Issue 12: The First Time

A Letter from the Editorial Committee

Welcome to Flash Issue 12, our third issue of the 2014/2015 academic term, and first of 2015! The editorial team are absolutely thrilled with the number of pieces we’ve received for this issue. We’re overjoyed with the range of the pieces we have received, from people across departments, and varying widely in form, style and subject matter.

We continue to host a launch party for each issue and love to see writers, editors and members of the department networking and discussing pieces from the issue. We are extremely fortunate to have such talented contributors every issue, many of whom submit again and again after having such a positive experience working with an editor.

The Editor’s Choice piece for this issue is Jack O’ Hagan’s The First Time, though it was tough choice given the plethora of work we received and at such a high standard.

Jack award

From all the Flash team, thank you for being a part of making Flash a success and a great representative of the literary talent on campus and the Lancaster English Department. We hope to have old and new contributors take part in Issue 13, but for now, please enjoy Issue 12!

The Flash Editorial Committee


The Editor’s Choice piece, The First Time
by Jack O’Hagan, with commentary from Joshua Wilson

“Our Editor’s Choice selection for Issue 12 is a marvel of double entendre that demands your attention and insists that it be read and read and read. The violent twist midway through this is initially unforeseen, but as the short piece is re-considered, tricks and ploys are found within previously innocuous language. This duality serves both the initial interpretations and the final realisation, making the piece frustrating and endlessly rewarding in equal measure. Masterfully bittersweet, The First Time is a shining ideal for flash fiction to aspire to.”

Bah Bum-Hug
by Jo Buttner, with commentary from Hannah Clarke

“A comedy which follows a young boy in his search for love, this entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable piece captures the hilarity and anguish of a teenage love infatuation and the confusion which love can bring.”

by Raj Vismere, with commentary from Chandler Yang

“A fascinating origin story told of a mystical world. A world where a female scholar is on mission, searching for a beyond of the fiery desert. It is a story where readers might feel the strain of their tendons in her actions and find themselves somewhere they are not supposed to be.”

First Anniversary
by Lesley Burt, with commentary by Hannah Clarke

“A beautiful poem which captures the memories of a past romance in sensuous stanzas and beautiful descriptions of landscape.”

by Charlotte Baker, with commentary by Chandler Yang

“A lyrical short story with bleak humour. The objective voice of the narrator brings readers to know and feel with a divorced woman in her fifties, in glimpses of her day to day life. Her obsession with appearance; the frayed relationship with her mother. The story is painted with layers and layers of human emotions in different shades.”

Tick Tick, Tock: Goes the Freedom Clock
by Lara Thorne, with commentary from Betty Doyle

“One of my favourite poems to read, with a confidence and accomplished use of rhythm, Lara’s ‘Tick Tick, Tock’ examines the human heart and the complications of emotions in an approachable, lyrical rhyme scheme.”

Oh Barbara
by Antonia Markou, with commentary by Joshua Wilson

“Blissfully and painfully nostalgic, Oh Barbara utilises black comedy to achieve a sharp and visceral feelings of sympathy, humour and pity in the reader. Unlike so many other pieces with a central elderly character, Markou does not stray into melodrama or rely on tired clichés, but rather grounds Larry’s grief and ailing senses in a way that is universally human.”

by Frances Wilde, with commentary by Betty Doyle

“Frances’ poem flows with an easy confidence and rhythm like a summer  bumblebee in flight, leading the reader through a journey of complex emotions and confused happiness.”

Buy One Get One Free
by Claire Jefferson, with commentary by Rebecca Parkinson

“I love the way Claire’s poem sees the mundane chores of everyday life in a new way by overlaying an elaborate maritime metaphor. Her poetry creates a fantastical daydream, despite maintaining a simplistic and elegant style. It was a joy to edit.”

What do you know about the Vikings?
by Paul Atherton, with commentary by Joshua Wilson

“A wonderfully strange experiment in hybridised writing, this piece is at its heart mixes informative discourse with a batty sense of humour that delights in the unreliable and sarcastic narrator. Atherton’s unique approach to the Vikings is light-hearted and enjoyable, perhaps marking his first step down a path of experimental writing that could fully develop to be the central flavour of Atherton’s personal style.”

Never In It
by Walker Zupp, with commentary by Rebecca Parkinson

“This poem is very relevant in today’s self- conscious and social media obsessed world. The feeling of isolation, being outside an inner circle, being connected virtually and yet physically alone I’m sure are relatable themes to many people. The structure is carefully constructed and mounts as the anger of the narrator grows before a sonnet-esque turn in the final line. A fantastic piece.”



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