Just a few left to enter the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize, so polish up your flashiest flash fiction for submission!
Looking for inspiration? Peruse these snippets from past Hummingbird Contest winners. All that furious fluttering should get the juices flowing.
2018 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 21
by Nicholas Christian
It’s said Jeki la Njambe has one crow’s foot and an antelope’s hoof besides. Jeki, they say, huddles around little liver-pecked fires, has one arm and it’s a real Misha. They say he fishes with it and you’ll know it’s that time by the smell of wet maple and iron-wood, or the whistling of hollow bamboo. Sure, they ramble such as it’s cooked, but you don’t go blaming a fire for making smoke. So just gather your ears from the field. I’m to straighten things, if my name ain’t Jeki la Njambe, and I tell you I know the right of it …
2017 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 17
‘Just Down the Hall’
by Jeanette Topar
Truth was, Mrs Cole had become a little afraid of 902.
Late in the evenings she’d hear 902’s footsteps slide across the tiled hallway, hesitating outside her door. “Is this my place?” her neighbour would ask. Mrs Cole would mute the volume on her TV and hold her breath as she sat quietly in her tidy living room waiting for the woman to shuffle away. The last few times Mrs Cole had encountered her, 902 was wearing nothing but a gray slip that blended with the colour of her skin and matched her hair — she appeared little more substantial than a shadow or dust mote hovering in the hall …
2016 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 13
‘Xuefei and his heart’
by Rebecca Wurz
Xuefei sat on a metal stool in the corner of the operating theatre. He’d been awake all night, and now, sitting in the quiet of the deserted room, he felt drowsy. He had transported the heart of the criminal executed at dawn from the prison infirmary to the university hospital’s surgical suite, built especially for this demonstration. American transplant surgeons, collaborating with Chinese colleagues, were scheduled to do the first heart transplant on Chinese soil …
2015 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 9
‘The Last Neanderthals’
by Christina Crocker Escribano
You say, No one is going to eat us, but I know better. The path of the forest is necklaced in footprints. The surface of the snow is scuffed and bloodied. They left no remains of skin or bone, just a fistful of hair that looks like our own. We stop and watch, for a long time, as if the blood was an outline, a shadow, a spirit blooming in the ice. You say the soul lifts from the body, but I see that it doesn’t …
2014 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize Winner, Issue 5
Here I Lay Down My Heart
by Rob Taylor
Hayim lifted Mima toward the dhow. The captain knelt, grabbed her by her armpits and lifted her up, then lowered her into the hull. Hayim tossed in his duffle bag and for a moment, in the thin skim of ocean and sand that skirts Bagamoyo, stood apart from all that mattered in his world. Then he hoisted himself on board. Mima was already playing with the livestock and making friends with the other children. In the weeks since their arrival in Tanzania she had learned a mouthful of Swahili and was now in full song. Samaki! Kuku! Mbuzi! she pointed and guessed, and the children laughed and nodded and were impressed. Hayim climbed atop a mound of rice bags, maybe seven or eight deep, and pressed his duffle bag into the curve of the hull, punching it here and there with his fists, pounding out their shape. Between punches images of Tel Aviv flashed in his mind — their old apartment, the table and chairs, dishes and books he’d filled it with. Those few weeks when Mima had gone to preschool and life had felt normal and the word normal had plumped with meaning. Then Hayim lay down and his mind cleared …
Read Hummingbird Contest winners and runners-up of years past in Issue 5, Issue 9, Issue 13, Issue 17, and Issue 21.
Issue 5, Winter 2015
Issue 9, Winter 2016
Issue 13, Winter 2017
Issue 17, Winter 2018
Issue 21, Winter 2019