Monday 23 August 2021

Twenty-one Species of Fish Called Sardine

...a recycled Oxford English Dictionary as trophy

Twenty-one Species of Fish Called Sardine is piece of flash fiction in the form of a breathless paragraph. It started off life with the title I found in a fact I learned from QI. I got the first line from a mermaid prompt from a Meg Pokrass Flash Gym and developed the flash with an eye on a pirate themed subs call and entered the final draft in the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize, never imagining it would win, or that the judges would say such lovely things as they did below:

I found this piece outstanding. The final image of the child at the ‘now cold dashboard’ stayed with me – I loved the push of the pace, the lyrical language and structure, the child’s view layered over the lives of the parents; the way the mother’s condition surfaces almost as though it were revealed by the sea, with intricate, telling detail. A rhythm and crescendo that felt like a sea-swept dirge.

Catherine McNamara

The voice is immediate and intimate. The language is lush. The pace is breathless. It rewards re-reading.

Adam Lowe

Wonderfully poetic and evocative and with great detail and atmosphere.  Strong voice and emotional resonance.

Dr Clare Morgan

Thanks Catherine, Adam and Clare and everyone at the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize. 

Write your 1000 word story and enter it here by January 31st 2022, to be in with a chance of winning £1000 and one of these wonderful trophies!

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