Open mic nights are always a gamble. By half past seven on Thursday, though, it was clear that the first Flashers’ Club was going to be a goer. The door ticket tally started to rise and the readers’ list filled up with promising titles. By the second half, bolstered by a few fashionably late arrivals, we had thirteen readers reading fifteen short stories.
The pieces ranged from 150-word flash fic to 1000-word short stories. Sitting by the toasty warmth of Smokey Joe’s wood-burning stove, we heard about newlywed love and the practical difficulties of life as a vampire; we saw snapshots of a commuter’s end and a mother’s grief; we travelled to Malaysia, to America’s Old West, to Afghanistan. Writers read from notebooks, from print-outs, from phones and tablets. Some read with brio, some with a smile, some with resonant calm. All were wonderful.
Thankfully we had just enough free books for everyone to have one each: this quarter’s readers’ treat was a copy of Various Authors, an anthology by The Fiction Desk, independent publishers of new short stories.
In all we sold thirty-one tickets, raising £78 for First Story. If you haven’t checked out First Story’s website then head over there now and have a read of the childrens’ stories and poems. Humbling and powerful, they’ll astound you with their skill and maturity. Everyone who bought a ticket on Thursday has helped to support those voices, so a massive thank you to all of you.
We’ve had great feedback from readers and listeners, and we’re really happy that everyone enjoyed the night. We’re even happier to say that Flashers’ Club is now a regular night, to take place quarterly. Our next event will be on Thursday 9th February, same time, same place. We may make some slight tweaks to the format, but there will always be an open mic session. Keep an eye on this site, on Facebook and on Twitter (@flashers_club) for details.