National Flash Fiction Day New Zealand

Because life is short. And so is some of the best fiction.

National Flash Fiction Day New Zealand

Online International Events


The 2021 online programme includes discussions that connect writers around the world. They will be recorded and then shared here in a video link for all to enjoy. The date indicates the day of posting – by noon New Zealand time. 


All times are noted in NZ time, with international times following.

FRIDAY, 11 June, 9am NZ time: The novella-in-flash 

*international times for all panels noted at the bottom of the page

a lively discussion with some of the best practitioners of the form, including recent winners of the Bath Novella-in-flash Award — moderated by Michael Loveday (UK)


    • Tracey Slaughter (NZ)
    • Mary Jane Holmes (UK)
    • Tom O’Brien (UK)
    • Al Kratz (US)
    • Meg Pokrass (US/UK)


SATURDAY, 12 June NZ time: Place and space

*international times for all panels noted at the bottom of the page

an exploration of the concepts of place, with writers from around the world — moderated by Tina Shaw (NZ)


    • Catherine McNamara (Italy/ Australia)
    • Agnes Marton (Luxembourg)
    • Erik Kennedy (Christchurch, NZ)
    • Vaughan Rapatahana (Mangakino, NZ)
    • Abha Iyengar (New Delhi, India)
    • Michael Steven (Auckland, NZ)


SATURDAY, 19 June NZ time: Story and reality

*international times for all panels noted at the bottom of the page

a look at truth and lies in the small form, in both fiction and poetry — moderated by Renee Liang (NZ)


    • Nuala O’Connor (Ireland)
    • Mohamed Hassan (Egypt/ NZ)
    • Ken Elkes (UK)
    • Nod Ghosh (UK/ NZ)


MONDAY, 21 June NZ time : How you write: then and now

*international times for all panels noted at the bottom of the page

writers look back at their early work, comparing the then and the now — moderated by Linda Wastila (US) of the 52|250 anthology project


    • Tina Barry (US)
    • Tania Hershman (UK)
    • Diane Brown (NZ)
    • Tracey Slaughter (NZ)
    • James Claffey (Ireland/ US)


TUESDAY, 22 June NZ time: Best Small Fictions/ Best Microfiction reading

*international times for all panels noted at the bottom of the page

featuring writers included in this year’s volumes of these two anthologies — hosted by Best Small Fictions Editor Nathan Leslie (US)  and Best Microfiction Editor Meg Pokrass (UK) 

Readers for Best Microfiction

    • Sudha Balagopal
    • Exodus Oktavia Brownlow
    • Jeff Friedman
    • Di Jayawickrema
    • Melissa Ostrom
    • Lucy Zhang

Readers for Best Microfiction

    • Jerry Chiemeke
    • Vanessa Chan 
    • Noa Covo
    • Caroljean Gavin
    • Jules Hogan
    • Hillary Leftwich 
    • Kaj Tanaka
    • Hananah Zaheer

Note: International times for panels – 9am in New Zealand is the previous day or night elsewhere in the world: 

For example, Friday 11 June in NZ is Thursday, 10 June elsewhere or the night between Thur/ Fri, at the following times:

  • US EST 5pm Thursday, 10 June 
  • US Pacific time 2pm Thursday, 10 June 
  • UK 10pm Thursday, 10 June
  • Europe 11pm Thursday, 10 June 
  • India Friday, 11 June 2.30am 
  • Hong Kong/ Singapore, 11 June 4.30am


About our panelists

The novella-in-flash

Al Kratz lives in Iowa with his wife Kristy and their cat Tom Petty. He is the Managing Editor at New Flash Fiction Review and a co-founder of the Flash Monsters!!! blog. He is a three-time Short Lister at the Bath Novella-in-Flash Award including The Tony Bone Stories which was a Runner Up in the 2021 award judged by Michelle Elvy. His 2019 shortlisted novella, Off the Resting Sea, was published by above/ground press in 2021. More about his work can be found at Al Kratz – reading * writing * thinking

A Forward Prize nominee and Hawthornden Fellow, Mary-Jane Holmes has won the Live Canon Poetry Pamphlet Prize 2020, Bath Novella-in-Flash Prize 2020, the Bridport Poetry prize, Reflex Fiction and Mslexia Flash prize as well as the Bedford Poetry competition. She has also been shortlisted for the Beverley International Prize for Literature and longlisted for the UK National Poetry Prize. Mary-Jane’s poetry collection Heliotrope with Matches and Magnifying Glass is published by Pindrop Press. Her award-winning pamphlet Dihedral is published by Live Canon Press and her novella Don’t Tell the Bees is published by Ad Hoc Fiction. Her Lockdown poem ‘Letter from Baldersdale’ joins 20 other poems in the National Poetry Archive on their 20th anniversary. Her newest collection of flash fiction will be published by V press in 2021.

Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. His Novella-in-Flash Straw Gods is published by Reflex Press and he has two more due this year – one from Retreat West and another from Ad Hoc Publishing. His work has been Pushcart and Best Microfictions nominated. His flash fiction can be found in print in various anthologies such as Blink-Ink and Bath Flash Fiction (forthcoming) as well as many sites around the web including Ellipsis Zine, Reflex, Spelk and 50-Word Stories.He’s on Instagram and twitter @tomwrote and has a class on Skillshare called Introducing the Novella-in-Flash. His website is

Tina Shaw writes strongly about ‘place’ in her books. She is an editor and author of more than 20 publications for children, young adults and general readership. She has edited a number of significant collections of New Zealand writing, and her stories have appeared in magazines and teenage anthologies, and have been broadcast on radio. Shaw has received many awards for her work, including the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers Residency. Make a Hard Fist was published in 2018 by OneTree House and Ursa was published by Walker Books in 2019, after its manuscript was named winner of the 2018 Storylines Tessa Duder Award.Her latest novel, Ephemera, is set on the Waikato River, a location she knows well from growing up in the Waikato.

Tracey Slaughter’s poetry and short fiction have been widely and received numerous awards. Her first collection of poems and short stories, Her body rises, was published by Random House (2005). Other books the short story collection, deleted scenes for lovers, (Victoria University Press, 2016; longlisted for the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards), a poetry collection, Conventional Weapons (Victoria University Press), if there is no shelter (Ad Hoc 2020; second place in the 2020 Bath Novella-in-Flash award) and her most recent short story collection, Devil’s Trumpet (VUP, April 2021). Tracey’s accolades include the international Bridport Prize (2014) and BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards (2004 and 2001). In 2015 she won the Landfall Essay Competition and was the recipient of the 2010 Creative New Zealand Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary. In 2020 she  won the international Fish Short Story Prize.Tracey teaches Creative Writing at the University of Waikato, and edits the journals Mayhem and Poetry NZ.

Place and space

Abha Iyengar is an award winning, internationally published poet, author, editor and a British Council certified creative writing mentor.  Her flash fiction has appeared in Vestal Review, Jellyfish Review, Flash Frontier, Blink Noir, Pure Slush, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Spark, The Asian-Australian Anthology of Short Fiction and others. Her flash fiction was a finalist at Flash Mob 2013, an international event. ‘Flash Bites’ (Authors Press, 2013) is a collection of her flash fiction, and ‘Many Fish to Fry’ (Pure Slush, Australia, 2014) is a flash novella. It is a part of the Flash Collection at Seaborne Library, University of Chester, UK. She has recently curated and edited ‘Kintsugi’, an anthology of Indian flash fiction.

Erik Kennedy is the author of There’s No Place Like the Internet in Springtime (Victoria University Press, 2018), which was shortlisted for best book of poems at the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, and he is co-editing a book of climate change poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific forthcoming from Auckland University Press in late 2021. His second book of poems will be out in 2022. His poems, stories, and criticism have been published in places like FENCEHobartMaudlin HousePoetryPoetry Ireland Review, the TLS, and Western Humanities Review. Originally from New Jersey, USA, he lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Agnes Marton is a Hungarian-born poet, writer, librettist, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), reviews editor at The Ofi Press and art curator at One Hand Clapping. Recent publications include her collection Captain Fly’s Bucket List and four chapbooks with Moria Books (USA). She won the National Poetry Day Competition (UK), and an anthology she edited received the Saboteur Award. Her work is widely anthologized; some examples include Alice: Ekphrasis at the British Library and Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen. Her fiction was called “exceptional” at the prestigious Disquiet Literary Contest (USA). In the award-winning poetry exhibition project “Guardian of the Edge,” thirty-three accomplished visual artists responded to her poetry. She has been a resident poet at the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, on a research boat in the Arctic Circle, and also in Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Serbia, Portugal, Chile, Canada and the United States. She is based in Luxembourg. She can be found online at

Catherine McNamara / Vicenza, Italy grew up in Sydney, ran away to Paris to write, and ended up in Ghana running a bar. Praised by Hilary Mantel, her short story collection The Cartography of Others was a People’s Book Prize (UK) finalist and winner of the Eyelands International Book Award (Greece). Pelt and Other Stories was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Award and a Hudson Prize semi-finalist. Love Stories for Hectic People is out in February 2021. Her most recent collection, Love Stories for Hectic People (2021) won the Saboteur Award in the short story category. Catherine is a writing coach and runs summer writing residencies in Italy where she lives. More here.

Vaughan Rapatahana (Te Ātiawa) / Mangakino, Aotearoa New Zealand commutes between Hong Kong SAR, Philippines and Aotearoa New Zealand – when COVID allows! He is widely published across several genres in Māori and English and his work has been translated into Bahasa Malaysia, Italian, French, Mandarin and Romanian. His collection Atonement was nominated for a National Book Award in Philippines in 2016. He also won the inaugural international Proverse Poetry Prize in 2016 and was represented in Best New Zealand Poems in the following year. He participatedin World Poetry Recital Night, Kuala Lumpur, September 2019, and Poetry International, the Southbank Centre, London in October 2019 – in the launch of Poems from the Edge of Extinction and in Incendiary Art: the power of disruptive poetry. Vaughan’s poem tahi kupu anake is included in the presentation by Tove Skutnabb-Kangas to United Nations Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva in November 2019. Rapatahana has a PhD from the University of Auckland on the work of English author Colin Wilson and frequently writes about and lectures on him. His New Zealand Book Council Writers File is here.

Michael Steven is the author of numerous chapbooks and the two acclaimed collections, Walking to Jutland Street (2018) and The Lifers (2020), both published by Otago University Press. He is a previous recipient of the Creative New Zealand Todd New Writers Bursary. Currently, he is interested in KNF no-till farming, and is learning to grow his own food and rongoā. He has just finished writing a new collection entitled ‘Night School’.



Story and reality

K.M. Elkes is based in the West Country, UK. His flash fiction collection All That Is Between Us (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2019) was shortlisted for a 2020 Saboteur Award. He is a previous winner of the Bath Flash Fiction Award and the Fish Publishing Flash Prize,. His short stories have won, or been placed, in international writing competitions, such as the Manchester Fiction Prize, Royal Society of Literature Prize and the Bridport Prize. He was longlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2019. His writing has featured on schools and college curricula in the USA, India and Hong Kong and used by bibliotherapy charity The Reader. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. From 2016-18 he was Guest Editor of the A3 Review literary magazine. As a writer from a rural, working class background, his work often reflects marginalised voices and places. This year, he is the judge for the 18th Bath Flash Fiction Award.

Nod Ghosh is a graduate of the Hagley Writers’ Institute, in Ōtautahi Christchurch, and has published extensively overseas and in New Zealand. Nod was associate editor for Flash Frontier, an Adventure in Short Fiction in 2016, and placed second in the NZ National Flash Fiction Day that year. Truth Serum Press published the novella-in-flash The Crazed Wind in 2018, Filthy Sucre in 2020, and Toy Train is due for release in 2021. Nod has read for SmokeLong Quarterly and was guest editor for UK National Flash Fiction Day’s 2021 anthology. Further details:

UK-based journalist Mohamed Hassan was the 2015 NZ National Slam Champion, a NZ poetry slam representative and the winner of a New York Festival Radio Award for his podcast Public Enemy. His debut collection National Anthem is shortlisted for the 2021 Ockham NZ Book Awards. @mohamedwashere

Renee Liang is a consultant paediatrician and a widely published poet, short story writer and playwright. Her plays Lantern and The Bone Feeder have played to sold-out audiences. Her most recent book, When We Remember To Breathe, was written with Michele Powles. More at NZ Booklovers.


Nuala O’Connor lives in Co. Galway, Ireland. Her novel about Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce, was recently published to critical acclaim in the USA, Ireland, the UK, and Germany. Her chapbook of historical flash, Birdie, was published in 2020 by Arlen House. Nuala is editor at flash e-zine Twitter: @NualaNiC


How you write: then and now

Tina Barry is the author of Mall Flower, poems and short fiction (Big Table Publishing, 2016) and Beautiful Raft, prose poems based on the lives of Virginia Haggard, the artist Marc Chagall’s lover, and Haggard’s daughter Jean McNeil (Big Table, 2019). She teaches poetry and fiction at The Poetry Barn and Gemini Ink.

Diane Brown is a novelist, memoirist, and poet who runs her own creative writing school, Creative Writing Dunedin.  Her publications include two collections of poetry, Before The Divorce We Go To Disneyland and Learning to Lie Together; a novel, If The Tongue Fits, and verse novel, Eight Stages of Grace, a travel memoir, Liars and Lovers, a prose/poetic memoir, Here Comes Another Vital Moment and a poetic family memoir, Taking My Mother To The Opera. Her latest book is a long poetic narrative, Every Now and Then I Have Another Child, Otago University Press, 2020.  Diane will be talking about her newest work at the 2021 Fringe Festival and discussing the bending of boundaries in poetic narratives at the 2021 Dunedin Readers and Writers Festival. In 2013 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and education. She lives in Dunedin with her husband, author Philip Temple.

Tracey Slaughter’s poetry and short fiction have been widely and received numerous awards. Her first collection of poems and short stories, Her body rises, was published by Random House (2005). Other books the short story collection, deleted scenes for lovers, (Victoria University Press, 2016; longlisted for the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards), a poetry collection, Conventional Weapons (Victoria University Press), if there is no shelter (Ad Hoc 2020; second place in the 2020 Bath Novella-in-Flash award) and her most recent short story collection, Devil’s Trumpet (VUP, April 2021). Tracey’s accolades include the international Bridport Prize (2014) and BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards (2004 and 2001). In 2015 she won the Landfall Essay Competition and was the recipient of the 2010 Creative New Zealand Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary. In 2020 she  won the international Fish Short Story Prize.Tracey teaches Creative Writing at the University of Waikato, and edits the journals Mayhem and Poetry NZ.
Linda Wastila‘sPushcart- and Best-of-the-Net- nominated prose and poems have been published in The Sun, Smokelong Quarterly, Monkeybicycle, Scissors and Spackle, MiCrow, Blue Five Notebook, The Poet’s Market 2013, Hoot, Camroc Press Review, Every Day Fiction and Nanoism, among others. In 2015, she received her MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she’s not writing, working or sleeping, she serves as Senior Fiction Editor at JMWW, a Baltimore-based literary journal.

Best Microfiction/ Best Small Fictions

Nathan Leslie (Editor, Best Small Fictions) won the 2019 Washington Writers’ Publishing House prize for fiction for his satirical collection of short stories, Hurry Up and Relax. Nathan’s nine previous books of fiction include Three MenRoot and ShootSibs, and The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice. He is also the author of a collection of poems, Night Sweat. Nathan is currently the series editor for Best Small Fictions, the founder and organizer of the Reston Reading Series in Reston, Virginia, and the publisher and editor of Maryland Literary Review. Previously he was series editor for Best of the Web and fiction editor for Pedestal Magazine. His fiction has been published in hundreds of literary magazines such as ShenandoahNorth American ReviewBoulevardHotel Amerika, and Cimarron Review. Nathan’s nonfiction has been published in The Washington PostKansas City Star, and Orlando Sentinel. Nathan lives in Northern Virginia. 

Meg Pokrass (Editor, Best Microfiction) is the UK-based author of seven flash fiction collections, two award-winning collections of hybrid prose and two novellas-in-flash . Her latest books are Damn Sure Right (Press 53,2011), The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down (Etruscan Press, 2015), Alligators At Night (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2018), The Dog Seated Next to Me (Pelekinesis, 2020) and The Loss Detector (Bamboo Dart Press, 2020). Her stories have been published in  Washington Square Review, Electric Literature, Waxwing, Tin House, Wigleaf, Jellyfish Review, Smokelong Quarterly, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and more than 800 publications including The Best Small Fictions 2018 and 2019, Wigleaf Top 50 (multiple times), and two Norton Anthologies of flash fiction. Meg is the Founding Editor and Co-Editor of the Best Microfiction Anthology Series.

Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction is published in Smokelong Quarterly, Split Lip Magazine and Pidgeonholes among other journals. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn. Her work has been nominated for Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction, the Pushcart Prize and is listed in the Wigleaf top 50.

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a Blackhawk, Ms native. She has been published with Electric Literature, Hobart Pulp, Booth, Fractured Lit, Jellyfish Review, and more. She is currently working on her novel. Exodus loves the color green.

Jerry Chiemeke is an editor, culture critic, author and lawyer. His works have appeared in publications like The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Republic, Inlandia Journal, The Guardian and Agbowo, among others. He frequently writes columns on music and film for The Lagos Review, and on his medium page. Jerry is the winner of the 2017 Ken Saro Wiwa Prize for Criticism, and a recipient of the 2019 Connect Nigeria Award for Excellence. He currently volunteers as a mentor for the Springg Writers Fellowship. He is the author of the short story collection Dreaming Of Ways To Understand You, and the poetry chapbook Notes for Nnedimma.

Vanessa Chan is a Malaysian writer preoccupied with identity, colonization and women who don’t toe the line. She has writing published or forthcoming in Conjunctions, Electric Lit, Ecotone, BOMB Magazine and more. She’s a fiction editor at TriQuarterly, and her work has been supported by Sewanee, Tin House, and Disquiet International. She is at work on a novel and a story collection.

Noa Covo‘s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Jellyfish Review, Waxwing, Best Small Fictions 2021, Best Microfiction 2021, Passages North and elsewhere. She can be found on Twitter @covo_noa. 

Jeff Friedman’s eight book ,The Marksman, was published in November 2020 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. He has received numerous awards and prizes for his poetry, mini tales, and translations, including a National Endowment Literature Translation Fellowship in 2016 and two individual Artist Grants from New Hampshire Arts Council.

Caroljean Gavin‘s work has appeared in places such as Pithead Chapel, Milk Candy Review and Barrelhouse. She is the editor of What I Thought of Ain’t Funny (Malarkey Books), an anthology of short fiction based on the jokes of Mitch Hedberg. Her flash chapbook Shards of a Stained Glass Moving Picture Fairy Tale is forthcoming from Selcouth Station. 

Jules Hogan is a writer and editor from the blue ridge mountains and a fiction MFA student at ASU. Stories can be found in Everything Change Vol. iii, Pithead Chapel, the Yalobusha Review and elsewhere. Jules is the 2021 fiction meets science fellow at the Hanse-Wissenschaftkolleg in Germany. Follow them on Twitter @seektheyonder

Di Jayawickrema is a hybrid writer living in New York City. Her work has appeared in wildness, Jellyfish Review, Pithead Chapel, Entropy, and elsewhere. She is a VONA alumnus and an incoming Kundiman fellow. She is working on her first book. Visit her at

Hillary Leftwich is the author of Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock (CCM Press/The Accomplices 2019). Her hybrid memoir, Aura–a series of survivor stories told to her epileptic son–is forthcoming from Future Tense Books in 2022. She is the founder and owner of Alchemy Author Services & Workshop and teaches creative writing at Lighthouse Writers. She focuses her writing on class struggle, single motherhood, trauma, mental illness, the supernatural, ritual, and the impact of neurological disease. She teaches Tarot and Tarot writing workshops focusing on strengthening divination abilities as well as writing. She lives in Denver with her partner, son, and cat, Larry.

Melissa Ostrom is the author of The Beloved Wild and Unleaving. Her stories have appeared in many journals and been selected for Best Small Fictions 2019 and Best Microfiction 2020. She teaches English at Genesee Community College in western New York. Learn more at or find her on Twitter @melostrom.

Kaj Tanaka‘s fiction has appeared in New South, New Ohio Review, Hobart and Tin House. Kaj lives in Shiprock, New Mexico.

Hananah Zaheer’s recent writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Waxwing, AGNI, Smokelong, Pithead Chapel, Virginia Quarterly ReviewMcSweeney’s Internet TendencyAlaska Quarterly Review and elsewhere. A flash chapbook, Lovebirds, is forthcoming from Bull City Press. She is currently working on a novel. You can find her @hananahzaheer

Lucy Zhang writes, codes, and watches anime. She reads for Barren Magazine, Heavy Feather Review and Pithead Chapel. Find her at or on Twitter @Dango_Ramen.




Click on the NFFD logo to go to the YouTube channel, where we are sharing a series of online video readings, discussions, book features and more. 


2020 readings and discussions

Best Small Fictions and Best Microfictions: an international reading



from Best Microfiction

  • Steven John
  • Kathryn Kulpa
  • jj peña
  • Michelle Ross
  • Charmaine Wilkerson
  • Francine Witte

from Best Small Fictions 2020

  • Micah Dean Hicks
  • Omotara James
  • Angie Sijun Lou
  • Rachel Smith
  • Lavanya Vasudevan

Youth Voices 


  • Penelope Duran
  • Freddie Gormack-Smith
  • Samantha Jory-Smart
  • Lucy Kennedy
  • Denika Mead

The Art of Writing Small: A Roundtable with Journal Editors Around the World 


Imagination Unbound: Five Women on the Poetic Narrative Form 


  • Nod Ghosh, author of Filthy Sucre (Truth Serum Press 2020)
  • Diane Brown, author of Every now and then I have another child (OUP 2020)
  • Helen Rickerby, author of How to live (AUP 2019)
  • Anne Kennedy, author of Moth Hour (AUP 2019)
  • Gail Ingram, author of Contents Under Pressure (Pukeko Publishing 2019)


Reading series

YouTube reading series – an online reading series at the Flash Frontier YouTube channel, featuring new books, journal editors, youth readers, NFFD judges past and present, Bath novella-in-flash readings, Best Small Fictions, City Chairs and more.  Please sign up to the YouTube channel and see what’s coming next!

Micro Madness – June 1-22 micro readings from our annual international micro competition, with lockdown micros and no-theme micros – two per day!

New Books –  celebrating books published in 2020 from around the world!

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