Byte The Book Collaborates with Retreat West, My Ly and Lucy Writers in their First Ever Flash Fiction Competition

Posted by Justine Solomons on 29 May 2019, in News

The winning entry of the  Flash Fiction Competition was Emily Slade, with her micro-story ‘A Very British Rebellion’. The competition received many excellent submissions on the theme of ‘Rebellion’, with entries coming in from around the world. The judges were particularly thrilled by the inventiveness on display and the innovative use of the flash fiction form, of which Slade’s winning entry demonstrated astutely.

Emily Slade’s piece ‘A Very British Rebellion’ caught the judges’ attention with its strong dialogue, off-kilter humour, jolting imagery and taut structure. Head Judge and Lucy Writers Creative Writing Editor, Tilda Bowden, described it as ‘an accomplished piece of writing, with a confident use of dialogue…it’s a really fantastic use of flash fiction.’ Lucy Writers Founding Editor-in-chief, Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou, said, ‘the sharp and comic use of dialogue carries the characterisation brilliantly’ and that this short story ‘should not be underestimated for its commentary on local borders, un-neighbourly hostilities and the petty aggressions we visit on strangers.’My Ly, guest judge and sponsor of the competition, said, ‘it was a real delight to read all of the entries, however Emily’s submission was the most ‘complete’ one and encompassed everything that flash fiction should be.’ She added, ‘I was impressed by her razor-sharp wit, fantastic dialogue, the unique interpretation of the theme, and, of course, its tight plot and development of the short story form.’Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone from Byte The Book observed, ‘A tale of two halves, Emily Slade’s ‘A Very British Rebellion’ plays with specifically British cultures of difference and silence to powerful and poignant effect. A very worthy winner.’

Amanda Saint, novelist, publisher and founder of Retreat West said, ‘Emily’s Slade’s winning story is multi-layered and reveals much about the psyche behind the British ‘my home is my castle’ belief. I look forward to working with her and reading more stories created on the Fantastic Flashing course.’

Emily Slade said she was ‘thrilled’ to have won the competition. Slade, a singer-song writer from Hertfordshire who completed a Mst. in Creative Writing at Lucy Cavendish College in 2018, is currently working on her first piece of Young Adult fiction, Don’t Tell, a novel about a teenager trying to reconcile her love and fear for her dad, who has bipolar disorder. She goes on to win a place on Retreat West’s online Flash Fiction course, ‘Fantastic Flashing’, and will receive a year-long membership from Byte The Book in addition to having her winning entry published in their newsletter. You can read Slade’s story in our Byte Shorts showcase here.

Two other submissions also caught the eye of our judges and have been highly commended by Lucy Writers. Kate Ellis’ ‘Anactoria’ and Victoria Smith’s ‘Snip Snip’ were close contenders for the prize. Both micro stories were beautifully written and demonstrated the control and flair requisite for flash fiction. ‘Anactoria’ and ‘Snip Snip’ will be published on Lucy Writers in the oncoming weeks.

Lucy Writers would like to thank all those who submitted their work to the competition. We hope they will continue to write and enter our future competitions.

Lucy Writers would also like to thank Justine Solomons and Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone from Byte The Book, Amanda Saint at Retreat West and our ever generous sponsor, My Ly, for making this competition happen. Additional thanks go to all at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, for their help and support in promoting the competition, especially Georgia Good, Dr Isobel Maddison, Jo Ryan, Judith Roberts, Kate Coghlan, Tim Arnold and Tom Hawker-Dawson.

About the team behind the prize, the sponsor, and collaborators Retreat West & Byte The Book

Lucy Writers is an online platform showcasing the very best writing and art work from women and non-binary creatives all over the world. In collaboration with Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, the platform brings together Lucy students, alumnae and fellows, as well as creatives from outside the college community. Lucy Writers welcomes submissions from women and non-binary writers irrespective of whether they’re an established or new-to-the-writing-desk writer. We want to hear from you; let Lucy Writers be the space, room and home for your words. 

Send pitches & submissions to:
For all other inquiries:
Tweet them @LucyWriters 

Retreat West has been helping writers learn and get published since 2012. Tutored writing retreats, online courses and live workshops teach writers a whole range of novel and short fiction writing skills; while the competitions help writers to get their work noticed, get published and get feedback from industry experts. In 2017, Retreat West Books was founded to publish short story collections, novels and memoirs and it was shortlisted for Most Innovative Publisher in the 2019 Saboteur Awards.

My Ly is a writer and a creative and passionate Marketeer based in London. When she can fit it in, she is also a TV/film extra, a jewellery designer and an imaginative cook. She was selected for the Curtis Brown Creative three-month novel writing course in 2015 and also for the The Writer’s Hotel in 2017, a one-week jam-packed New York writing conference where she pitched her novel idea to ten US literary agents and read out her first chapter to the open public in a New York speakeasy bar. As a regular attendee and networker at literary events, writing groups and writing retreats she enjoys learning, meeting fellow writers and publishing experts as well as helping people to connect. She is currently working on her debut novel

Byte The Book’s network helps our members make vital connections within the book industry and with other allied industries and enables them to become more literate in the business of books. Whether you are an author, agent, publisher or supplier to the industry, the community is focused on learning about the latest technical and commercial opportunities, and collaborating to maximum benefit.We curate regular networking events on topical subjects and run practical workshops on topics related to publishing today.

Our events are free or at a reduced rate for our members and currently run in London, and at book fairs around the world you can see them all on our site via this link.

We also have a vibrant online community of over 450 members and  5000 subscribers, who support each other in their business endeavours.Individual membership is £120 a year or £36 a quarter and you can join us here.

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