Flash Fiction – Gertrud

Since October 2015, I have been a devotee of NY literary agent Janet Reid’s blog where she dispenses advice on publishing, querying and writing. Every so often, Janet hosts flash fiction contests where entries must be one hundred words or fewer and must use the five words that Janet provides. I’ve always been impressed and intimidated by the quality of writing in the entries there that I never even thought of joining.

As part of my then New Year’s resolution to start engaging online, I joined her mini-flash fiction on January 2017. Happily, my line on asbestos underpants hooked QOTKU (Queen Of The Known Universe is one of Janet’s titles, the other is the Shark i.e. The Query Shark). As prize, Janet sent me the book “The Dry” by Jane Harper which was a seriously wonderful debut novel.

That win gave me the confidence to enter the FF major leagues: March 2017 Flash Fiction contest #99. The five words were:


I haven’t composed a poem in my life but the lines I came up with lent themselves well to verse form. The idea for using -ly words to give the poem its structure came to me out of the blue. The name Gertrud was from the blog topic the day before in the Reef (the other name for Janet’s blog, shark-reef, get it?)

To my immense joy, my entry won!

Read my entry here.

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