Guest Feature – Allison Symes

I’m pleased to announce my guest writer Allison Symes. Allison is a flash fiction writer and blogger. Allison has come along today to share her experiences around short fiction writing.

Allison Symes and published works (002)

Hi, I’m Allison Symes, flash fiction writer and blogger. Many thanks to Patricia for hosting me. We share a love of Swanwick Writers’ Summer School and 100-word stories. I was glad to take part in her challenge with my story, Views.

In case you missed Allison’s story, it can be found here.

Flash Fiction and Me – Allison Symes 

I write flash fiction across various word counts, and blog on Chandler’s Ford Today, an online magazine. My topics are usually relevant to writers (e.g. Creativity is Good For You, What Makes a Good Writing Conference etc), but flash fiction has become my writing passion. I never anticipated that when I started writing for publication. Only a few years ago if  someone had said I’d be writing stories to tiny word counts and reading them at Prose Open Mic Nights, I’d have laughed. A story in 100 words? Can’t be done. Yes it can… As for standing up in public…

Of course we all know that a story can be written in 100 words as participators of my challenge have been creating stories in 99 words or less.

Sometimes it is great to be wrong.

It is, isn’t it? 

I began writing standard length short stories (which I still write), but when my online publisher, Cafelit, issued a 100 word challenge, I thought I’d try it. I was intrigued by the idea of writing a story in so few words. What happened? I became addicted.

What I love most is because flash fiction must be character led, I can put them in whatever setting and/or time I like. I love the challenge of inventing new characters and dropping them right in it. So far I have written flash tales in the following genres:-




Reflective/character studies


Based on nursery rhymes

Based on films I’ve loved

Based on books I love.

Poetic justice tales.

My flash fiction collection From Light to Dark and Back Again was published by indie press Chapeltown Books in 2017.

FromLightToDark_medium-2 (002)

Another aspect of flash fiction I love is you can set a theme and word count and different writers will devise wildly varying stories. I had proof of this in June when my tale The Professional was one of 15 winning entries to the Waterloo Arts Festival’s writing competition. The theme was To Be…To Become, which was the title of the ebook that followed. Every winning writer took a different take on this theme and it is a wonderfully mixed collection.

I also love the challenge of producing maximum impact on a reader in the fewest words. It isn’t always about word count. You’ll have images in mind if I say she wore a red coat. Little Red Riding Hood, maybe? You’ll have different images if I say she wore a moth-eaten red coat. No fairytales here I suspect. I love how single words make such a difference and how hyphenated words can be the flash fiction writer’s best friends.

Flash fiction was a happy accident for me. Perhaps I should hope for more…

Thank you Allison for coming and talking to our readers today. I’m sure everyone’s found it interesting and helpful, as I have. 

Author Bio

Allison Symes loves writing and reading flash fiction. She is published by Chapeltown Books, Cafelit, and Bridge House Publishing.  Alison is a member of the Society of Authors and Association of Christian Writers. She blogs for Chandler’s Ford Today.

A round-up of Allison’s writing may be found on her website.

Where can you purchase Allison’s Books?  

Pop along to Allison’s page on Amazon.
















8 thoughts on “Guest Feature – Allison Symes

  1. Angela Petch September 10, 2019 / 12:53 pm

    Really interesting. I think flash fiction is such a good genre. It really makes you think about each and every word – which we should always do as writers anyway, but don’t always do.
    I like your phrase “maximum impact in the fewest words.”.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Allison Symes September 10, 2019 / 7:48 pm

        I think poetry is the hardest form of writing. I admire anyone who can do it well.


      • Patricia M Osborne September 10, 2019 / 7:50 pm

        Poetry is my favourite form of writing. I love it and hope readers consider that I do it well.


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