Ellipsis Flash Collection Competition 2019


Overall Winner – Familial Disturbances by Mason Binkley
Second Place – The Naming of Bones by Jan Kaneen
Third Place – The Way our Voices Carry by Madeline Anthes

Highly Commended

1 – Mother Jellyfish by Jeanette Sheppard
2 – What Remains by Eric Andrew Newman
3 – Animal Behaviour by Amanda McLeod

Stephanie’s comments on the winning collection, Familial Disturbances by Mason Binkley:

This collection is strong, political, astute. There is flexibility in voice while maintaining a thread throughout. I’m so excited that Ellipsis will be first publisher for the author of Familial Disturbances because this level of talent can only mean great things ahead for the writer. I can’t wait for you to devour these stories as I have.

Congratulations to all the finalists, each is publication-worthy. It has been an absolute pleasure to act as judge. I hope to see versions of all the longlisted and shortlisted collections out in the world one day.


The twelve shortlisted collections are a swirling, singing mass of voices that span the range of what flash fiction can offer.

Animal Behaviourthe human condition explored through the lens of animal behaviour helped this collection to stand out as having something to say.
Familial Disturbancesa collection that starts with an explosive first line and never drops below excellent.
Mother Jellyfishwonderful characterisation that held my heart throughout and shows a depth of understanding of relationships.
Straw Godsa novella that swept me along an emotional journey and made me care for the characters.
The Heart is an Empty VesselThis dark collection brings beauty into the horror of loss and would be great for performance.
The InsectariumI knew from the title this would be unique, the entire collection utterly grabbed me.
The Naming of BonesA creative journey across time that starts with an outstanding flash I had to re-read several times.
The Way Our Voices CarryPerfect at the sentence level with each flash building on the previous in waves.
TractI was struck by the scope of this novella, by the end I felt as if I’d crept into someone’s whole lifetime.
We Are All Made of CarbonThis collection made me pause for breath following each flash and lit up its words with the use of pictures.
What RemainsThere’s a dream-like beauty to these flashes that allows deeper exploration of what it means to live and die.
Zglevians on the MoveReading this collection left me feeling drunk, I found myself saying ‘yes!’ out loud at many quirky, image-laden lines.

Winner of six month mentoring: Kerry Rawlinson.


Animal BehaviourCreative, quirky and enjoyable.
Backward-facing JourneysShows a deep understanding of human nature.
But In Our Dreams We DanceSlips through time effortlessly from historical to modern.
Chaos TheorySuperb voice throughout.
Desire LinesConfident and complex.
Familial DisturbancesEach flash is a gut punch.
Families and Other Natural DisastersRich, evocative and playful with form.
Fantastical FlashSpans the width and depth of fantasy genre.
Mother JellyfishTender, painful exploration.
Playing Roulette at the Lost and FoundEnticing, layered writing.
Some Days are Better Than OursEmotionally resonates and displays versatility.
Straw GodsStrong prose that dares to push boundaries.
The Almost MothersLifts the lid on what often goes unspoken.
The Heart is an Empty VesselBold, brave writing that surprises.
The InsectariumDark, different and clever.
The Naming of BonesPolished prose that digs deep.
The Recluse of Porte MareFull of heart and life.
The Way Our Voices CarryBeautiful writing with stories that resonate.
TractMakes great use of the flexibility of flash.
Twenty Four Hours in Devils CreekExcellent characters and atmosphere.
We Are All Made of CarbonAn intriguing journey across generations and styles.
What if We Were Someone Else?Strong dialogue with astute observations.
What RemainsAccomplished and poetic prose.
White SpaceMoving, understated examination.
Zglevians on the MoveSharp and inventive with plenty between the lines.

And special mentions to a further three collections that were close to making the longlist:
All The Dead Are Waiting Here
Shoved Down the Path
Strains of the Heart

There were certainly other collections that were longlist-worthy but in the end I wanted to ensure a rich, diverse spread of approaches to what a flash collection could look like so unfortunately had to leave some contenders off this list.


Image: unsplash.com