Interview with Brindi Joy, organiser of the Flash in the Pan – National Flash Fiction Day – Saturday 22 June 2pm at Tūranga

Flash in the Pan - National Flash Fiction Day
Saturday 22 June, 2pm to 4pm, Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga | Connection, Ground Floor, Tūranga
Find out more and subscribe to the Facebook event.

Hi Brindi, Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed. What treats do you have in store for attendees on Flash in the Pan - National Flash Fiction Day at Tūranga?

National Flash Fiction Day’s Christchurch celebration, Flash in the Pan, is all about celebrating the shortest fiction on the shortest day of the year. As this event is centred around the National Flash Fiction Day competition, and includes Micro Madness, North & South short short story competition and the South Island Writers’ Association Flash Fiction competition, our guest readers are those writers who have placed in those competitions. So we’re going to hear from this year’s best in Canterbury in flash fiction.

The event is centred around hearing this year’s best flash fiction writing from Canterbury writers, and awards presentations for National Flash Fiction Day Adult and Youth Categories (300 words, national competition, with many Cantabrians in both categories), and Micro Madness (100 words, international competition, with local writers on the long and short list).

We’re also lucky to have one of the co-judges for the Youth category, local poet Gail Ingram. She will speak about the judging before we hear the young folk read and announce the top-placed writers. As this is a national competition, those top-placed may or may not be Cantabrians.

The event will be compered by local literature advocate and PlainsFM Bookenz co-host, Morrin Rout. She has been our compere since this event began in 2012.

We’ll also have spot prizes, sponsored by University Book Shop and gifted by Morrin Rout

And we’ll have a book table with local flash fiction books for sale ($20-$30) and, as we’re having the event at Tūranga, flash fiction books to borrow.

Big shout out to the team at Tūranga for helping to coordinate this event and for hosting. A dream team!

And speaking of “treats”, who are your guest readers for the event and can you tell us a bit about them?

There’s always a couple of months of uncertainty when organising this event as to who our guest readers will be, and if enough Cantabrians will place in these competitions to round out a nice, robust list of guest writers/readers. We actually don’t start shaping up the guest readers list until fairly late in the game—when we have the long list back from the judges. And every year I am amazed at how unfounded that uncertainty was—because every year Cantabrians do really, really well and we have an incredible list of readers who come along. This year that includes: Heather McQuillan, Rose Collins, Renata Hopkins. And, of course, Gail Ingram will present the Youth Category for NFFD.

I believe you are launching a couple of books. Can you tell us a bit about them?

Yes! We have the honour of a soft launch for the National Flash Fiction Day nationwide organiser’s book, the everrumble by Michelle Elvy. Michelle brought flash fiction to New Zealand in 2012 with this competition and the celebration day. So it’s such a pleasure to be able to share her work with our audience. Michelle is sailing on a boat somewhere around the world with her family, so she won’t be there. But local poet and 2019 NFFD Youth co-judge, Gail Ingram, will soft launch this book.

The formal launch will be at the Flash Fiction Festival, UK on 28th-30th June. Find out more about Michelle’s book.

We’re also aiming to preview two other new, local flash fiction collections. But we’re waiting on the publishers. So, fingers crossed, we can include those too.

And I believe it is not just the spoken word that features at NFFD Day. Can you tell us about that?

We are aiming to have some other bits and pieces, but they’re actually still in development and can’t yet confirm if it’s a green light or red. So we’ll have to wait and see. Might need to be next year.

And, lastly, can burgeoning writers of Flash Fiction, who might be keen to test their mettle in a live reading, take part in the readings alongside the distinguished guest readers?

The reading list/readers have been set. It isn't an open mic event. But the amazing thing about flash fiction is that it proves, year after year, at this event to be a really democratic genre. Established writers (including Frankie McMillan, Heather McQuillan, Leanne Radojkovich, etc.) have placed in these competitions alongside emerging writers or writers who may have never been published before. This is further exemplified by the inclusion of a Youth Category, which began in 2017, in National Flash Fiction Day. And every year we see an incredible selection of work by these young writers and young Cantabrians are also always well represented.

Want some more flash fiction and short stories?

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Exercise your own writing muscles with The Commuting Book's workshops Paint n’ Pen – Let Christchurch street art inspire you to write. Sign up for Creative Writing Workshops to be held at Tūranga and New Brighton Library. They are free but bookings are essential. Phone 9417923 to book a spot:

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