Fast Foreword!

The Foreword Festival is running a Flash Fiction event – Fast Foreword – and if you live in East Anglia (or you are one of our Book Fair authors) you are invited to help us create it!

We’re looking for stories of up to 500 words. Quick, punchy narratives that you can sit and read in the time it takes you to enjoy a cuppa. Stories can be on any theme, in any genre. Just remember that this is a fringe literature festival, so weird and wonderful is encouraged, and more likely to be selected!

A panel of judges will select up to ten stories to be read aloud to the public by professional actors in various locations around Bury St Edmunds during the festival, some or all of which we hope to publish in a Fast Foreword anthology in the future and/or publish on our website. We may also choose stories that are not performed to include in the anthology or website.

We want to see your creativity, and to show off your work in a variety of forms as part of our very first Foreword Festival. Bear in mind that we may choose not to perform anything with a 15+ rating, as there are likely to be children present at the Fast Foreword venues.

To enter, please read our terms and conditions first (below), then go to our online submission form and upload your creation! Closing date for entries is 11.59pm (GMT) on August 31st 2023. (That’s 20 words per day if you start now!)

We’re looking forward to reading your stories!

Fast Foreword Logo

Terms and Conditions

  • All entries must be your own original work.
  • No AI or Large Language Model authored or assisted work will be accepted.
  • If your submission has previously been published, please let us know and ensure that you have retained or been granted the right to reproduce it with a new publisher.
  • You must be aged 16+ to submit an entry.
  • Submissions will only be accepted from writers who are resident in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, or from Foreword Festival Book Fair participating authors who reside elsewhere.
  • Each author may submit only one story, and entries must be no more than 500 words long (not counting the title) and no shorter than 400 words.
  • Copyright remains with the author at all times. Permission is granted by the author for QuirkHouse Theatre Company to read stories aloud in public venues during the festival, and for Foreword Festival to reproduce stories on their website.
  • The Foreword Festival has the option to reproduce the story within a printed anthology for sale at future events, but only on agreement by written contract between all parties.
  • The Foreword Festival and Fast Foreword are not-for-profit events. There is no fee to enter, and no payment to authors at this time. 
  • Judges’ decisions are final, and Foreword Festival reserves the right to lightly edit selected stories for spelling and grammar only.

Meet our authors!

The first ever literary fringe festival in the UK will be hosting a fringe book fair on Saturday October 7th and Sunday October 8th 2023 at the Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds. Entry to the book fair is free, and we’ll have graphic novels, SF and fantasy, comedy, poetry, children’s books, non-fiction and more. Plus we’ll be showcasing books from three unique indie publishers, and helping you get your own work into print. Meet new authors, discover new reads, and pick up signed editions and other goodies to take home!


Welcome to the Foreword Festival – the first literary fringe festival in the UK!

It started with a question: ‘Why is there no such thing as a Fringe Literature Festival? We have them for film and theatre and music but not books. Why not?’

The question was asked by two Suffolk-based authors, Jackie Carreira and Rachel Churcher. Our answer is the Foreword Festival, taking place in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday October 7th and Sunday October 8th 2023.

We are both passionate about reading, writing, and the power of books to inspire creativity and change lives. We can’t wait to welcome you to the historic Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds for a weekend of books, authors, writing, and publishing!

For more information follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and keep checking the website and the blog for updates.

Launch week!

This is exciting – not one, but two Bury St Edmunds book festivals are launching this week!

The Foreword Festival will be launching on Thursday, so watch this space for more information …

Our sister festival, the Bury Literature Festival, has opened ticket sales today. Head to their website to check out their events and make your bookings.

See you there!