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Flash Fiction Competitions

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Last updated 19th September 2017

This page lists flash fiction, micro fiction, sudden fiction, twitterage and very short fiction competitions, prizes and awards. Most of the contests listed accept entries from writers residing anywhere in the world, but please check each competition's guidelines on their website before submitting.

The competitions listed on this page used to be included on my short story competitions page, but as flash fiction and micro fiction contests are growing in popularity, I decided to create a separate resource for them.

Flash Fiction

What Is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction refers to a story of extreme brevity. Research shows that this is generally regarded as a story containing less than 1,000 words, although there is no exact rule on upper word limits.

So, any competitions with maximum word count limits of 1,000 words or less will be listed here. Any contests with word count limits over 1,000 words will be listed on the short story competitions page (see link above).

If you run a flash fiction competition and would like to be featured on this page, please contact me and provide all of the following information :

  • How often you will be running the contest (eg, annually, quarterly, one-off)
  • The name of your flash fiction competition
  • A link to your website
  • The country you are based in (where you operate from, NOT where you accept entries from)
  • Closing date
  • The date you announce winners
  • Maximum word count accepted
  • Entry fee
  • Top prize
  • Any other details, including how winning writers' stories will be published and any limitations regarding style, theme etc

If you notice that any of the information on this page is incorrect while using it, please let me know and I'll update the page. I do my best to keep everything up to date, but it's impossible to stay on top of every change made to every competition. Any help with this is very much appreciated.

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Regular Flash Fiction Contests

This list details flash fiction competitions that are run more than once a year.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
81 Words Challenge UK Never closes Everyone is a winner 81 FREE See notes
Notes on 81 Word Challenge: Any style / genre - all entries published on the website - we're using the 81 word challenge to try and set a Guinness World Record for the most contributing authors published in an anthology, so by submitting you could become part of publishing history - for full details on all the challenges, see my writing challenges listing below
101 Words Writing Contest ? Monthly Monthly 101 ? Varies
Notes on 101 Words Competition: Any style / genre - prizes in the past have been $25 Amazon gift vouchers, boxes of books etc. - winners published on the website
1,000 Word Challenge UK Quarterly Quarterly 1,000 £5 £100
Notes on 1,000 Word Challenge Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winners published on the website
Ad Hoc Fiction Competition UK Weekly Weekly 150 FREE See notes
Notes on Ad Hoc Fiction Competition: Any style / genre - run by Bath Flash Fiction Award - winner earns free entry into the Bath Flash Fiction award (usually £9) which offers a £1,000 top prize
Artificium 'In Brief' Short Fiction Competition UK August October 1,000 £5/£6 £150
Notes on Artificium Very Short Fiction Competition: Any style / genre - same details as short story contest in notes above
Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Writing Competition USA Quarterly Quarterly 500 $15 $250
Notes on Carrot Ranch Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winner also receives a copy of the book 'If You Want to Write' by Brenda Ueland - winners published in Carrot Ranch's Weekly Round Up
Chris Fielden's Flash Fiction Writing Challenges UK Never closes Everyone is a winner Varies FREE See notes

Notes on Chris's Writing: Any style or genre but each challenge is themed, so check the link for current challenges - word limits vary from 50 to 200 words - ALL entries are published on christopherfielden.com - every time 100 stories are received, Chris publishes an anthology in professional print and eBook formats and distributes them all over the planet - all the proceeds from book sales are donated to different charities - challenges currently running: 1. Adverb Challenge - 2. Nonsense Challenge - 3. Sensory Challenge - 4. 81 Word Challenge - 5. Cliché Challenge - coming soon: Preposition Challenge

Dorset Fiction Award UK Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 1,000 £7 £500
Notes on Dorset Fiction Award: Any style / genre - winners published in digital anthology - the competition supports a different charity each time it runs
Flash Fiction 500 Competition UK Quarterly Quarterly 500 £5 £300
Notes on Flash Fiction 500 Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in Word With Jam magazine
Grindstone Flash Fiction Competition UK Quarterly Quarterly Varies £2.50 £50
Notes on Grindstone Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winners published on Grindstone's website

Microcosms Flash Fiction Competitions

UK/USA Weekly Weekly 300 FREE See notes
Notes on Microcosms Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - they sometimes give prizes, like free books - if you win, you are invited to judge the contest the following week - winners published in anthology
Modern Art By Post Competition Scotland Monthly Monthly 75 FREE See notes
Notes on Modern Art By Post Competition: Any style / genre but must be inspired by a painting, so see the Modern Art website for full details - winner receives an original painting of their choice (subject to availability) + publication on the website - competition runs monthly, or each time 20 stories are received
QuicFic Flash Fiction Writing Contest USA Biannually Biannually 600 $5 $20*
Notes on QuicFic Contest: Any style / genre except erotica - winner published on website - prize paid as a $20 Amazon voucher
Reflex Fiction UK Quarterly Quarterly 360 £7 £1,000
Notes on Reflex Flash Fiction Competition: The inaugural competition was free to enter with a £100 prize - there is now an entry fee but the top prize is 10 x bigger, so full details can be found on the big prize list below
Retreat West Themed Flash Competition UK Monthly Monthly 500 £5 £50
Notes on Retreat West Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winners published on the Retreat West website and in monthly newsletter
Senior Travel Expert's Writing Competition UK Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 750 FREE £100
Notes on Senior Travel Expert's Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current theme - fiction and non-fiction entries accepted - winners published on website
Stirling Robyns Publishing Flash & Micro Fiction Competitions UK/USA Quarterly Quarterly See notes $3 $100
Notes on Stirling Robyns Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in anthology and on website - flash fiction contest has a maximum word count of 1,000 words, micro fiction is 300
Tethered by Letters 'Don't Blink Or You'll Miss It' Twitter Competition USA Monthly Monthly See notes FREE See notes
Notes on TBL Blink Competition: Any style / genre - stories must comply with Twitter (under 140 characters) using the hashtag #BlinkTBL - winner receives a copy of F(r)iction and gets a story edited for free by the judge

The Short Story (TSS) Flash Fiction 500

UK Quarterly Quarterly 500 £5 £75
Notes on TSS Competition: Any style / genre - 3 winning stories published online to a significant flash fiction readership
The Write Contest USA Bimonthly Bimonthly 350 $15 $100
Notes on The Write Contest: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current theme - winners are published on The Write Contest website and Facebook group
Third Word Great Eighty Flash Fiction Competition UK Biweekly Biweekly 80 FREE £20
Notes on Third Word Competition: Any style / genre but stories must be exactly 8 words long - winners published in anthology that supports the homeless, but writers also receive a royalty from sales
Sweek Microfiction Competition Holland Every 3 weeks Every 3 weeks 200 FREE See notes
Notes on Sweek Competition: Any style / genre - winner receives a masterclass course of their choice + publication on the website
University of Chester Flash Magazine UK Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 360 FREE See notes
Notes on Flash Magazine: Any style / genre - this is one of the most respected flash fiction / micro fiction publications on the market - while there is no monetary prize, winners are published in a highly prestigious, industry leading magazine
Wild Words Writing Competition UK Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 1,000 £7 See notes
Notes on Wild Words Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check the website for the current them - winner receives free online writing course and their story is published on the website
Writing Maps A3 Review Short Fiction Contest UK Monthly Monthly 150 £3 £150
Notes on Writing Maps A3 Review Contest: Any style / genre - competition cycle lasts six months - each month, two entries win publication in the A3 Review - three overall winning entries receive cash prizes
Zeroflash UK Monthly Monthly 300 FREE £10
Notes on Zeroflash Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winner also receives an illustration and audio performance of their story, plus an interview with Uprising Review

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Prestigious / Big Prize Flash Fiction Competitions

This list contains details of well established, respected flash fiction competitions that offer big monetary prizes and large doses of kudos for winning writers.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
Bath Flash Fiction Award UK Tri-Annually Tri-Annually 300 £9 £1,000
Notes on the Bath Flash Fiction Award: Any style / genre (except children's) - early-bird entry fee of £7.50 for 1 entry, £12 for 2 or £18 for 3 - winners published on website and in an anthology which includes stories from winners, shortlisted and longlisted entries - published in digital and print formats - some of the organisers are now running a flash fiction festival in Bath
Bridport Prize Flash Fiction Competition UK May November 250 £8 £1,000
Notes on the Bridport Prize Flash Fiction Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in anthology
Fiction War Competition USA Quarterly Quarterly 1,000 $25 $1,000
Notes on the Fiction War Competition: Any style / genre, but check website for current prompt - 15 finalists are paid and published in Fiction War Magazine, in Kindle eBook and bookstore-quality softcover journal formats
Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize Ireland February April 300 €14 €1,000
Notes on Fish Publishing Prize: Any style / genre - winning stories published in the Fish Anthology
Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize NY, USA March June 750 $25 $1,000
Notes on Kupferberg Competition: Any style / genre - winner receives cash prize plus 10 week writing course through Gotham Writers' Workshop in NYC or online - winning story read at the Selected Shorts performance at Symphony Space in June and recorded for possible broadcast on radio
New Millennium Flash Fiction Award USA January March 1,000 $20 $1,000
Notes on New Millennium Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in printed anthology and on website
Reader's Digest 100-Word-Story Competition UK February March 100 FREE £2,000
Notes on Reader's Digest Competition: Any style / genre but entries must be exactly 100 words in length - winners published in Reader's Digest June issue - 1 category for adults and 2 for children, see the children's details on the main short story competitions page
Reflex Fiction UK Quarterly Quarterly 360 £7 £1,000
Notes on Reflex Flash Fiction Competition: Any style / genre - winners (and many of the non-winning entries) are published on the Reflex Fiction website
Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition UK December ? 1,000 £15 £1,000
Notes on Ruth Rendell Competition: Any style / genre - winner commissioned to write four more short stories for InterAct Reading Service - opens for submissions around May

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Annual Flash Fiction Contests

This table lists flash fiction competitions that are run once a year.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
Alsina Crime Fiction Story Contest UK March April 800 FREE £50
Notes on Alsina Competition: Crime - winning stories translated and recorded in multiple languages and distributed electronically through an app
Alsina Mini-Series Contest UK June July 4,000 FREE £50
Notes on Alsina Competition: Any style / genre - for flash fiction story collections, 4,000 word limit is for collections of stories between 500 and 800 words in length - winning stories translated and recorded in multiple languages and distributed electronically through app
Arkbound Writing Competition UK November December 1,000 £3 £100
Notes on Arkbound Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - overall winner is featured in Boundless, a printed magazine - Arkbound also run other competitions from time to time
Fiction Desk Flash Fiction Prize UK September November 1,000 £5 £300
Notes on Fiction Desk Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in the Fiction Desk anthology
Field of Words Flash Fiction Competition Australia May June 1,000 A$10 A$250
Notes on Field of Words Competition: Any style / genre - open to Australian and international residents over 18 only - winners published on Field of Words website - runner up receives A$50
Fun Palaces: WriteScience Competition UK July September 250 FREE See notes
Notes on Fun Palaces Competition: Any style / genre but themed around science - open to UK residents only - winners published on website and performed at reading events - competition is judged by a very prestigious panel
Golfwell's Annual Golf Story Writing Competition New Zealand February March 700 FREE $125
Notes on Golfwell's Competition: Any style / genre but themed around golf - winners published on the website - they accept fiction and non-fiction entries
Luna Press Publishing Writing Contest Scotland April May 500 £1.50 See notes
Notes on Luna Press Competition: Science fiction, fantasy & dark fantasy - winners published on website - up to 5 winners have prize pot (generated by entry fees) split between them

Mere Literary Festival Short Story Competition

UK September October 350 £2 £50
Notes on MLF Competition: Any style / genre - themed and written in a week - the theme is released at the end of September and the deadline is a week later
Pennine Ink Short Story Competition UK July September 500 £3 £50
Notes on Pennine Competition: Any style / genre - themed, so check website for current details - winner published in Pennine Ink Magazine and on the website
Polar Expressions Publishing Short Story Competition Canada July ? 750 FREE C$500
Notes on Polar Expressions Competition: Any style / genre - you must be a Canadian resident to enter - winners published in an anthology
Prescot Festival Short Story Competition UK May June 1,000 FREE £100
Notes on Prescot Festival Competition: Any style / genre but themed so check website for current theme - winner published on the Prescot Festival website
Retreat West Flash Fiction Prize UK September January 500 £10 £250
Notes on Retreat West Flash Prize: Any style / genre except children's - 2nd prize £150, 3rd prize £75 - all winning and shortlisted stories published in anthology with independent press, Urbane Publications
Salisbury Literary Festival Story Prize UK September October 500 FREE See notes

Notes on Salisbury Literary Festival Prize : Any style / genre, but must use a given story title, so see website for full details - winner receives 2 places on the Professional Writing Academy's 'Find Your Writing Voice' course, worth £495 - winners published in Salisbury Journal - also run children's competition

(see this page for special offer on PWA's short fiction course)

The Ann and Dan Very Short Story Contest USA March March 1,000 FREE $25
Notes on Ann & Dan Contest: Any style / genre - winning stories published on the Ann & Dan website - limited to 100 entries max (1 per author)
The Casket of Fictional Delights Flash Fiction Competition UK May October 300 £5 £150
Notes on The Casket of Fictional Delights Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on website - the 10 winning stories will be professionally recorded and broadcast as audio stories on iTunes and other platforms
The Useless Beauty of Maupassant Short Story Award UK January March 10 FREE See notes
Notes on TUBoM Award: Any style / genre - yes, the word limit is 10, it's not a misprint :-) - winner receives 50 copies of limited edition book containing the winning stories, a bottle of Absinthe designed by a local artist and a 1783 copy of The Arabian Nights (VOL. II)
Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Short Story Contest UK August October 500 See notes See notes
Notes on Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot Contest : Humorous style, check website for current theme - FREE entry means a top prize of £50; £5 paid entry means a top prize of £100 - winning stories published in Verbolatry newsletter and on website
Wimbledon Bookfest Short Story Competition UK July October 250 £10 £50
Notes on Wimbledon Bookfest Competition: Themed, so check website for current theme (look in NEWS section of the site) - winners published in 'Bookfest Book of Stories' anthology - 12 short listed stories are read at Wimbledon Bookfest and audience hold a secret ballot to decide the winner
Women in Comedy Festival Comedy Writing Competition UK October October 1,000 £3 £50
Notes on Women In Comedy Competition: Comedy - short stories, sketches and monologues - winners stories performed at the festival and published on the website

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One-Off Flash Fiction Competitions

This table will list one-off flash fiction contests.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
Nine Voices Writing Competition UK 31st August 2017 September 2017 199 £5 £100
Notes on Nine Voices Competition: Any style / genre - any proceeds from the competition are donated to PMR GCA UK
The Writers in Oxford Young Oxfordshire Writers Competition UK 31st August 2017 November 2017 500 FREE £350
Notes on The Writers in Oxford Competition: Any style / genre but stories must be inspired by Oxford - winners published on website and in The Oxford Writer Newsletter

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Other Flash Fiction Competition Lists

Here are some other useful lists of flash fiction competitions:

 

How to Write a Short Story Get Published & Make Money

A History of Closed Flash Fiction Competitions

This table will contain a history of previously listed flash fiction competitions that have closed.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
1,000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Australia Varies Varies 1,000 Varies Varies
Notes on 1,000 Words or Less Competition: Any style / genre - top prize up to $1,000 - prize money paid in Australian dollars - winners published in printed book and eBook - CLOSED, website not updated since March 2016, so retired listing 2017
Mash Stories Flash Fiction Competition USA Quarterly Quarterly 500 FREE $100
Notes on Mash Stories Competition: Any style / genre, but stories must be based on 3 random objects so see website for current details - winners published on the website - CLOSED October 2016
Modern Art By Post Competition Scotland 28th February 2017 March 2017 75 FREE See notes
Notes on Modern Art By Post Competition: Due to the success of the inaugural competition, this has now being run tri-annually, so see the regular competitions list above for full details
Sweek Short Writing Contest Holland 25th of June 12th July 2017 500 FREE €75
Notes on The Writers in Oxford Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on website - CLOSED, was a one-off
Wellness Retreats For Women 'Write A Book, Rewrite Your Life' Contest USA 4th April 2017 5th April 2017 250 FREE $100
Notes on Wellness Retreats For Women Contest: Any style, but themed so check website for details - all entries published on blog - CLOSED 2017, was a one-off

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Leave your comments

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Kevin C
You may have already heard this from others, but the Mash flash fiction competition has now ceased operating, sadly.

Chris Fielden
Hi Kevin. Oh, that’s a shame.

I didn’t know, so thanks for letting me know.

I’ll update the page accordingly.

Shirley M
Hi Chris, the 1,000 words or less comp page in Australia just seems to go up to 2016, can't find 2017 details, so maybe defunct?

Chris Fielden
Thanks for letting me know, Shirley.

I've contacted the people who run the competition, but retired the listing for now as the site is over 12 months out of date.

I'll reinstate the listing if I hear back.