Watch out for Krampus | winning authors replace the jokes in your christmas crackers…

By November 29, 2014

Art & Photography. Leeds.

[Illustration teaser: Simon Cottee]


Back in August we brought you a story on a brand new flash fiction project from Brisbane-based publisher Tiny Owl Workshop – Krampus Crackers. We are excited to announce that the winning submissions have now been chosen and we are giving you an exclusive peek at some of the stories… Krampus Crackers launched on December 4th and are now available at various locations and venues around Leeds.

Tiny Owl Workshop launched the Krampus Crackers project as an innovative way of presenting flash fiction to the world at large. Run in both Australia and the UK, Tiny Owl Workshop sought 12 short ‘Krampus’ stories to be illustrated by artists (including Terry Whidborne, Simon Cottee, Kathleen Jennings and Gustavo Ortegar) before being made into Krampus Crackers – replacing our regular Christmas cracker jokes with flash fiction: short stories inspired by the mythical Christmas demon Krampus (a half-goat, half-demon, mythical beast, terrifying ‘wicked’ children into being ‘nice’ for Christmas).


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Illustration teaser: © Kathleen Jennings


Chosen by Vicky Pointing and Steven Toase, submissions were narrowed down to the 12 winners and we are excited to give you all a teaser of each story below and a little about the winning authors….

1. ‘A Bag of Cinders’ by Amanda Mason

Flash biography: Amanda Mason lives in York. She’s had short stories published in collections produced by Cracked Eye, The Fiction Desk, and Gumbo Press. Follow @amandajanemason

First line teaser… ‘“And what’s Father Christmas bringing you this year?” said the old lady as she leaned back in her chair by the fireplace, and laughed….’


2. ‘Advice from the Heart’ by Madeleine McDonald

Flash biography: Madeleine McDonald lives on the Yorkshire coast, where the wind whistles up through the floorboards. She finds inspiration walking on the beach before the world wakes up.

First line teaser… ‘Margaret checked her watch….’

Read the full story


3. ‘Blue Lungs’ by Charlotte Huggins

Flash biography: Charlotte Huggins is a psychology graduate with too much spare time lately. She’s 21, but has embraced drinking wine and complaining like an old woman.

First line teaser… ‘I killed my brother on Christmas eve…’


4. ‘Christmas Wishes’ by Kelda Crich

Flash biography: Kelda’s work has appeared in the Lovecraft E-zine, Journal of Unlikely Acceptances, The Mad Scientist Journal and in the Bram Stoker Award winning After Death anthology.

First line teaser… ‘She was chained in iron…’


5. ‘Expectations’ by Josh Turner

Flash biography: Josh Turner is a writer based in Edinburgh with a love of writing fiction. He likes strange worlds and weird dreams that make it from your imagination and onto the page. He also likes coffee and cake and frequently uses them to fuel his literary delusions.

First line teaser ‘ “I never wanted this life,” the beast growls….’


6. ‘Letter to Krampus’ by Alan Graham

Flash biography: Alan studied “Creative Writing” and “Economics” at UEA and is still unsure which discipline relies on make-believe the most. He currently lives and works in London. Follow @Trubshawe1

First line teaser… ‘From the desk of the precocious Moritz Oberwinkel, aged nine and four fifths…’


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Illustration teaser: © Seana Seeto


7. ‘Snowball’ by Sarah Peploe

Flash biography: Sarah Peploe loves glühwein, mixed nuts, genuinely rancorous karaoke renditions of I Believe in Father Christmas, writing and drawing. She lives in York. Follow @peplovna

First line teaser… ‘Every year it starts earlier and comes later…’


8. ‘Sweet Krampusnacht’ by Samantha Braham

Flash biography: Samantha Braham loves writing flash fiction and short stories as she has a short attention span and couldn’t sustain anything longer.

First line teaser… ‘Krampus sighed as he bit the head off the mini chocolate replica of himself…’

Read the full story


9. ‘The Bad Brother’ by Rob Burton

Flash biography: Rob Burton isn’t the Robert Burton who wrote The Anatomy of Melancholy in 1621. He only once stole Christmas, but people won’t let it go. Follow @RobertSBurton

First line teaser… ‘Night’s chilly mist distanced the gaudy lights and costumed figures…’


10. ‘The Yule Ghoul’ by Nick Clark

Flash biography: N G F Clark is an English and History graduate from deepest, darkest Yorkshire. He reads and writes speculative fiction. Look for his sign: @ngfclark

First line teaser… ‘Santa Claus flees through the wood…’

Read the full story 


11. ‘Until Next Christmas’ by Veronique Koostra

Flash biography: Veronique Kootstra writes in English but is originally from the Netherlands. She loves the challenge of writing flash fiction. You can read her stories on:

First line teaser… ‘“Repellent?” Amber’s dad waits, his sharpened pencil hovering over the clipboard…’

Read the full story


12. ‘When Krampus Comes’ by June Taylor

Flash biography: A writer from Leeds who can only make sense of the world by making up stories and looking at things sideways. Or upside-down. Tweets @joonLT

First line teaser… ‘Winter had stripped the willow bare of its leaves, but its long flowing branches still trailed across the lawn…’


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Illustration teaser: © Terry Whidborne


Keep an eye out for these very special, limited edition crackers this year in Leeds. Venues confirmed so far include Mrs Atha’s, Outlaws Yacht Club, Heaven, Friends of Ham, Leeds North Bar, Sandinista and more to come…

The Krampus Crackers launch event will be held at Outlaws Yacht Club on December 4th from 7pm – and it’s free! There will be wine and nibbles and free Krampus Crackers to pick up.

The event is free but please register HERE to reserve your place

More information can be found at


Follow Tiny Owl Workshop @TinyOwlWorkshop.

Read our August Krampus Crackers feature






Filed under: Art & Photography, Written & Spoken Word

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