How long is a story?

A few years ago I sent a piece of flash fiction to Chris Fielden’s 81 Words Writing Challenge. I think I am author 327, under my real-life name. Now that 1000 stories have been received, the stories have mostly been moved off the challenge’s website and into a book, with an official publication date: Saturday 20th November 2021.

There are some absolute gems in the collection. If you want to get your hands on a paper copy, you can preorder it from Victorina Press,

It will be available globally from Amazon and, in due course, from Waterstones and many other book retailers. The eBook version of the anthology is also available for pre-order.

Proceeds from book sales will support The Arkbound Foundation, a charity in the UK that aims to widen access to literature and improve diversity within publishing.

You can find more details on the challenge website, here

At the time I wrote my little snippet of a scene, I was running a flash fiction workshop as an enrichment activity for 6th form students, many of whom didn’t want to be there, insisting “I can’t write a story!” until I asked, “When was the last time you told a lie, and what was it you said?”

Other students engrossed themselves reading and writing six-word stories, in one case coming up with an entire backstory for For sale: baby jacket. Never worn.

To my great delight, there is an 81-word story written by one of my reluctant authors in the collection too.

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