Microcosms 160

It’s Friday: flash fiction aficionados’ favourite day of the week … or at least in their top seven! Welcome to Microcosms 160.



(1) You have just 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EST) to write and submit your masterpiece.
(2) All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title)
(4) Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry
(5) Do NOT give details of your entry on social media, your blog, etc. until the Results post is live
(6) If you are new to Microcosms, PLEASE check out the full submission guidelines 

Following the death of Diana Athill on 23-JAN-2019, at the venerable age of 101, I tuned into a re-broadcast of “Growing Old Disgracfully” — a 2010 BBC documentary about her life and work.
In 1952, she was a founding director of the publishing company André Deutsch, where she acted as editor, working closely with many esteemed authors.


  • Philip Roth — “Goodbye, Columbus” (1959)
  • V. S. Naipaul — “A House for Mister Biswas” (1961)
  • Margaret Atwood — “The Handmaid’s Tale” (1969)
  • Gitta Sereny — “Into That Darkness” (1974)
  • Molly Keane — “Good Behaviour” (1981)
  • Humphrey Jennings — “Pandaemonium” (1985)


(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be a guest host, please contact us.)

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location and genre.


We spun, and our three elements are:

Governess; West Indies; Romance

Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button below, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – character, location and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.


  • Librarian
  • Signwriter
  • Concubine
  • Nazi Commandant
  • Governess
  • Innovator
  • New Jersey
  • West Indies
  • Totalitarian State
  • Concentration Camp
  • Irish Ancestral Home
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Drama
  • Romance
  • Sci-Fi
  • Crime
  • Mystery
  • Historical Fiction



Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Stephen Shirres, has kindly agreed to act as the judge this time around.

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 161
Microcosms 159

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