Flash fiction club’s anthology looks back on ten years

Whangarei Library 3.30 Flash writers are launching their first anthology of flash fiction celebrating ten years of meeting together and sharing their short, short stories.

The genre is known as ‘flash fiction’ – because ‘flash’ stories can be read extremely quickly. It has a growing following in New Zealand, with a National Flash Fiction Day, several publications specialising in flash and a range of competitions.

Michelle Elvy, Jac Jenkins, Martin Porter and Michael Botur are among New Zealand’s award-winning literary luminaries who specialise in flash, and are or have been local to the Whangarei district.

Kamala Jackson, Deb Jowitt and Sue Barker teamed up in mid-2021 as a steering committee to publish the anthology, with one goal in mind.

“These stories need capturing and celebrating or they will be lost and that would be a great pity. Over the past decade, our members have ranged from secondary students to gold card holders. Some are new writers who see flash as a way to start writing, others have had a long association with the arts. The group embraces all-comers and has shown remarkable stability over time,” Jowitt said.

“Members usually write 300 words for our meetings although stories of up to 1,000 words are acceptable. The resulting writings contain all the great themes of literature in these short, pithy and frequently poignant works,” Barker said. “Read in three minutes, these stories are often reflected on for days afterwards.”

Seventeen writers, as diverse as their stories, have contributed more than sixty works contained in the publication. Contributors well-known in New Zealand creative writing circles include Vivian Thonger, Jac Jenkins, Martin Porter and Michael Botur.

Kamala Jackson summed up the collection as

“Edgy and raw, quiet and insightful, sophisticated and polished, these stories by Northland authors will surprise readers with their variety.”

You Might Want to Read This will be launched at the Whangarei Central Library, May Bain room on Wednesday October 27th at 4.30pm, Covid 19 restrictions permitting. Several contributors will read their work on the launch night. Publication of the anthology has been supported by the Whangarei Council Creative Communities Scheme.

Image of editors from left to right: Deb Jowitt, Sue Barker, Kamala Jackson

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