We had a great turnout at the Plume of Feathers in Greenwich for our inaugural Flash Story Showcase on Wednesday, 20th November. The Showcase included authors who had written stories that appear in the first three flash story anthologies that we have “packaged’ for publisher SampsonLow: Shipwrecked – stories inspired by Robinson Crusoe; One Small Step – stories inspired by the first Moon Walk; and Flash #MyLandmarks – stories of significant places.
Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone, Museum co-creator of our creative writing walkshops, anthology editor and competition judge, opened the event with a short presentation about flash fiction and why we had chosen Daniel Defoe‘s “Robinson Crusoe” as the theme of our first flash fiction anthology. Robinson Crusoe was published 300 years ago in April 1719 and overnight became a bestseller – it recently featured in a BBC Radio 4 programme “Desert Island Myths: Three Centuries of Robinson Crusoe“.
Moira Tighe was the only author from the Shipwrecked anthology, who was able to attend and read her own story called “Friday“. Rebekah read “The Stuff of Life” by Elisabeth Forsyth, and the Plume gardener (and former actress) Kate Lonergan read “New World” by Fiona Ritchie Walker and “Court Report” by Jonathan Fox.
Nigel Bristow, a competition judge introduced “One Small Step” – a chapbook anthology of flash stories of 50 words (or under) to mark the 50th anniversary of the Moon Walk on 20 July 1969. Our authors tackled a wide range of issues and came up with several humorous explanations of what might have taken place.
Andrew Lavender author of “Legend of the Moon Walk” revealed that he works in the Space
industry. Pheobe Demeger read two stories “Earthrise” and “We chose to do these things” both of which are included in the anthology. Helen Ottaway, influenced by musician John Cage, chose to write an acrostic poem as her flash fiction piece “Mankind Dreaming“, Carrie Dunne read “Gravity“, while Ned Carter Miles, read “96 Bags” that tackled the issue of the detritus left behind on the moon by the astronauts. Mel Davies read her story “Lot 69 Main on the Moon” about the auction of a pub.
Our final session of stories were those from the Flash #MyLandmarks collection, these were introduced by Andrew Stuck, who explained how they had been recorded and geo-located, via the Placecloud app, on the actual locations that they described.
Intriguingly, two of the winning stories came from the same patch of woodland in south East London, and it turned out that the authors both volunteer on conservation projects there. “Tunnel to another time” by Amanda Tuke took us back in time to when a railway connected pleasure garden and the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace, while Pennie Hedge took us to a protest site where two oak trees had been threatened with destruction to make way for a new footbridge to be installed, over the same disused railway line. Kate Lonergan was called on to read “Perpetuity” by Carrie Dunne, and Ruth Bradshaw admitted her pronunciation of remote Welsh “Capel Cwmorthin: What remains in high places” my not be the most accurate. We were then transported back to south East London, with Mel Davies‘ “Hidden Gem” set in the heart of Peckham.
All titles are for sale through our on-line bookshop – great stocking fillers! And you can listen to the audio recordings, by Royal Shakespeare Company actor, Mariah Gale until the end of December from here.