Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flash! It May Save Every One Of Us …

I had a piece on flash fiction published in the Irish Times a couple of weeks ago, and the response to it was phenomenal. Not to my piece, per se, but to the fact that the Irish Times requested examples of flash fiction. In fact, so impressive was the response - in quality and quantity - that the Irish Times today publishes a selection of flash fiction, a feature that is to become a regular item in the newspaper. As far as I know, submission is open to all, regardless of where you’re from. First, the feature:
Flash fiction – very short, bite-sized stories – has become the favourite form of many writers. It’s succinct, punchy and effective – perfect for the online reader and perfectly in synch with the times, writes DECLAN BURKE

LESS HAS always been more in the writing of fiction, but “flash fiction” takes the concept to a whole new level. In essence, a flash fiction is a very short short story, the classic example being attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
  “Flash fiction appeals because it gets right to the heart of human experience in just a few words,” says author Alison Wells. “Its brevity and condensed resonance make sure it lingers in the mind and heart. It has the power of a poem but with greater clarity and accessibility.”
  Nuala Ní Chonchúir is a novelist, poet and short-story writer. “Lovers of flash fiction, like poets, value brevity and the hit of surprise that flash often delivers,” she says. “A good flash story is intense, urgent and often a little explosive, but also deep and clear, so the effect on the reader is like that of a poem – as you read it you admire its concision and, afterwards, it lingers.” The format is quickly gaining credibility. The Dublin Review of Books , for example, announced Ní Chonchúir as the winner of its second annual flash fiction competition recently, securing her a prize of €1,000.
  For the rest, clickety-click here
  For today’s samples of flash fiction in the Irish Times, clickety-click here
  Anyone wishing to submit examples of their flash fiction should email them to


Paul D. Brazill said...

There's some good flash fiction in this worthy collection, too, Dec.

The Lost Children:A Charity Anthology.

Gerard Brennan said...

Thanks for the tip! Just sent a shorty-short.


Rob Kitchin said...

Again, thanks for including my drabble in the original IT piece. It's great that it might become a regular feature.

Dorte H said...

I do write flash fiction occasionally (when the right idea hits me), but I have almost given up sending them to magazines. And I was a bit surprised recently when they sent one back even though they liked the writing and the twist - but they didn´t feel sympathy for any of the characters - neither did I, but I thought that was what was called noir ;)

Bernard O'Rourke said...

Great to see an article on this in the IT, nice one Declan. I've been writing flash fiction for a while so hopefully some of my submissions will go down well if this is gonna be a regular feature. Either way I look forward to reading more.