Here comes the JUDGE!
I was completely transformed by judging the recent fourth Bath Flash Fiction Awards:
When founder/director Jude Higgins asked me to do this, I was excited, but also unprepared. You can read Jude’s comments about the October judging here: http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/award-round-up-october-2016/
And also, my own comments about the contest are here: http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/october-2016-judges-report-robert-vaughan/
I was so smitten by the amount of talented submissions, repeatedly baffled by these word masters, and prose slayers! Writers and readers who appreciate this genre know how difficult it is to write flash fiction, let alone to reach new levels of gravitas, brilliance, wit, and pathos- all in a page or two. And imagine: 748 submissions from 28 different countries! Astounding.
First, I received the vetted Long List of 50 top stories: http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/october-2016-award-long-list/
From these, I narrowed it down to a Short List of Top 20: http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/october-2016-award-short-list/
And so, drumroll please, THESE ARE THE WINNERS:
FIRST PLACE: Helen Rye, “One in Twenty-Three” http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/helen-rye-october-2016-first-prize/
SECOND PLACE: Christopher M. Drew, “The Perfect Fall” http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/christopher-m-drew-october-2016-second-prize/
THIRD PLACE: Julianna Holland, “White Matter” http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/julianna-holland-october-2016-third-prize/
TWO COMMENDED (honorable mentions):
Caroline Reid, “Lost Dog” http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/caroline-reid-october-2016-commended/
Michelle Elvy, “Whale Shark” http://bathflashfictionaward.com/2016/10/michelle-elvy-october-2016-commended/
Deep thanks, Jude, for allowing me to judge this worthy competition. Congratulations to the winners, and also to every single person who entered. Thanks for making my job so complicated. And yes, the Bath Flash Fiction Awards are now officially OPEN!!! Next judge? Kathy Fish. Best of fortune to all who enter!