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"Deeply absorbing, these stories creep under your skin with their pressing sense of longing."

Michelle Elvy, author of the everrumble and Assistant Editor, Best Small Fictions

Flash Fiction

Where Oceans Meet - Heather McQuillan -

A few years ago, I discovered the joy and challenge of writing short and very short stories. 


My work can be found online and in anthologies from NZ, UK and USA

In 2019 my first collection of very short stories, Where Oceans Meet, was published by Reflex Press in the UK.

'Where Oceans Meet' is a collection of sixty-one flash fictions from award-winning New Zealand writer Heather McQuillan.


Though small, the stories in Where Oceans Meet are substantial, often moving, and impressive in their employment of detail. They bring to the page varied perspectives and diverse aesthetics from a realism to surrealism.


These are stories in which characters yearn for connection but sometimes find, as in the title story, that ‘when the vectors of the oceans’ wave fronts meet at an angle, sometimes they cancel each other, sometimes they compound with spectacular results’.

New Zealand readers order here 

International readers order here

" Where Oceans Meet and Other Stories is a strong course in the art of exceptional flash writing. Heather McQuillan cements her place as a premier storyteller in this challenging genre, crafting pieces that stand up beautifully to subsequent readings and emotionally resonant but comforting stories of love and loss, and what we still yearn for in the deepest parts of ourselves."               
Amanda McLeod

Read the Review
" The 61 flash fiction stories included in this slim volume cover all aspects of life in a thoughtful and original way using vignettes to see into the complexities of human relationships. Through them all is threaded the author’s connection with the natural world which significantly weaves its way into each narrative."
Anabel McPhee 
Read NZ Highly Recommended Library List

Read the Review

"These are such heartrending pieces: beautiful, poignant and sharp by turn.

The cache of memories is open and you are there to pick them out and build, collage like, let vignette speak to vignette."

Ruth Hanover, poet, author of 'Other', Cold Hub Press. 

Book Design artwork by Nod Ghosh
Flash Online

Highlights and Awards

and some stories online and in print

Special thanks to Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction 

for publishing over 25 of my stories and for supporting New Zealand writers. 

Check out stories in the current issue and the archives. 

2024 Highlights

Longlist: National Flash Fiction Day (NZ) 2024

Flash Frontier: Mārire/Quiet

2023 Highlights

Winner of The Franklin Writers Group Flash Fiction Prize.

A story published in Pav Deconstructed

( a beautiful coffee table book full of words and art inspired by Pavlova! 


Longlist: Micro Madness ( June 14 : Re Entry)

Flash Frontier: Manu/ Bird

Flash Frontier: Rakau/ Tree

Guest Reader at Canterbury Poets Collective Spring Season ( I read a selection of micro pieces) 

Voiceprints Anthology, CPC


2022 Highlights

Flash Frontier Winter Award Winner

Flash Frontier: Featured Writer

Longlist: National Flash Fiction Day (NZ) 2022


Longlist: Micro Madness 2022


Longlist: Reflex Fiction (UK) Spring Competition

Selected to participate in Reflex Press collaborative novella in Flash.

Flash Frontier: Thunder

Flash Frontier: Awa

Flash Frontier: Insects 



2021 Highlights

Finalist in Radio New Zealand Short Story Competition.

Listen to Going Under here


Finalist 2021 Literary Taxidermy Writing Competition

Mismatch is published in the anthology The Art of Death

Longlist  Micro Madness 2021

Two stories longlisted for NZ National Flash Fiction Day 2021

Longlist Reflex Fiction Autumn Competition




2020 Highlights

Best Small Fictions, 2020

Flash Frontier: Matariki edition

Second Place Micro Madness 2020

Longlisted for NZ National Flash Fiction Day 2020

2019 Highlights

Best Small Fictions, 2019

Best Microfiction, 2019

Highly Commended NZ National Flash Fiction Day 2019

Third Place Micro Madness 2019



2018 Highlights

Meniscus and Australian CAL Best Prose Prize

Bonsai:  best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand

Third Place Micro Madness 2018

Long List National Flash Fiction Day 2018

takehē magazine feature writer

Blue Fifth Review: Blue Five Notebook Series


2017 Highlights

Nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize 

The Raven Chronicles ( Seattle, USA) published three of my stories in Vol 25: Balancing Acts

This was part of a Christchurch- Seattle Sister City exchange.

Finalist. Micro Madness, 2017


UK National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, 2017


Reflex Fiction Award, Spring 2017Third Place

Best Small Fictions 2017

Cambridge Autumn Festival, Cooney Insurance Short Story Competition. 3rd place

Bath Flash Fiction, June 2017 Anthology


2016 Highlights

First Place in the NZ National Flash Fiction Day competition, 2016

First Place in NZ Micro Madness, 2016 

Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition. 3rd= place

Highly Commended in the National Flash Fiction Day competition, 2016 

Shortlist, William Taylor Memorial Heartland Short Story Competition



2015 Highlights

Flash Frontier Summer Writing Award 2015

Nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize 

On the shortest day of 2015 my micro story was read on RNZ’s arts programme 

Standing Room Only . (It’s right at the end and it’s very short at 100 words)

Longlist: National Flash Fiction Day ( NZ)


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