Being an early convert to the writing of flash fiction, I am intrigued by and attracted to highly compressed literary forms. I have won competitions (such as the Scottish Book Trust’s 50-Word Short Story Competition) that emphasise brevity and so, when the Bangor Literary Journal announced its 40-Word Competition this year, I decided to have a go. My poem “Union Jack” did not win the competition, but it attracted the “Commended” designation—a most pleasing outcome that I received with gratitude. The only real disappointment was being unable to travel to Fealty’s in Bangor for the announcements, the readings and the general celebrations. You can read “Union Jack” by clicking on this link and scroll down to pages 22-23.