I'm happy to say that we received more than 50 submissions of Flash Fiction, defined as works under 1,000 words that offer character and plot development, for the Flash Fiction competition this year. A profusion of creativity, skill, imagination, and heart flooded the Lit Jo inbox. But of course, in a competition, judges must judge. The Flash Cat is a juried competition, with all submissions being read blindly (no author information included on the page). I helmed the committee of three, joined by Ted Chiles, published author, and Chella Courington, SBCC writing instructor and published poet. We delighted in reading the mini-sagas, nano-tales and micro-stories that were submitted. The following two authors presented work that stood out to us in particular, along with four writers we felt deserved honorable mention.
Flash Cat Award for Humor: “Lipstick” by Margaux Dunbar Hession
Former rock wife to Journey and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer drummer, Aynsley Dunbar, Margaux’s comic material springs from her backstage life and other colorful life escapades: Chief Sloganator for Big Dog T-Shirts, Celebrity Pet Sitter, Cruise Ship Magician’s Assistant, Associate Film Producer, Sailing Skipper, Horse Wrangler, and Stand Up Comedienne. Her fiction accolades include a 2018 Erma Bombeck Humor Award, AFI Screenwriting Award, a Women’s Fiction and two Jefferson Awards from Santa Barbara Writers Conference.
Flash Cat Award for Literary Excellence: “A Piece of Work” by Diane C McPhail
Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. She holds an M.F.A., an M.A., and D.Min., and has studied at the University of Iowa distance writing and the Yale Writers’ Workshop, among others. Her debut historical novel, THE ABOLITIONIST’S DAUGHTER, is to be released from Kensington Publishing on April 30, 2019. More on her novel at dianemcphailauthor.com. Honorable mentions: “Nano-dog” by Jeremy Gold “The Scream” by Cheri Kramer “Wisdom” by Nate Streeper “In Hand” by D. Avery If you're curious to meet the authors and experience their writing, Margaux Dunbar Hession, Jeremy Gold, and Nate Streeper will be present at our June 14th reading at the Santa Barbara Public Library. Chella Courington will be presenting the Flash Cat Award for Humor there. See our Facebook event for more information here. The stories from both honorable mentions and winners will be published in the Santa Barbara Literary Journal: Bellatrix, Volume 3, which will be published on June 8th. Congratulations to all of the above, and thank you to everybody who took part in the competition this year. Best, Rachael Quisel Word Wrangler and Guest Editor of Flash