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’.
" 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."
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."
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
Highlights and Awards
and some stories online and in print
Thanks to Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction
for publishing over 20 of my stories and for supporting New Zealand writers.
Flash Frontier Winter Award Winner
Flash Frontier: Featured Writer
Longlist: National Flash Fiction Day (NZ)
Longlist: Micro Madness
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
Finalist Radio New Zealand Short Story Competition.
Mismatch is published in the anthology The Art of Death
Longlist Reflex Fiction Autumn Competition
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.
Reflex Fiction Award, Spring 2017. Third Place
Cambridge Autumn Festival, Cooney Insurance Short Story Competition. 3rd place
Bath Flash Fiction, June 2017 Anthology
First Place in NZ Micro Madness, 2016
Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition. 3rd= place
Shortlist, William Taylor Memorial Heartland Short Story Competition
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)