A Thetford author is giving back to an online writing community he started last year - publishing a collection of their short stories for charity.
Part-time author Mark King, his fiction-writing alias, began writing short pieces or ‘flash fiction’ for online competitions about six months ago before starting up his own website, theflashdogs.com.
Around 200 people from around the world have signed up to his website so far, but Mark decided to organise a special treat for 34 regular contributors - publishing a piece of their work in a book.
“We thought it would be great to get together and write a book for charity,” said Mark. “We chose the International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY), which encourages literacy in areas of conflict and poverty.”
“We are in the privileged position that we can write and read, but there are places where children do not have those privileges.”
The collection includes pieces ranging from 100 to 5,000 words on a variety of themes, written by authors with varying levels of experience from complete novices to published novelists.
Mark explained: “It’s a celebration of flash fiction in all its diversity. My contributors come from all over the globe, so we wanted to say that whatever your background or style you can get involved.”
Flashdogs: An Anthology is currently for sale as an ebook on Amazon, but Mark left the collection’s publication in hardback last month as a surprise for the contributors.
“We are hoping this will be the first of many collections, and are hoping to publish another edition next year,” he said. “We hope the community will grow and more people will join in and get some enjoyment out of it as well as contributing to charity.”
The 42-year-old IT worker said he does not aspire to be a professional writer.
“It is nice keeping my work and private life separate, and it is good to have a hobby you can just enjoy,” he said.