads.

The Novella-in-Flash (NiF) has been around for a while. This year it's really taken off. I've not read one yet. Michael Loveday was at the festival. His craft guide "Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: from Blank Page to Finished Manuscript" came out last year.

The best book I bought was Christopher Allen's "Other household toxins". I wouldn't recommend it to novel readers, or even short story readers.

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