Flashing The Square book launch at MWF 2014

Posted in FLASHING THE SQUARE, NEWS & INFORMATION on August 13, 2014 by Richard Holt

cover3Join microfiction aficionado, Angela Meyer in conversation with writer and Flashing The Square’s curator, Richard Holt, writer/ critic, Cassandra Atherton and writer, A.S. Patrić to discuss the origins of micro-literature, its increasing popularity, its challenges and its delights, from the perspectives of author, digital artist and blogger. Includes readings and screenings of microfiction and prose poems from Flashing The Square.

visit http://www.mwf.com.au/session/book-launch-flashing-the-square/

In readiness for Flashing the Square 2014

Posted in FLASHING THE SQUARE, stories on June 28, 2014 by Richard Holt

Production for the videos for this year’s Flashing the Square, to be screened at the Melbourne Writers Festival in late August, is now in full swing. This year’s stories have been selected from the 2014 joanne burns Award run by Spineless Wonders along with works from invited authors. Following, as a taste of what to expect are a few more examples screened at Federation Square during last year’s Writers Festival:-

This year’s project will feature 14 stories produced as video along with a new collaborative text project I’ve produced with authors from Roomers magazine.

National Flash Fiction Day, Bristol

Posted in NEWS & INFORMATION on June 28, 2014 by Richard Holt

I’ve just had a piece published in the National Flash Fiction Day collection Eating My Words and to celebrate (and because I’m currently in the UK with my family) I read a selection of four pieces at the NFFD event in Bristol. NFFD (nationalflashfictionday.co.uk) is a fabulous celebration of very short fiction and the stories read on the night were all exceptional, covering a wide range of material. If you can get a hold of the collection it is a terrific read – one of the best collections of flash fiction by selected authors that I’ve come across.

Finding Stories

Posted in FLASHING THE SQUARE, NEWS & INFORMATION, WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS with tags , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by Richard Holt

Writing colleague and friend, Ann Bolch, has just published an interview she conducted that explored my ‘story a day’ project, ‘Small Stories About Love‘. It’s full of timely information given the Flashing the Square microfiction competition, which is currently open for entries. You can watch the interview at Ann’s blog A Story to Tell. Thanks to Ann’s fantastic editing skills I actually make a fair bit of sense. Thanks Ann.

Here’s what the Flashing the Square microfiction videos look like

Posted in FLASHING THE SQUARE, NEWS & INFORMATION with tags , , , , on August 30, 2013 by Richard Holt

I’ve pasted an example of the Flashing the Square videos below. Each runs for about 3 minutes. If the animation seems a little slow remember these are created to be shown on a public screen with audience moving through and past the space, rather than necessarily to be watched from beginning to end in the way a movie or video clip is usually experienced. I hope you enjoy it.

[ please note the music used in this video, (Other) by A Way, is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Visit http://freemusicarchive.org/music/A_Way/EP_1805/04_Other for more information. Please respect the license conditions. ]

Up and running

Posted in FLASHING THE SQUARE, NEWS & INFORMATION with tags , , on August 30, 2013 by Richard Holt

Flashing the square is now up and running at the Melbourne Writers Festival. Check the Fed TV page for schedule details (under Melbourne Writers Festival). Both the stories and the Roomers collaborative text project look great up on the screens (as well as running on the big screen they’re also showing on the atrium screen near the NGV Australia entrance. With 25 degrees forecast for Sunday (September 1) there’s a great opportunity to experience the pieces when they screen between 7 and 9 pm.




Introducing Flashing the Square

Posted in FLASHING THE SQUARE, NEWS & INFORMATION with tags , on August 7, 2013 by Richard Holt

flashing_the_square_logoFlashing the Square is a microfiction project designed specifically for publication via the public video screen at Melbourne’s Federation Square. This unique project combines narrative text with graphic design, video and traditional public art practices.

Flashing the Square will screen as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival screen text program. It includes 12 separate microfiction works that I’ve written and designed for screen as well as an exciting collaborative on-site text project I have been developing with Roomers, a magazine and writing project drawing on the talents of writers living in St Kilda’s rooming houses and suffering various forms of housing and social stress.

The Melbourne Writers Festival is on from 22 August until 1 September 2013.

For more information check out the Flashing the Square media release,

Watch these pages for more information about Flashing the Square and for links to video previews, which will be posted as the event approaches.

Thanks to Melbourne Writers Festival and Federation Square

The Wordsmith’s Local

Posted in stories on July 29, 2013 by Richard Holt

The following story was written in response to a call for bloggers for this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival. I didn’t get the gig but I still reckon the story I submitted is worth an airing on these pages. It responds to the Festival’s by-line; Enquire Within.

On the Worderfront

Lars considered the invitation scrawled in texta on a sheet of cardboard. Seeking writers. Experience a must. No enthusiasm necessary.

The queue, in response, stretched to the next corner. The hack journalists were easiest to pick, hunched in their gabardine grey, paper-bagged bottles slipping guiltily in and out of deep pockets.  Plot-bound novelists, mired in stories that refused to resolve, gritted their teeth against the city wind. Poets smiled and snarled, smiled and snarled. Blogged-out bloggers checked themselves on Twitter.

The ancient door to which the note had been Blu-tacked remained obstinately shut. Someone should have told them at the end of the line. Someone should have maybe taken control.

A flat-bed truck took the corner fast and the back of the queue peeled around after it like a whipping tail. Within moments the street was chaos. The hard-nuts and thugs of Wordsmiths Local #7 looked passionlessly down on the milling crowd. They picked out a few familiar faces; writers who’d done them a favour long ago, spun a story for them, a word in the right ear. They dragged the chosen aboard the truck and handed each a ticket. A day’s work.

Joey Carter was known as Booker to everyone in the writing projects and the length of Ellipsis Street, where lives passed looking out on the worderfront, watching texts from abroad being unloaded and new words from the city taken on board in their place and sent out to the hungry world. Booker held the last of the jobs above his head—maybe twenty if the crowd was lucky. The mob surged. The big man tossed the precious tickets high, where a gust sent them flitting and dancing along Ellipsis. The crowd gathered itself and charged as one in pursuit. The weakest fell beneath stampeding feet.

Lars watched and waited. One ticket rose in an updraft. The crowd shot beneath it. He tracked the small square of paper as it spiralled across the cobbles before settling on top of a police call box. Lars strolled across. Picked it up. Turned it over a few times. The only distinguishable mark on it was the quill and scroll emblem of the all powerful Local.

Chloe Eddington had once been a gun editor herself but she was out of favour now. She’d given Lars his first break. As he turned back he saw her staring up at him from the street where the pack had trampled her. She raised a desperate arm his way. He felt the ticket, barely thicker than air but real enough. There was a story in it if he wanted.

Interview / microfiction insights

Posted in NEWS & INFORMATION, WRITING TOOLS AND TIPS on July 29, 2013 by Richard Holt

Spineless Wonders have just published an interview with me regarding my writing process and my contributions to their excellent collection, Stoned Crows and other Australian Icons. You can check it out at shortaustralianstories.com.au/stoned-crow-richard-holt. Responses explore subjects including finding inspiration, beginnings and endings, and overcoming the inevitable writing ‘blocks’.

Newsing and musing

Posted in NEWS & INFORMATION on June 7, 2013 by Richard Holt

A couple of good writing weeks have left me pondering poetry and rhyme. I had a great few days at the Sydney Writers Festival at which the Stoned Crows anthology was officially launched. It was fantastic to meet the people from Spineless Wonders, who have done such a great job promoting short and experimental forms of fiction, as well as a bevy of fellow contributors. I have two pieces in the anthology. I hope to get around to reviewing this excellent collection on this site shortly.

I have also just learned that two of my poems have been selected for the collection Australian Love Poems 2013. One piece is written over three stanzas based on the Shakespearean sonnet model, while the other is written in the Petrarchan sonnet form. In other words these are, structurally, ‘traditional’ pieces that rely heavily on rhyme.

While in Sydney I attended a session of performance poetry where, once again, rhyme and word-play were essential elements, influenced, in this instance, primarily by hip hop lyric styles. UK writer Kate Tempest, in particular, had the audience spellbound with her powerful, rhyme-driven performance. With this in mind I do find it somewhat intriguing, but not entirely surprising, that rhyme is so underrepresented in the contemporary poetry selection of Australian ‘literary’ publications. I can’t help feeling that a healthy infant was tossed out when the old modernist bath water was emptied some time during the mid 20th Century. For my part, as an occasional poet, I will continue to use rhyme wherever I think it adds to the effectiveness of the communication I’m trying to make. It was reassuring to have the two sonnet based pieces selected for the Love Poems anthology.