“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” Albert Einstein
Creativity can be an elusive beast at times. Yes some have been known to exchange band-width for tricks of the trade, of which digital page after page can be discovered when writer’s block has well and truly taken hold however, this is by no means fool proof.
Sometimes, no matter how much you persevere, it seems inspiration has completely flown the nest and no manner of coaxing will get her back.
Though I’m not sure what excuses I have, after all, we’re certainly not short of inspiration on a local level. Cantabrians have been the creators of world-changing concepts, creations and contraptions and, although the ability to innovate and think outside the square isn’t by any means limited to Christchurch, our city’s creative core is certainly a strong example of the kind of clever us Kiwis are truly capable of.
Although not new by any stretch, having been founded in 1995 – with a parent company which is even older still – Untouched World is a leading example of this innovative thinking.
From a sheep farming family in Canterbury, founder Peri Drysdale has created a brand which is turning heads on a global stage. By focussing on innovative blends of fibres such as merino, possum fur, silk and cashmere, Peri is now one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, with the sustainability frontrunner recently being inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame.
But it’s far from the only example. Businesses both big and small are making their mark on the city. Metropol continues its 20-year tradition of showcasing the very best of Canterbury, from the intangible strength of spirit of its inhabitants to exceptional innovation in business, building and the vision our leaders have for the city’s future.
Up and down the country writers are pounding their keyboards, pausing only to scratch their heads as they scrabble to craft a flash little story that will be awarded the flashest little 300 words in Aotearoa.
Last year’s National Flash Fiction Day (NFFD) competition saw Christchurch writer – and former Metropol scribe – Rachel Smith, awarded runner-up, while first place went to Auckland writer, Patrick Pink, for his flash Gunshots Are Too Common.
“Flash is a concentrated moment, a distilled glimpse, the juicy essence between characters, setting, conflict and time,” Patrick says of the genre.
“Every word is precious and precise. Flash challenges the writer. Flash is poetry. Flash is meditation. It restricts and releases. Flash is the visceral stuff of heart and guts.”
Founded in 2012, NFFD is now one of the most anticipated writing competitions in New Zealand.
The 2018 round is open until 30 April and, as New Zealand’s celebration of the shortest form of fiction writing, winners are announced on the shortest day of the year – 22 June. This year’s judges are acclaimed short story writers, novelists and poets Tracey Slaughter and Sue Wootton.
Last year, NFFD launched the Youth Category, and this year sees Patrick and poet/writer Tim Jones as judges in this space.
NFFD 2018 introduces a te reo Māori prize in both youth and adult categories, judged by poet/ novelist and short story writer Vaughan Rapatahana.
This year, the fourth annual Micro Madness series will also run, with 22 micros selected for inclusion, and three winners will be selected from the 22 finalists.
So, calling all Cantabrian writers…the challenge is on! Think you can fashion that flashiest flash? Well then… head to those keyboards – pronto!
Held at Space Academy, June 22 from 6-8pm.
More news and updates, including other publications and competitions involving New Zealand writers of compressed fiction, can be found by visiting nationalflash.org.