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Flash Fiction Charity Competition


This competition directly supported the charities SPECIAL EFFECT and STACK UP. In lieu of an entry fee, entrants donated directly to one of these charities.


SPECIAL EFFECT specializes in helping disabled people, specifically children, play video games, working with developers to makes their games accessible including through the creation of specialized game control devices.


STACK UP brings both veterans and civilian supporters together; recognising that PTSD, depression and emotional distress are a leading cause of isolation and suicide, they help US and Allied military service members to recover from traumatic physical and emotional injuries through a shared love of video gaming.



We asked for a work of flash fiction up to 500 words inspired by one of the 31 quotations below.

Closing date: 14th February 2022



 >> Two prize bundles, each including a Sennheiser (GSP 305) Gaming Headset plus goody bag, generously donated by SPECIAL EFFECT

 >> All long-listed entries win an audio and an ebook of their choice from the Fantastic Books Store.


Judges: the shortlist will be drawn up by the editorial team at Fantastic Books Publishing and the final decisions made by judging panels from SPECIAL EFFECT and STACK UP.



Special Effect donation page  Stack Up donation page



Quotations List

The quotes below were taken from 31 different books. We asked for entries from as short as a Haiku (17 syllables) up to the full 500 words. There was no requirement to stick to the same genre as the book being quoted, nor to tell the same story. The entries could be fiction or non-fiction e.g. poetry, a fairy-tale, science fiction, fantasy, a film review, a true account, a description of a remarkable person or place or event, a travel guide, a philosophical essay … 


Quotations List

1. Every now and again a 12-year-old boy wanders along our carriage in both directions, the frequency and intervals of his passing suggesting that he’s amusing himself walking from one end of this enormous train to the other and then all the way back again.

From Fragments of Joy and Sorrow by Alan Wakeman


2. “When the wind shifts in your direction, you’ve got to catch it and fly with it like it’s your last breath!”

From The Purple Bowtie by Lisabeth Reynolds


3. A few stars were already visible, bright white pinpricks that, on any other night, would have been a joy to look upon.

From End of Empire: Vanquished by Alex Janaway


4. Beds, each with its drip attached: miniature water towers like those that used to feed the greedy steam trains of my childhood.

From I used to be by Mary Brown


5. Do you believe in magic? I see you pause for thought, perhaps to ponder ‘what is magic anyway? Where is the proof of it around me?’ But why must you see a thing for it to be real? Can you see the air you breathe? Deny its existence if you like but it will go on filling your lungs regardless. Magic, let me tell you friend, is just as real.

From A Bookkeeper's Guide to Practical Sorcery by Kate Russell


6. Early attempts at colonising Mars were clean, as no native population was displaced, but they weren’t straightforward.

From Generation Mars: book 1 Blood Red Dust by Stuart Aken


7. Engines screamed as the ship died.

From Exiles by Daniel Blythe


8. He had never thought he would ever be able or ever want to respond to that kind of noise. It had always been just a ubiquitous aural pollution. He’d endured it in pubs, escaped from it out of shops, suffered the manic thumping of it blasting out of young men’s cars at traffic lights, even walked out of restaurants because of it. Hating it; until tonight.

From Edge of Arcadia by Ken Reah


9. He hated harming the victims of injustice.

From A Seared Sky: book 2: Partings by Stuart Aken


10. His engineer mind itched to find out what was going on and his social conscience couldn’t dismiss the potential ramifications of an engineer suddenly developing artisan abilities. If it had happened to him, it could happen to others.

From The Defiant Spark by Annie Percik


11. How can you have fun in the snow and not fall over?

From The Rocking Horse Diary by Alan Combes


12. I shall move from this world to the next like a petal blown on the winds of dreams

From Tesserae by BJ Edwards


13. Ice-cream soda hands frozen in mid-air

From Till They Dropped by Sue Knight


14. In Pandaemonium, as in any university, nothing fails like success.

From The Engklimastat by Mark Henderson


15. In the old town bars, bright young things rest temporarily cheek by jowl with old men supping their nightly pints; the mood cheerful as the wave flows inward homing in on the cheap drinks deals of the new town where night is an irrelevance to the lights and noise and throbbing beat from outlets designed to attract in a crowd that’s on its way regardless, laughing, swaying, priming itself for Friday night.

From The Jawbone Gang by Penny Grubb


16. It was the wrong party. The cascade of noise had lured him to the function room …

From National Cake Day in Ruritania by Mark Henderson


17. It’s all about you: motivation and time.

From My Dalek has a Puncture by Simon Fisher Becker


18. Like his predecessors, the current owner had been the subject of village gossip when he arrived in 1911. He lived alone, apart from an elderly manservant, and had made no attempt to befriend the locals in the three years since.

From The Boy in Winter's Grasp by John Scotcher


19. Nestled unobtrusively in the maze of tiny back streets between the bridges Ponte Sant’Angelo and Ponte Umberto 1, was the most unrecognisable church in Rome.

From The Triple Goddess by Michael James


20. Rain cascaded in sheets, cold dark and heavy despite the eternal sun, whipped into frenzy by a fierce and fickle wind.

From Shadeward: Emanation by Drew Wagar


21. She came to us at midnight, in the back of a police van.

From The Bridge and the Butterflies by Janet Blackwell


22. She had tried to fight them, but they had just laughed and shoved her back in the locker. It fitted her like a coffin.

From Storm Girl by Linda Nicklin


23. She licked her lips. It had been satisfying, but the burning embers of vengeance were still smouldering within her.

From Shadeward: Exoneration by Drew Wagar


24. ‘The trouble with mobiles is that you can't slam the phone down.’

From The Day Jack Sacked his Therapist by Marie Gameson


25. Sitting in the garden as the sun goes down

From Faith by Christian Danvers


26. The great cargo haulers were a curious blend of form and function, with cabins that curved back at the top and merged seamlessly into the long cargo container. Such industrial elegance, once white but now soiled and yellowed by the sandy winds, held aloft by six individually articulated sets of caterpillar tracks. One by one, the haulers rumbled to a stop with the foremost vehicle a dozen metres short of the gate.

From The Reality Exchange by James Vigor


27. The ocean came into view as they soared past the steep crags at the far side of the ridge. Underneath them, rocky terrain dropped away towards the grassy foothills guarding the shore.

From Gravity’s Arrow by Jack Mann


28. The words changed on the long drive north.

From The Doll Makers by Penny Grubb


29. Two years ago we weren’t supposed to be eating salt either. But now salt’s okay, apparently. Somebody must have improved it.

From The Accidental Spurrt by Walt Pilcher


30. What do you do when the iron's hot? Ah yes, you should strike.

From Makeover by Barbara Hudson


31. A skeletal arm appeared beneath the dying hologram, a clawed hand reaching upwards.

From The Star Protocol by the Marett Brothers.


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