The 2005 Second Irregular Flash Stroke Festival

Jump to the stories.


The Second Irregular Flash Stroke Festival begins on October 14, 2005, and lasts for one month, until November 14, 2005.


  1. Write a bradley, double-bradley, or some other variant.
  2. Post it to, or to your website, or to your blog, or mail it to me. Include [SIFSF] in the subject line to mark it as part of the festival. Let me know if you want me to include it in the official archive page.


1. A stroke story that is no more than eighteen lines long, including the title and blank lines, and no more than seventy columns wide. 2. A story short enough to fit onto the screen of Mat Twassel's computer. Offers to just buy him a larger monitor have been ignored.
A stroke story with a one-line title and a 34-line body. A strict double-bradley consists of two seventeen-line segments, each with a beginning, middle, and end.
flash fiction:
A short-short story. Different venues will have different definitions, usually--but not always--in terms of word count. Ideally, flash should have strong characters, setting, and plot despite its brevity.
stroke fiction:
Writing with the primary purpose of causing arousal. In the most compelling and honest stroke fiction, the person the author is trying to arouse is herself.
Like the sonnet, the detective novel, and the delta blues song, the bradley and double-bradley are literary forms with strict structural and thematic rules. And, as with the sonnet, the detective novel, and the delta blues song, different artists will adhere to these rules with varying degrees of faithfulness.


All sentient beings in the universe are invited to participate, especially you. Yeah, you. What, you think writing eighteen lines is gonna kill you? Come on—try it. You'll have fun, I promise.


From Mat's original FAQ:
"The readers are the judges. The stories are their prizes. The readers are the writers' prizes. Take care of each other, that's part of what this festival is all about. If you like a story, tell the writer. This being a flash stroke festival, a lot of words aren't necessary; in fact, simple symbols might suffice. I suggest using !, *, o, or @ to show your pleasure."


This event is a sequel to the Bradley Stoke Flash Stroke Festival of 2003, organized by Mat Twassel. He maintains the archive of the rules and stories from that festival, which makes a much better introduction to the form than this stupid old document you're currently skimming. When the current organizer, Vinnie Tesla, asked Mat to MC another round this year, Mat asked Vinnie to do it himself.


Brian Eno on composing the Windows 95 startup sound:

'The thing from the agency said, ``We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional,'' this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said ``and it must be 3 1/4 seconds long.''

'I thought this was so funny and an amazing thought to actually try to make a little piece of music. It's like making a tiny little jewel.

'In fact, I made 84 pieces. I got completely into this world of tiny, tiny little pieces of music. I was so sensitive to microseconds at the end of this that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then when I'd finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were like three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time.'

The Stories:

  1. America's Pastime by Vinnie Tesla
  2. At the Food Pantry by Vinnie Tesla
  3. Persuasion by Vinnie Tesla
  4. Oceans of Time by Mat Twassel
  5. on top by wrytoast
  6. Encouragement by A J Meyers
  7. Virgin Altar by A Strange Geek
  8. 3 a.m. by Mme. Louise
  9. Weller Lake by Mat Twassel
  10. A Little Less Conversation by Vinnie Tesla
  11. Leather by Iconoclast
  12. Girl Scout Confusion by Franz Kafka
  13. Persistence of the Senses by Antheros
  14. Fucking Her! by Franz Kafka
  15. Sunday Morning, Before Coffee by Mme. Louise
  16. On Gossamer Wings by Cassie
  17. She Gets What She Wants by A J Meyers
  18. Three Is a Couple, Isn't It? by Franz Kafka
  19. The sweet smell of wet earth by juanwildone
  20. Upon Mine Honour by Helen Henley
  21. Fragile Fall by Mat Twassel
  22. Kindness by A J Meyers
  23. A Little More Action by Vinnie Tesla
  24. Exhibitionism for the Shy by wrytoast
  25. Three Days Away by Franz Kafka
  26. Never Say Never by Jordan Shelbourne
  27. Indecent Proposal by Leah S.
  28. Hardware by Mat Twassel
  29. Lucky Girl in the Fifth at Hialeah by Mat Twassel
  30. Red for Danger by Aphra Austen
  31. Trailer Trash by Franz Kafka
  32. The Wrong Suitcase or The Baboon Butt Effect by Y. Lee Coyote
  33. My Redemption by Kiki
  34. Lipstick Lesbian by Leah S.
  35. Motel Mirror by Mat Twassel
  36. Thlee Asian Wholes by Franz Kafka
  37. Mirror rorriM by Mat Twassel
  38. The Watchmaker and his Wife by Mat Twassel
  39. The Ceremony by Midnight Sword
  40. Night Moves by Art Shires

For more Flash Stroke, visit the 2003 Bradley Stoke Flash Stroke Festival archives.

Even if you don't want to write a story, you can participate in the festival! Take a moment to tell an author what you thought.

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