LWC member, Joanna Sterling, has written the following guest post:
TubeFlash was born from my passion for brooches and my interest in flash fiction. Flash fiction is a genre I find fascinating and challenging: the intense story telling that has been pared down to a minimum, often presented in an unusual way. Given the constraints placed on the writer, ingenuity is called for in terms of form, allowing the writer to push the boundaries and experiment.
It was a chance meeting with an ultra-elegant dealer at an antiques fair, a casual comment about a fancy dress party and a flash of inspiration, which led to an idea for just one story about a London Underground Station illustrated with an elephant brooch from my own collection. It wasn’t long before I found myself matching more and more of my brooches to stations and with the help of fellow writers, I soon had twenty stations and stories. TubeFlash had begun. To start with I used brooches from my own collection but it soon became apparent as requests for certain stations came in, I needed to source more and more stations. I found myself looking out for brooches to match stations wherever I went, it became almost obsessional. I would say ‘let’s just pop into this charity shop and see what’s there’ driving my poor long suffering husband nuts.
Since the start of TubeFlash in 2013 there have been 78 stories published covering nearly a third of the network, which I think is amazing. What started as one small idea has grown and grown. Who knows where it will end? I would like to see all the stories and brooches published in a book.
When I’m not working on stuff involved with TubeFlash, I write in a small study surrounded by books, overlooking my garden. When I start a story I begin with a piece of paper and an old fashioned fountain pen. I have found over the years thoughts and words flow more easily for the first draft this way. Once I have the first draft, I type it up and from there I work using a computer editing and refining the story. I have several stories on the go at once at different stages of gestation and a notebook of jottings waiting to be started.
If you are interested in being part of this exciting writing project, TubeFlash is looking for writers to submit. 12 new London Underground Stations have been paired with 12 new brooches and writers are asked to write Flash Fiction stories of 300 words or less inspired by either the station, station area or brooch. Knowledge of London or the Tube is not essential. On the website a Resources section has been added, providing advice and guidance. Successful writers will have their work published online and recorded by professional actors/voiceover artists as podcasts for iTunes. This is a great opportunity to be part of a unique anthology of flash fiction. To date 78 stories by new, established and award winning writers have been published.
TubeFlash is part of BBC Arts Creative Writing initiative and is working with partners Spread the Word and the CityLit to bring Flash Fiction to as wide an audience as possible. The project is also supported by Transport for London.
Closing date 31st October 2015, entry is free.
Find out more and submit at www.tubeflash.co.uk and to follow us on Twitter @tubeflashtales