Home | About Us | Annual Competitions | Open Competition | Membership | Events | Comments | Columnists | Members work



We are an association devoted to the study of Lancashire literature, history, traditions and dialect.

Podcasts | Children's Page | Other Competitions | Contact Us | Links

Open Competitions

Compass Fostering are a leading UK fostering agency that prioritise exceptional care and support for children and young people. Compass pride themselves on being responsive, informative and supportive from the moment you get in touch. Their mission is to provide outstanding care by placing the needs of children at the heart of everything they do. With a holistic, therapeutic approach, Compass Fostering are primarily focused on building meaningful relationships with carers and children, developing their trust and self-esteem. They provide unrivalled wrap-around support to ensure positive and fulfilling futures for children.
Compass Fostering also value diversity and boast a thriving community of foster carers from a variety of different backgrounds and beliefs. The agency understands that every foster carer is unique and takes the time to establish strong relationships between them and their families. This inherently individualised approach enables Compass to provide tailored support that meets the needs of both foster carers and children.

Compass guides and supports foster carers every step of the way, from initial enquiry to successful application. By choosing Compass, you can expect an independent fostering agency that genuinely cares for the children in their care and is determined to provide them with a brighter future.


* * * *

We  are proud to announce Headines Hair have kindly agreed to sponsor this year's competition. We are very grateful for their generosity. Below, is a little bit about them.

Headlines Hair was founded by Managing Director Tony Marriott in 1968 with the opening of the Southport Salon. He has since built up a chain of professional Salons  across the North West. Tony so wanted his stylists to meet the high standards he required, that he set up his own training facility, the first outside the college system of the time.


And The Winner Is...





* * * * *

* * * * *





* * * * * * * * 

Closing Date 31st January 2020

And the winner is...

Open Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Sponsored by


Lesley Atherton author and publisher, based in Chorley.


The Winner is:

Kathryn Barton of Lyndhurst, Hants.


Congratulations Kathryn!


Love at First Phobia

Jasmine has phobias: darkness; spiders; feathers; rice crispies; men. She sleeps with the light on, breakfasts on toast and works in a convent, alert for aggressive arachnids and moulting pigeons, unaware that she is beautiful.

     The chapel suffers woodworm: while the nuns endure obligatory silence, Jasmine meets Steve, a specialist. He taps the panelling; disturbs a spider. Jasmine bolts for the door, crashing into Steve, who got there first. ‘Sorry,’ his arms tighten around her, ‘can’t stand spiders.’

    They hold hands for mutual support. Mother Superior, shamelessly peeking, chuckles loudly. She will do penance for breaking silence; it’s worth it.


Other finalists are:


                                                                                     Gail Warrick Cox                                ‘The Long Way’

                                                                                     Gail Warrick Cox                                ‘Mary Jane’

                                                                                                  Lesley Evans                                      ‘ In the Eyes of a Child’

                                                                          Anne Lawson                                     ‘Haddock by Any Other Name’

                                                                          Della Millward                                  ‘A Once in a Lifetime Date’

                                                                          Hannah Cole                                     ‘The True Story of Mummy’s Birthday

                                                                          Tracy Davidson                                 ‘Twister’


Lancashire Authors’ Association are deeply grateful to Lesley Atherton for her sponsorship of this competition, and wish to thank all competitors for taking the time to enter.

Winner of the Open Flash Fiction 100 word story 2020

Kathryn Barton



Kathryn tells me she left school as soon as possible, only too happy to hang up her slate and chalk, vowing to eschew any form of further education, but always wanting to write.

A decade ago Kathryn made a complete volte face, now possesses a BA (Hons) and an MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing and is a Master of Philosophy.

For the MPhil she produced a collection of short stories set in the New Forest, together with an academic thesis.

Kathryn prefers to write light humorous pieces: She would rather like to be the next P.G.Wodehouse.

Kathryn is a member of Waterside Writers.


Lesley Atherton, states on her website:

‘It is our mission to help writers get their words off the computer and out into the world.’

If you check out the website you will see she has done this for many aspiring writers. If you count yourself in that category then get in touch.

Lesley’s choice of winner and why.

“I decided to award first place to ‘Love at First Phobia’. I made this decision for a number of reasons. It is quirky and heartwarming and I am deeply charmed by anything quirky. More importantly there are a number of questions the piece raises, ensuring that the depth of the writing and the story told go much further than the 100 word limit. It is an effective standalone piece of writing, but also a sweet introduction to a love story. The reader is intrigued to discover what happens next. Once the new couple hold hands they won’t return to simply being two people who work in the same place.

"Finally ‘Love at First Phobia’ contained some really succinct writing and is a story both in itself and in the making. Congratulations!"

Thank you also to the other finalists. Their writing transcends the limitations of this extremely challenging format in which scenes are set, characters built and events related – all within such a tiny number of words.

Well done everyone!


Open Competition 2020

Below you can read the 100 word stories from six of the other finalists.

Twister  By Tracy Davidson        


They find her car sooner than I’d thought, courtesy of a tornado tearing the barn away.  Of her body there’s no sign. Hopefully the vortex deposited her in a swamp somewhere. I picture her being torn apart by alligators. It’s a nice picture.


The police ask me to identify the car. I don my sad face and nod. They drive me home. Her body lies on our front lawn, still intact. The tornado dropped her practically at our door. My fingerprints around her throat, ring imprint vivid on her cheek.

Handcuffs slapped around wrists are as cold as my heart.



The Long Way  By  Gail Warrick Cox


Jimmy takes the long way home from school. If he uses the short cut older lads rough him up. Besides,He doesn’t want o get there. Mum has a habit, he helps her with it, knows more than he should. And you can never tell how she ‘ll be. Dead or alive. High or rattling. So Jimmy takes the long way.

On his street he spots an ambulance, police car too. Dead then.

The older lads hover nearby. He offers them some sweets, ‘candy’ covered bonbons. Jimmy knows more than he should and he’s had enough of taking the long way.



Once in a Lifetime Date  By Della Millward


She was shocked….

Because he looked so much older than his photo. Thinning hair, thick rimmed glasses. He frowned at her across the café table. He was probably shocked too. Her illness had stolen her once great skin and lustrous hair.

Because she felt awkward she knocked over the salt.

Because of her embarrassment he smiled gently and righted it. Because of his kindness she relaxed. Their meeting would have impossible once.

Because of him she no longer had to suffer dialysis. Because of her he only had one kidney.

She had come to say ‘thank you’ in person.



In the Eyes of a Child  By Lesley Evans


She rushes blearily in, tousled headed in rumpled pyjamas, her matted bear clamped under one arm.

A relieved sigh, a delighted chuckle. It’s still there!

Rapt, she drops down cross-legged, lifts her snub nose to inhale the scent of it, and sits gazing and gazing, absentmindedly stroking the bear’s grimy fur with one chubby hand.

“It’s my favourite thing in the whole world.” she says softly, almost to herself.

I watch the shimmer and glint of the lights reflected in her wide brown eyes as they move over every bauble and treasure on the tree. Mine too, I think. Mine too.





The Story of Mummy’s Birthday  By Hannah Cole


We weren’t starving.

The nice food was for grown-ups. We tasted little bits sometimes. Delicious, but sickening because we were so scared.

We both made her birthday cards. She hugged us, too hard, and said, “I’d better get something for myself. No one else is going to treat me.”

She came back sooner than we thought. I forget what we’d taken from the cupboard.

She must have bought a bottle of something. As the bag swung towards me, I shouted, “Wasn’t me! It was him!” That’s how I came to be deaf in one ear. And an only child.



Mary Jane  By Gail Warrick Cox


‘Hello Nan. You ok?’             ‘Not too bad. Come in Dear.’

 ‘What’s that funny smell?’              ‘I can’t smell anything.’

 ‘Nan, have you been smoking?      ‘Oh yes Dear, herbal cigarettes. Edith’s grandson gets them for me.’

 ‘Really?’                                ‘Yes. He grows the herbs in Edith’s loft.’

 ‘What?’           ‘Then he dries them out to make the cigarettes. He’s quite the entrepreneur.’

‘You pay him for them?’      ‘We all do.’

 ‘All?’      ‘Yes, everyone down at the day centre.’


 ‘Nan, you shouldn’t smoke that type of cigarette, they’re no good for you.’

‘Oh. I don’t know, they really lift the mood at Mabel’s Whist Drives.’


‘A STORY IN EXACTLY 100 WORDS’  (Excluding Title)





Back to top

Windmill, LythamWhalley AbbeyWelcome Home, FleetwoodBlackpool TowerDownham VillageDarwen TowerSt. Anne's PierEric Morecambe Statue, Morecambe

Friends of Real Lancashire Dunkerley's Dialect Plus Acorn Community News Melinda Hammond