≡ Menu

2017 FLASH FICTION WINNERS

Ghost In The Woods. Illustration: The Real Estreya

Edgar Award Winning Novelist Takes First Honors In The Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

SCROLL DOWN TO READ THE STORIES . . . or VISIT THE STORY PAGE

Mindy McGinnis is the winner of the 2017 Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition and the contest’s $300 cash prize for her sudden fiction piece, “Solitude.” In 2016, McGinnis won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for her young adult novel, A Madness So Discreet. The Edgar Awards are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America, based in New York City. They honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theater published or produced in the previous year.

First Honorable Mention and a $100 cash award went to Daniel Soule, an Englishman living in Northern Ireland, for his story, “The Lostling.”

Second Honorable Mention, with a $50 prize, was taken by Emma Murtagh, of Galway, Ireland, for “Tongues.”

The Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition is for supernatural stories of 1,000 or fewer words. Our next fiction contest is The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award, for which we begin accepting submissions on February 15, 2017. Prizes are $1,000, $250, and $100 for full-length short stories of between 1.500 and 10,000 words. Good luck!

SOLITUDE

WINNER
The 2017 Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

BY MINDY McGINNIS

There is something at the bottom of the lake.

I came here for quiet and have found exactly that, at first enjoying the utter silence of my isolation. There was no small joy in letting a cup of coffee grow cold in my hands as I sat on the deck, never hearing a car or the small vibrations of my cell, long dead. The white noise of life faded away, and once left with nothing I became keenly aware of the soundlessness, a pressure upon my ears.

I have walked the paths around the lake, the grass beneath my feet obscenely loud, each falling leaf that hit the ground as jarring as a record scratch. It was inexplicable, until I learned of the thing at the bottom. [click to continue…]

THE LOSTLING

HONORABLE MENTION
The 2017 Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

BY DANIEL SOULE

A streetlamp flickered. Under the lamppost stood an old red phone box. In the old red phone box a black telephone was ringing.

Down the street came a boy. No one knew his name, or if they ever did they had forgotten it along with the boy. His clothes didn’t fit him well—his coat was too big, his trousers too short. Dirt tried to gather under his fingernails, even though he had bitten them to the quick. He was filthy. He scratched from lice and carried a newspaper for packing under his clothes if the weather turned cold. He was heading to one of his spots—a cardboard box and a plastic sheet, hidden beneath a tumbledown railway bridge as forgotten as he was. [click to continue…]

TONGUES

SECOND HONORABLE MENTION
The 2017 Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

BY EMMA MURTAGH

Maria turned wearily in her chair and looked out across the River Corrib from the office window. It was too dark to see the bridge and archway and Claddagh quay, reaching out to where the river met the ocean, but the streetlights on the walkway between the canal and river threw columns of light on the water that glimmered gold and white on its inky, restless surface, like flickering spectres standing watchfully in line.

Her desk was in the corner of the small office, facing toward the open door that framed the corridor, which was dark and quiet without the daytime commotion of clients and other office workers banging their way through the fire doors and setting off the sensor light with its obnoxious ping. Maria was glad. The text she was working on was dense and unforgiving. It was almost impossible to concentrate on such a difficult translation in the hum of the office during business hours. She liked working late at night when there wasn’t another soul in the old converted mill that perched upon the river like the herons did along its banks. [click to continue…]