Flash fiction competition winners shine

The winners of the 2022 ‘Love to Read Local’ Flash Fiction competition were announced at a special event at Perth’s Royal Hotel last night.

Journalist and author Barry Divola took out the top prize with a dark and twisty piece of flash called ‘Forget Inc’. Judges Laura Keenan and Linda Martin of Night Parrot Press said Divola’s story had all the hallmarks of great flash fiction.

“In just 99 words, the author creates every person’s ultimate fantasy — a world in which ex-lovers can be surgically removed from memory. The combination of an inventive story, thoughtful gaps and clever imagery make this a winning piece,” the judges said.

In accordance with the competition’s theme, Divola’s story was inspired by the cover of a WA book – in this case, Amanda’s Bridgeman’s ‘The Subjugate’.

The second runner-up was writer Emily Tsokos Purtill with ‘Goodbye’, whose entry was inspired by the cover of ‘Once Not Shy: One Hundred Short Short Stories’, edited by Laura Keenan and Linda Martin.

The judges said: ‘This is a great example of how flash can flip the expected script and take a reader down a much deeper and more complex narrative path than the opening might suggest. Laden with meaning and peppered with beautiful language, this story is sensitive and nuanced.’

The third runner-up was writer Jay Chesters with his story ‘The Big Adventure Starts Here’, inspired by Fleur McDonald’s book ‘Starting From Now’.

‘In exactly 100 words, we are taken on an emotional ride of a farmer’s daughter yearning to pursue her passion of music,’ the judges said of Chester’s entry. This story is a wonderful example of the expert placement and choice of language, and also how a flash ending that pivots at just the right moment can reveal a much bigger story in a small space.’

The winner and place-getters each received vouchers from Raine Square, which co-sponsored the competition with Night Parrot Press and in conjunction with Writing WA.

WA has the write stuff

More than 100 entries were received in this year’s flash fiction competition, an annual component of Writing WA’s ‘Love to Read Local Week’.

“We continue to be amazed by the talent and enthusiasm for writing flash fiction in WA,” Laura Keenan said.

“The entries this year were inventive, imaginative and, as always, entertaining.

“We were impressed by the compelling storylines and the understanding of the elements of flash fiction.’

Writing WA CEO Sharon Flindell said the calibre of the competition’s entries were reflective of a very healthy state writing sector.

‘It’s a great time to be a writer in WA, whether you’re established or just starting out,’ she said.

‘There are more opportunities to publish and grow than ever before and a real sense of momentum and collaboration within the sector.’

All the entries in the 2022 ‘Love to Read Local’ Flash Fiction Competition can be read here. 

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