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The Storycove Winner!

Welcome to Word Smitten's

where flash fiction catches the next wave

We are pleased to announce the winner of our 2003 Flash Fiction Competition!

The Storycove Award
for Flash Fiction goes to
John Ravenscroft
for his story:

Walking Upside Down
We congratulate him for a great story and a great achievement!

(Scroll below for this story's link.)

In selecting this year's Storycove Flash Fiction Competition winner, our 2003 judge, Michael C. White, comments that out of the five finalists he had two favorites making his task very difficult. He finally selected a work by John Ravenscroft titled, "Walking Upside Down" and of this amazing work he says:

"Walking Upside Down" is a quiet story, about a moment remembered many years later. Yet what impressed me was that the moment was not only so vividly and erotically detailed ("the flawless legs rise into the air," "the dark forbidden fork-a place my eyes have no legitimate business," "her navy blue knickers"), but it was also so life-affirming. Here is a man lying near the end of life, and yet the image of Mary Iris McCormack-Mim-standing on her head on one "hot yellow-blue, small town afternoon" many years earlier, comes back to him as pure joy. The moment is not lost to the man; he doesn't pine over the years gone by or the "disappointment" of love and youth having slipped away. Rather, the erotic and lovely image of the pretty and daring Mim upside down coming toward him in dreams, evokes in the narrator the present feeling that if his nurse would only stand on her head, it "would be something worth waking for."

What I liked about this condensed gem is the fullness and richness of lived life, and of a life lived without regret or self-pity. The narrator feels that Mim might still get him "into trouble after all these years." We get a sense of a complete life, with all of its loss and all of its joy balanced perfectly. "Walking Upside Down" is a real wonder. ~ Michael C. White

Michael C. White, is a professor of English at Connecticut's Fairfield University where he teaches fiction, writing workshops and literature courses. Novels written by Michael C. White include A Brother's Blood (Harper Collins), which was a NY Times Book Review Notable Book of 1996 as well as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. To read more about Professor White and his work, click here: Storycove Judge.

The Storycove Award for Flash Fiction
Click here for the winning entry by :
John Ravenscroft
Freiston Shore, Boston, Lincolnshire, UK

Title: "Walking Upside Down"

Honorable Mention

Congratulations to our finalists for their wonderful stories. Your fine work made this a great event and it was difficult for our readers to choose the best stories from the best submitted. We enjoyed reading your work. We wish you all continued success with your writing.

Gary Cadwallader for his story Stargazer Lilies
Amy Culberg for her story Storms
Andres Moxey for Waiting Room
Renee K. Nicholson for The Diners Club

Ready for some more flash? For those writers who entered this year's competition and would like to gain more knowledge about the art of writing flash fiction, or if you are not yet familiar with the concept of flash fiction (or "sudden" fiction), we recommend this book.

Flash Fiction - 72 Very Short Stories (W. W. Norton) and if you would like to read an excerpt click on this link: Finding Flash at Word Smitten.

Read last year's winning Flash Fiction story: On The Other Hand!

What's next in Word Smitten?
Summer and Fall 2003

  • The TenTen Fiction Competition. Our annual short story contest provides an award of $1,010.00 to the winner. Deadline is July 1.
  • In the next few weeks, look for an interview with
    Brenda Copeland, editor with a newly created imprint, Atria.
  • Last month, we talked with Diana Finch, author's agent with the Ellen Levine Agency, now merging with Trident Media Group.
    Diana commented on the process of obtaining foreign rights.
    We'll have an update on Diana in an upcoming edition; look for news about her change in direction!
  • In addition, we'll be reporting on other writing conferences and
    giving you links to Web sites that provide great information for the writing community.
  • We feature current flash fiction work and short stories on all the
    Native Shore Fiction pages. Grab your SPF 15, put your
    Lands End shorts on and wade on in. Don't forget to tip the cabana attendants. Most of them are disguised writers. Especially the guy with the mustache.
  • Welcome to Word Smitten, where the writing is crisp,
    the towels are wet, and the wit is dry.
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The TenTen Fiction Contest (Short Story Contest: $1,010.00 Award)
Reminder: Deadline for the Ten Ten is July 1, 2003.
Native Shore Fiction (Short Stories)

Welcome to Word Smitten

We write with the porch light on, expecting at any moment
that either truth or irony will appear on the doorstep.


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