Thursday, October 21, 2010

Flash Fiction: read the Derringer winner

At Bouchercon over the weekend, along with the Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Award announcements, the winners of the annual Derringer Awards of the Short Mystery Fiction Society were revealed.

I love reading full-length crime novels, but I do also really enjoy crime-centred short stories, whether in the form of author collections like Peter Robinson's enjoyable The Price of Love, collections with numerous contributors like the recent The Dark End of the Street: New Stories of Sex and Crime by Today's Top Authors edited by Jonathan Santlofer and S.J. Rozan, or one-off stories in mystery magazines or on the Internet. It's nice to be able to just dip in and quickly finish a good story.

And for those who want to be able to really quickly pick up, read, and finish a good short story, then the Flash Fiction category (Up to 1000wds) might interest you. This year's Derringer winner in that category was "And Here's To You, Mrs Edwardson" by Hamilton Waymire, published in the webzine Big Pulp, November 23, 2009, a story of a pizza boy and an older woman.

The great thing is not only does it only take a couple/few minutes to read, the entire thing is available online, so you can all dive in and sample some award-winning crime fiction, right here.

What do you think of the winning Flash Fiction story? Do you like crime and mystery short stories, as well as novels? If so, what are some of your favourite authors/stories? What makes a good crime fiction short story? Thoughts and comments welcome.


  1. I don´t particularly like *reading* flash fiction, but I like writing them occasionally. Not only because they are wonderfully manageable, but in my opinion the format is excellent if you want to try new (to you) writing techniques, e.g. playing with point of view.

  2. Hi Craig, and thanks for the shout-out! Last night it looked like today might turn out to be kind of crappy, but your kind words have made my day.

    I can see Dorte's point. It's difficult to tell a complete story, or provide a deep insight into the human condition, in less than 1,000 words. But when an author does pull it off, the effect of the short-short form is massive, often much more powerful than that of a novel.

  3. Never read flash fiction until today, read And Here's to you, Mrs. Edwardson, nice piece of work Susan

  4. Thanks, Susan and Earl. It's feedback like yours that makes trying to publish stories (and coping with rejections) worthwhile (the writing itself is its own reward, of course).

  5. It was a well-written and interesting story Hamilton, and deserving of the accolade. I was expecting a twist (and guessed part of it), but you still surprised me a bit too. Keep up the good work!