ANNOUNCEMENT: The TORCH Flash Fiction Winner

Robotic hand stretch out, covered by pink banner which reads "And the winner is..."

We were delighted by the number and quality of submissions for our first ever flash fiction competition. In their various ways, all of the entries captured something distinctive about the anxieties we may be feeling at the moment, whilst also often conveying moments of optimism, humour, and plenty of human creativity.

One entry stood out for all the judges – ‘Error’, by Luke Young. As strangely beautiful as it was starkly terrifying, it displayed many of the qualities that make for fine short fiction: a gripping storyline, a palpable sense of voice, and an ability to make an imaginary world seem (all too) real. As many of us now grapple with life lived in the company of more computers, tablets, and smart phones than ever before, ‘Error’ dramatised the uncanny emotions engendered by our relationship to technology – or, rather, technology’s relationship to us.

Two other entries were also admirable runners-up. ‘Albert’, by Rowan Curtis, deftly paired machine-learning and AI with an exploration of animal consciousness to ask pertinent questions about what is means to be human. And ‘The Banana Tree’, by Udani Kottearachchi, was an evocative account of the struggle for natural resources in a dystopian, post-pandemic nightmare. The judges would also like to single out ‘Hunters and Hunted’, by Rachel Dauncey for an honourable mention.


Many thanks to our judges: Professor Philip Ross Bullock, Professor Wes Williams, and Dr Anbara Salam, published author. 

TORCH is very pleased to announce that this competition will be the first of a number of literary and artistic competitions. Please check out our website and social media accounts for more information on upcoming competitions.