I’m finding it hard to believe it’s happening, really happening; that we’ll be gathering in person to hear wonderful stories read aloud in front of a mic (note to self: antiseptic wipes!) at the Flash Fiction in the Orchard.
A year ago, this kind of thing was, dare I say, run of the mill. Not perhaps for those who had to actually stand and read. There were nerves to contend with, and possible equipment failures, but that all pales into insignificance with the onslaught of the pandemic. Suddenly everything has been shoved into perspective – so you fluff a line, so the mic crackles for a moment – or worse still stops working and you have to shout, so the lighting is bad and the footage for YouTube is grainy, so my hair frizzes (wait scratch that – that’s a given!)
None of it will matter so long as we can get together and celebrate! And despite the tragedies of the past six months, the sad loss of life and the stress and strains of lockdown, let’s rejoice in being here – being here together – even if we still need to physically distance and can’t hug with abandon… we can just be here and that’s wonderful.
The Armagh Food and Cider festival is really a harvest festival, a time to celebrate the summer’s bounty in the fruit and veg we worked hard to plant and tend to and can now harvest. Similarly, Flash Fiction Armagh is an accolade to the finish products of our creativity.
At Flash Fiction Armagh, we always find it hard to make our final selection of readers. We had far more submissions than we could accommodate and sadly had to turn away great stories. If you were one of those please don’t be disappointed. It is not a reflection of your writing. It’s been a good exercise for me as a writer to see this side of things. It has taught me to not be despondent when I get that reply that says they can’t use my work because I know that a lot of what we can’t use in Flash Fiction Armagh is brilliant. And remember, it’s always subjective too. To every writer, I say that the act of completing a story and submitting it is a success and everything else is a bonus.
I am really looking forward to hearing the stories we selected… some exciting new (to Flash Fiction Armagh) faces and some familiar ones too.
Without further ado, Flash Fiction Armagh proudly present to read in the Orchard :
Cathy Cole, One For Sorrow
Claire Shevlin, Don’t Forget To Genuflect
David Braziel, Remnants in Ruins
Gaynor Kane, Restoration
Jay Faulkner, Playing Both Sides
Jillian Mc Frederick, The Perfect Story
Lynda Collins, Closing Time
Rachel Toner, Not a Child of the Troubles
Rosemary Tumilty, Mc Larnon Portrait
Tim Hanna, Shooting the Breeze
I’ll also be reading a short extract from Rejuvenation Book 1.
Flash Fiction in The Orchard is on 24th September at 8.30 pm at Long Meadow Cider Farm.
Tickets are £10 each, includes cider and nibbles and are available online only – click here.
We hope to see you there and in the meantime, wash your hands, wear your mask and stay safe.