My first attempt at the Australian Writers’ Centre’s monthly Furious Fiction competition fell on my first weekend of COVID lockdown in April 2020. Some feared the prospect of social isolation, working from home, and long hours spent lost in their thoughts. But for me, it was a perfect storm — uninterrupted time to write!

The brief for April’s Furious Fiction was the story had to begin at the side of the road. And include the words Apron, Pigment, Ribbon, Icon and Lemon (APRIL), and a splash.

I stared at the brief on my computer, and like a Rorschach test, my writer’s eye began to discern a story in the random pattern. And so I wrote and submitted A Song on the Radio (Tall And True, April 2020), *tied* around the Yellow Ribbon song from my boyhood.

Furious Fiction Thank You - April 2020

I didn’t win in April, nor make the short or long lists. But the experience proved I could write a 500-word short story in the 55-hour weekend deadline, and I looked forward to the next month’s competition.

Fast forward, and in December 2020, I submitted my ninth Furious Fiction entry. I’ve still not basked in the winner’s spotlight. But I’ve enjoyed the monthly writing challenges. And I’ve shared my short stories on the Tall and True writers’ website and recently branched out and narrated them for the Tall And True Short Reads audio-fiction podcast.

Share Your Writing on

So thanks, Furious Fiction. You’ve helped me stay sane during the COVID lockdown.

And inspired me to share my short stories and launch a podcast.

© 2020 Robert Fairhead

With thanks to Engin Akyurt from Pixabay for the COVID mask image.

N.B. You can find all my short stories on the Tall And True writer’s website. You might also like these Furious Fiction-COVID themed blog posts, #FuriousFiction – Writers’ Centre Competition (May 2020) and COVID-19 and Writing (August 2020).

Note: This post originally appeared on the Tall And True writers’ website blog.

This post was proofread by Grammarly


Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of a middle-aged dad and dog owner. Robert Fairhead is writer and editor at Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. His book reviews and other writing have appeared in various print and online media. And he has published two collections of short stories, Both Sides of the Story (2020) and Twelve Furious Months (2021).


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