FLASH MOB 2013

The International Flash Fiction Day Competition

The Prizes

Thanks to generous donations by authors and publishers, we’ve got a great collection of prizes for the Flash Mob 2013 winners, One or more of the titles below are already on their way to the writers of our top six stories.  We thank the following novelists, short story writers and poets for making their books available for this year’s competition.

The prizes are listed alphabetically by title.

If you’ve not come across these marvelous books before, check out the links and add them to your reading lists. These authors have all supported Flash Mob 2013; let’s support them.

— Michelle Elvy, Flash Mob 2013 co-ordinator

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Conversations with S. Teri O’Type (A Satire) by Christopher Allen

images (8)“Witty and heart-warming about the search for self-acceptance… This is the heart-warming core of the book and what makes it worth reading, beyond the hilarious dialogue, the surreal episodes, the giggle-inducing satire about various pop culture icons, and the deft play on words. Because as long as there are expectations instead of acceptance, they are wrong, even if they come from one’s own mind instead of from others.”

— Berit Ellingsen, author of Beneath the Distant Sky

Christopher Allen’s award-winning fiction and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly’s Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, The Best of Every Day Fiction, Pure Slush, Blue Five Notebook, Bootsnall Travel and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice. He is the managing editor of the daily litzine Metazen.

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Crumple by Vivienne Plumb

773888“An exuberant writer and performer whose poetry hides a huge element of truth in its wry and quirky style. It is as if she sees poetry in everything: lists, everyday life, chance encounters and observations. This is, of course, what a poet does, and Plumb does it bravely.”

— Gill Ward, the NZ Poetry Society

Crumple is published by Seraph Press, a boutique literary publishing house in Wellington, New Zealand. Seraph was founded in 2004 by poet Helen Rickerby and specialises in publishing quality poetry. “Because we publish very little, we only publish work we are completely in love with, and which we feel needs to be out in the world,” writes Rickerby. Seraph Press’s latest publications are The Baker’s Thumbprint by Paula Green, and The Rope Walk by Maria McMillan.

Vivienne Plumb is a playwright, poet, and fiction writer. Her writing is known to highlight the fantastic and miraculous in everyday experience. She has won numerous awards for her writing, and has been the recipient of key fellowships and residencies. Her plays have been performed in New Zealand and international venues, and The Diary as a Positive in Female Adult Behavior has been translated into Polish. Plumb’s first novel, Secret City, was published in 2003. Plumb has held several residencies, including one in 2004 at the University of Iowa, the 2006 Massey University writers’ residency and the 2012 Randell Cottage Writers’ Retreat. She has a BA and an MA from Victoria University in Wellington, and is presently completing a Doctorate in Creative Arts in Australia. Vivienne Plumb was one of the two judges for the 2013 NZ National Flash Fiction Day competition.

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Cut Through the Bone by Ethel Rohan

CTTB-new-166x300Cut Through the Bone is full of phantom limbs and phantom lives. These stories create a sense of loss in the reader, an ache, but thankfully they avoid dull cynicism. Instead, they bear witness to the difficulty of living for oneself while sacrificing for others. In one story a woman pleads, ‘I’m here though? Tell me I’m here.’ Ethel Rohan’s stories are like testaments to all the women and men who’ve asked the same thing of the world. Those folks remain unseen to most, but this truly talented artist isn’t blind. Ethel Rohan is one hell of a writer.” 

— Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine

Ethel Rohan is the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody (forthcoming Queen’s Ferry Press, September, 2013) and Cut Through the Bone, Dark Sky Books, the latter named a 2010 Notable Story Collection by The Story Prize. She is also the author of a chapbook, Hard to Say, PANK, 2011. Winner of the 2013 Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award, her work has or will appear in The New York TimesWorld Literature TodayTin House Online, The Irish TimesSou’westerPost Road Magazine, and The Rumpus, among many others. She reviews books for  New York Journal of Books and sometimes elsewhere. Raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ethel Rohan now lives in San Francisco where she is a member of The Writers’ Grotto and PEN American Center.

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Damn Sure Right by Meg Pokrass

dsr_final_coverDAMN SURE RIGHT (2011, Press 53) is a collection of the finest short stories written by Flash Mistress Meg Pokrass. From the first story (Damn Sure Right) to the last (Lost and Found), Pokrass surprises, stupefies, stuns, and saddens. Think of Lydia Davis running head on into Amy Hempel, and you have stories as dark as the best chocolate, and as bittersweet and delicious. These stories will move you, haunt you, and not let you go. For those of you who write, each story is a microcosm, a morsel to dissect, a study of the craft.”

 — Linda Simoni-Wastila, writer and editor at JMWW

Meg Pokrass writes flash-fiction, short stories and poetry. Meg serves as Editor-at-Large for BLIP Magazine (formerly Mississippi Review) and, before that, for SmokeLong Quarterly. Her stories, poems, and flash fiction animations have appeared in nearly one hundred online and print publications, including Mississippi Review, Gigantic, Gargoyle, The Nervous Breakdown, HTML Giant, Wigleaf, The Pedestal, Keyhole, Annalemma, Smokelong Quarterly, elimae, Prime Number, Women Writers, and Joyland.  Meg lives with her small creative family and seven animals in San Francisco, where she edits and teaches flash fiction privately. Visit Meg’s website at www.megpokrass.org.

Available from Press 53, Winston-Salem, NC.

~

Gears: A Collection by Alex Pruteanu

images (2)“The 70 pieces that make up Alex Pruteanu’s Gears, a pleasingly heavy collection, are intricately crafted character studies, but they are also studies on culture and influence. This is not a collection you can read straight through in one sitting. The themes—oppression, existential angst, addiction and just staying alive in the modern world—are not light fare; which is not to say the stories make for difficult reading. The author’s prose style is remarkably readable. Pruteanu’s stories about transient young men and The Old Country—a poor sobriquet, but maybe it’s fitting?—are more character/dialogue-oriented than the stories set in the United States, some of which (e.g. ‘Urban Legend’ and ‘The Informer’) read like a Tarantino screenplay transformed into a stream of consciousness narrative. Add poetry and an experimental piece one has to read upside down and backwards, and you’re holding in your hands an incredibly versatile collection.” 

— Christopher Allen, writer and editor at Metazen

Alex M. Pruteanu emigrated to the United States from Romania in 1980. He has worked as a journalist, a television news director, freelance writer, and editor. He is the author of novella Short Lean Cuts (Amazon Publishing) and his latest book, Gears: A Collection (Independent Talent Group, Inc.). His writing has appeared in NY Arts Magazine, Guernica, PANK, Connotation Press, FRIGG, The Atticus Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, and many others. His short story “The Barber” has been nominated for a 2013 Micro Award by A-Minor Magazine. Alex lives with his family near Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Men Briefly Explained by Tim Jones

MBE_cov“By turns poignant, insightful and laugh-out-loud funny, Tim Jones brings his trademark dry wit to a great new poetry collection.”

— Mary Victoria

Tim Jones is a Wellington author, poet, editor and anthologist. Along with his most recent poetry collection, Men Briefly Explained, Tim is also the author of Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand, edited with Mark Pirie, and a short story collection, Transported. He is currently co-editing with P.S. Cottier  The Stars Like Sand, an anthology of Australian speculative poetry, due for publication in 2014.

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Microtones by Robert Vaughan

Microtones157MICROTONES (2013, Cervena Barva Press) is a tight little chapbook of Robert Vaughan’s written art.  Poetry? Prose? Prosetry? Each page tells a story, but the way the story is woven is what wows. Vaughan touches on subjects others shy away from—familial abuse, pain and its worse partner numbness, the loneliness after loved ones have left—and does so in a way that makes you wonder how he twisted words to make those meanings. Yet not is all dark—there is a wry, self-effacing humor woven throughout.”

— Linda Simoni-Wastila, writer and editor at JMWW

Available from Cervena Barva Press, Somerville, MA.

Robert Vaughan leads writing roundtables at Redbird-Redoak Writing. His writing has appeared in numerous print and online journals. His short prose, “10,000 Dollar Pyramid,” was a finalist in the Micro-Fiction Awards 2012. Also, “Ten Notes to the Guy Studying Jujitsu” was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award 2013. He is senior flash fiction editor at JMWW and Lost in Thought magazines. He has a chapbook forthcoming from Deadly Chaps in August 2013, and his first full-length collection, Addicts and Basements, from Civil Coping Mechanisms in February, 2014.

~

Mother America by Nuala Ní Chonchúir

images (3)“…Ní Chonchúir…immediately arrests the reader’s attention with jolting declarations, oddities and intriguingly out-of-place ideas… A short, satisfying read, Mother America offers shards of humour and solace in a collection primarily concerned with the complexities of love… in the difficult task of writing about sex, the author shows particular flair.” 

— Eithne Shortall, The Sunday Times

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1970, Nuala Ní Chonchúir is a fiction writer and poet. She has published one novel, four collections of short fiction and three poetry collections – one in an anthology. Nuala holds a BA in Irish from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Translation Studies (Irish/English) from Dublin City University. She has worked as an arts administrator in theatre and in a writers’ centre; as a translator, as a bookseller and also in a university library. Nuala teaches creative writing on a part-time basis. She lives in County Galway with her husband and three children.

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Thank You For Your Sperm by Marcus Speh

images (4)“To read Thank You for Your Sperm is to embark on an extended journey where nothing at all goes as planned, yet everything, every chance meeting and wrong turn and misadventure somehow, gloriously, morphs into the miraculous. This collection is a wonder, the product of one of the most original and startling minds operating in literary fiction today. Read this book, take the journey, but proceed slowly. Breathe deep. Miss nothing.” 

— Kathy Fish, author of Together We Can Bury It

Available from MadHat Press.

Marcus Speh is a German writer. He began to write prose in English seriously in 2008. Since 2009, his work has been published widely both online and in print. He’s been nominated for various prizes, shortlisted and longlisted for others, including The Paris Literary Prize.  A mosaic novel is forthcoming from Folded Word Press in 2014.

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The Cheese and the Onion Sandwich by Vivienne Plumb

images“Vivienne Plumb observes detail, and listens for voice, giving her stories a twist, and making us give a wry laugh at the things we know. The Cheese and Onion Sandwich and other New Zealand Icons contains 39 prose poems that will engage poetry buffs and those who seldom take a walk with a poem.”

 — Jenny Clay, NZ Poetry Society

The Cheese and the Onion Sandwich is published by Seraph Press, a boutique literary publishing house in Wellington, New Zealand. Seraph was founded in 2004 by poet Helen Rickerby and specialises in publishing quality poetry. “Because we publish very little, we only publish work we are completely in love with, and which we feel needs to be out in the world,” writes Rickerby. Seraph Press’s latest publications are The Baker’s Thumbprint by Paula Green, and The Rope Walk by Maria McMillan.

Vivienne Plumb is a playwright, poet, and fiction writer. Her writing is known to highlight the fantastic and miraculous in everyday experience. She has won numerous awards for her writing, and has been the recipient of key fellowships and residencies. Her plays have been performed in New Zealand and international venues, and The Diary as a Positive in Female Adult Behavior has been translated into Polish. Plumb’s first novel, Secret City, was published in 2003. Plumb has held several residencies, including one in 2004 at the University of Iowa, the 2006 Massey University writers’ residency and the 2012 Randell Cottage Writers’ Retreat. She has a BA and an MA from Victoria University in Wellington, and is presently completing a Doctorate in Creative Arts in Australia. Vivienne Plumb was one of the two judges for the 2013 NZ National Flash Fiction Day competition.

~

The Merrill Diaries by Susan Tepper

product_thumbnail“Raymond Carver meets Jennifer Egan in Susan Tepper’s new book, ‘The Merrill Diaries’, in which a restless young woman finds love and lust. The language is spare and intense getting quickly into the staccato rhythms of Merrill’s slap-dash life. ‘When I don’t know what to do, I generally run away.’ Great fun, yet sad too.”  

— Gay Degani, author of ‘Pomegranate Stories’

Susan Tepper is the author of five published books. Her newly released title The Merrill Diaries (Pure Slush Books, July 2013) follows nine years in a young woman’s life as she makes her way through two marriages and two continents. Other books by Tepper include Deer & Other  Stories, the epistolary novel What May Have Been (with Gary Percesepe) and From the Umberplatzen, a quirky love story set in Germany and told in linked flash. Tepper has been nominated nine times for the Pushcart and has received a Pulitzer Prize nomination in fiction. She’s a contributing editor at Flash Fiction Chronicles and runs FIZZ a reading series at KGB Bar in NYC.

Available on Lulu; more at Pure Slush.

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The World’s Fastest Flower by Charlotte Simmonds 

images (5)“The opening page of The World’s Fastest Flower tells me the Canadian Bunchberry Dogwood opens in 0.4 milliseconds and, because of its speed, has only been discovered since technology managed to catch up with nature. It would be easy to read Simmond’s book with the same haste. The ninety pages are filled with lyric poems that build racing and addictive narratives. There are no sections to this book, no breaks or breathers for the reader and I wonder, if I ever have dinner with the author, if the evening would be spent in silent but rapt attention… Freedom is a theme that runs throughout the book: freedom to be an individual, to be imperfect and honest. While the poems deal with some hard issues, by the end of the book I felt optimistic… This is a challenging book but well worth it and I will watch for Simmond’s work in the future with interest. ”

— Sarah Jane Barnett, author of A Man Runs into a Woman

Charlotte Simmonds is a Wellington author who has written prose, poetry, theatre reviews, emails and the occasional play. She currently writes essays for Victoria University of Wellington, and enjoys photocopying pieces of paper for various government departments at a large cost to the taxpayer.

Available from Victoria University Press.

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Three Squares a Day with Occasional Torture by Julie Innis

images (6)“Humor is like a tight-rope made of razor blades. Some writers who try it, come away with more cuts than it’s worth. Innis dances on razors. And she does this by being generous to her characters, indulging their whims, allowing them to be bizarre in their humanity, human in their absurdity. And this is the key to believability, just one element of good fiction that makes Three Squares a Day with Occasional Torture an incredible read.” 

— Christopher Allen, writer and editor at Metazen

Available from Foxhead Books.

Julie Innis’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in GargoyleWomenArts QuarterlyThe Long StoryThunderclap!Prick of the SpindlejmwwBLIP, Blue Five Notebook and Pindeldyboz, among others. In May 2009, Julie was a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers and in May 2010 she won the Seventh Glass Woman Prize for her story ‘Sanctuary’.

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JAAM: A literary journal

images (7)JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) is a literary journal published by the JAAM Collective in Wellington, New Zealand. It has a strong emphasis on promoting the work of younger and emerging Aotearoa/New Zealand writers, while still publishing the work of international writers and established New Zealand authors. Co-managing editors Helen Rickerby and Clare Needham have been at the helm since 2006.

4 thoughts on “The Prizes

  1. This is so very wonderful!

  2. Just received ‘The World’s Fastest Flower’ — fantastic, thank you so much!

  3. Pingback: The World’s Fastest Flower by Charlotte Simmonds | t upchurch

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