Walking & Illness – Runner Up

Throughout May we asked you to submit flash entries around walking and illness. We decided to award a runners up prize too! We’re pleased to showcase A C Clarke’s lovely entry below entitled “Attentiveness“. She wins a copy of Walking For Creative Recovery by Christina Reading.

About A C Clarke

A C Clarke has published five full collections and six pamphlets. Two of the latter, Owersettin and Drochaid, were in collaboration with Maggie Rabatski and Sheila Templeton. Her fifth full collection, A Troubling Woman, came out in 2017. She was one of four winners in the Cinnamon Press 2017 pamphlet competition with War Baby. She has been working on an extensive series of poems about Paul and Gala Éluard, later Gala Dalí, and the Surrealist circles in which they moved. The first set of these was published as a pamphlet by Tapsalteerie in 2021. In 2022 she has been involved with other writers and artists in a project inspired by Gartnavel Royal Hospital and initiated by Gillean McDougall.


I could list every stone on this path, its size, its heft,
its colour gradations from slate to white
paying attention as the handbooks tell us
we should, if we want to be poets. But all I can think of
is the niggling ache in my back, whether I’ll manage
the hill to come, how the path is revealing itself
every dip and camber through the soles of my feet 
and always, always how the wind through the pines
is at once the sigh of tides and the swoosh of cars.

Our monthly flash theme for June consists of four themes!

This month, we’re celebrating Volunteer Week, Garden Wildlife Week and Adult Learner’s Week, as well as National Writing Day on June 23rd. Four themes, we hear you cry? Why yes! June is a month with lovely long days leading up to and after the solstice, so think of all those extra daylight hours you’ll have to write a flash submission (or two) for us:

  • Tell us about the creatures you find in your garden or your efforts to turn your outdoor space into a haven for wildlife.
  • Write something about your experience of being a volunteer and the joy you’ve found in volunteer projects.
  • Are you taking a course, doing a degree or training in something new? Tell us what it’s like to be an older adult learner.
  • Or, tell us something about your writing process, if you write regularly.

Entries will be accepted until midnight on June 30th and flash submissions can take the form of a poem, short story or flash memoir. The winning entry will be chosen by the Autumn Voices staff team and the winner will receive a copy of Louise Erdrich’s The Sentence which has been kindly donated by the Little Brown Book Group.

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