That is the challenge being set by the Derby Book Festival as they launch our second Flash Fiction Writing Competition. They are seeking submissions of stories of exactly 50 words, as measured on the website entry form (excluding the title). You can interpret the theme of Secrets in any way you wish, but your work must be original, and it must tell a complete story.
There are two age categories – under 16s and over 16s and we welcome entries from seasoned writers and from novices alike.
A panel of experts will judge the entries and each winning story will be illustrated by students from the University of Derby. These will be printed on Festival bookmarks (2000 of each story) and distributed around the city to promote the Festival. The festival organisers will also publish them on their website. The closing date for the competition is midnight February 19 2016.
Last year’s competition on the theme of Love had nearly 250 entries and the organisers look forward to receiving even more entries this year. Here are a couple of last year’s winning stories which they hope will inspire you to enter.
By Will Charlton
Walking through the front door he heard a shout from the kitchen, “’Daddy!”
“We making cakes!”
Following the noise he saw them with their matching aprons on, a faint cloud of flour hanging in the air, broken eggs on the floor.
He was home and he couldn’t have been happier.
A Comfortable Fit
By Tracey Wilkinson
An old, chipped cup and saucer, not exactly matching but a comfortable fit.
A hairline crack, expertly repaired, a faded willow pattern.
Fifty summers of coffee in a tiny garden, fifty winters of steaming cocoa to accompany Book at Bedtime.
Someday they would break; it was inevitable.
But not yet.
The winners will be invited to the programme launch of the Derby Book Festival on 5 April 2016.
For more information go to derbybookfestival.co.uk