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Flash Fiction Competitions

Quick links on this page:

Last updated 27th March 2020

This page lists flash fiction, micro fiction, sudden fiction, twitterage, twitterature, dribble, drabble, minisaga, nanotale, micro-story 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.

PLEASE NOTE: Most of the competitions listed on this page accept entries from writers living anywhere in the world. The country each competition is run from is listed so you know which global market you are submitting to.

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 fewer 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.

Flash Fiction Critique Service

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
11 Sentences Rock Writing Contest UK Biannually Biannually See notes £5 £100
Notes on 11 Sentences Rock Contest: Any style / genre - no word limit, but stories must be written using 11 sentences - winners published in anthology
50 Word Stories Canada Monthly Monthly 50 FREE $10
Notes on 50 Word Stories: Any style / genre - winners published on website
81 Words Challenge UK NA 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 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 USA Daily Daily 101 FREE See notes
Notes on 101 Words Competition: Any style / genre - winners considered for publication in Flash Fiction Magazine which pays $40 if you're selected
1,000 Word Challenge UK Quarterly Quarterly 1,000 £5 £150
Notes on 1,000 Word Challenge Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winners published on the website - if you pay £15 entry, you can also get feedback from the judges - cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place too
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 - look in the 'Ad Hoc Fun' section of the site for competition details

Association of Christian Writers Writing Competitions UK Varies Varies Varies £3 See notes
Notes on ACW Competitions: They run a variety of competitions (flash fiction, short story and poetry), so check website for current details - winners published in Christian Writers (circulation 700) - prize is a £25 book voucher
Blue Animal's Monthly Flash Fiction USA Monthly Monthly 300 FREE See notes
Notes on Blue Animal's Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories featured on website and commented on by website staff
Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge USA Varies Varies 99 FREE None
Notes on Carrot Ranch Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - stories must be exactly 99 words in length - winners published on Carrot Ranch website
Chris Fielden's Flash Fiction Writing Challenges UK NA Everyone is a winner Varies FREE See notes

Notes on Chris's Writing Challenges: 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 - 6. Preposition Challenge - 7. News Challenge

Creative Writing Life Competition UK Monthly Monthly 999 FREE £20
Notes on CWL Competition: Any style / genre - winner's published in CWL magazine - they also run a 100 word competition with £1 entry and £100 prize
Didcot Writers Monthly Competition UK Monthly Monthly 500 FREE See notes
Notes on Didcot Writers Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current theme - prize is publication on the Didcot Writers website
Flash Fiction 500 Competition UK Quarterly Quarterly 500 £5 £300
Notes on Flash Fiction 500 Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on website
F(r)iction Lit Writing Contests USA Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on F(r)iction Lit Competition: Any style / genre - used to be called Tethered by Letters - they run a variety of competitions, including flash fiction, short story and poetry, so check out the website for more details
Fusilli Flash Fiction UK Biannually Biannually 200 £2 £20
Notes on Fusilli Flash Fiction Competition: Any style / genre but stories must contain a twist - winners published and promoted on Facebook
London Independent Flash Fiction Story Prize UK Varies Varies 300 £5 £100
Notes on London Independent Story Prize: Any style / genre - runs between 2 and 4 times a year - winners published on LISP website and on The Mark Literary (Canada) and The Nythanda Review (Malawi)

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
Mum Life Stories Micro Fiction Writing Competition Australia Varies Varies 500 See notes $50
Notes on Mum Life Stories Competition: Any style / genre but themed and run in rounds, so check website for full details - 10 shortlisted stories published in an anthology, top 3 stories also published on the Mum Life Stories blog - entry is free first round, $2 entry fee following 5 rounds
NAWG's 100 x 100 Competition UK Quarterly Quarterly 100 £3 £100
Notes on Nawg's Competition: Any style / genre but stories must be exactly 100 words in length - winning story published on the NAWG website
NYC Midnight Writing Challenges USA Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on NYC Midnight Challenges: Style & genres vary - MYC Midnight run short story, flash fiction, screenwriting and screenplay competitions - entry fees are around $45 - all entrants receive feedback from the judges
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 Monthly Micro Fiction Competition UK Monthly Monthly 100 £4 See notes
Notes on Retreat West Competition: Any style / genre but done from prompts, so check website for details - winner receives 50% of entry fees and 1 free entry to the annual RW Flash Fiction Prize - winning stories published on website
Retreat West Themed Flash Competition UK Quarterly Quarterly 500 £8 £200
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
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 80 words long - winners published in anthology that supports the homeless, but writers also receive a royalty from sales
University of Chester Flash Magazine UK Varies Varies 360 FREE See notes
Notes on Flash Magazine: See main listing in new flash fiction magazines table below - they also run other comps from time to time and have lots of useful flash fiction resources on their website
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 theme - winner receives mentoring session and their story is published on the website
Writers' HQ Flash Quarterly Contest UK Quarterly Quarterly 500 FREE £100 and see notes
Notes on Writers' HQ Contest: Any style / genre - winner receives membership to Writers' HQ, access to online writing courses and writing retreats - winners published on the WHQ site and in an annual anthology
Writers' Retreat UK Short, Short Story Competition UK Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 1,000 £15 £200 and see notes
Notes on Writers' Retreat UK Competition: Any style / genre - winner receives cash plus a free place on a writing retreat - multiple cash prizes - all entrants receive a free app with a free additional micro fiction competition - early bird fee £10 - winners published in anthology
YeahWrite Super Challenge USA Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 1,000 $25 See notes
Notes on YeahWrite Challenge: Any style / genre, but check website for current prompts - alternates between fiction and non-fiction - prize varies ($150 guaranteed minimum) - YeahWrite also run free weekly challenges for both fiction and creative non-fiction
Zen Garden Flash Fiction Competitions USA Varies Varies 350 FREE $50

Notes on Zen Garden Competitions: Any style / genre but visit website for current flower prompt - they run two flash fiction competitions: Nutshell Narratives and Photo Flora - the main difference is that the Nutshell Narratives have very highly qualified judges and the Photo Flora contests allow the public to vote for the three winners - winners published on website plus possible publication in Kindle anthology

Zeroflash UK Monthly Monthly 300 FREE See notes
Notes on Zeroflash Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winners might be published in anthology - there used to be a £10 prize, but can't find any mention of it on the site anymore

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Flash Fiction Writing Course

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.

Short Fiction Writing Course

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Words Entry Fee Top Prize
Academy for Teachers 'Stories Out of School' Contest USA October January 749 FREE $1,000
Notes on the Academy of Teachers Contest: Any style / genre but the story’s protagonist, or its narrator, must be a K-12 teacher - winner published online in The Commuter
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) - 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
Bridport Prize Flash Fiction Competition UK May November 250 £9 £1,000
Notes on the Bridport Prize Flash Fiction Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in anthology
César Egido International Flash Fiction Competition Spain Varies Varies 100 FREE $20,000
Notes on the César Egido Competition: Any style / genre - usually runs every 2 years, but check website as fequency does vary - winners published in anthology - look under 'What We Do' on the website for competition details - when entering, please use the code 48141 so they know you heard about the competition through my website, many thanks! - last time the competition ran, there were 43,185 entries from 172 countries, so competition is somewhat fierce...
Fiction War Competition USA Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies

Notes on the Fiction War Competition: Any style / genre, but check website for current prompt - top prize has been up to $2,500 in the past, word limit has been 100 to 1,000 - winners published in Fiction War Magazine

WARNING: I have received complaints about this competition. One of the messages I received stated:"Fiction War (Wolvesburrow Publishing) may not be running at all now and the last year saw them running about a year behind with publication as well as owing many prize winners money. I was published in the second issue and paid but they heavily edited and rewrote my story." I am leaving the listing live for now so users see this warning. It will be retired next time I undertake a full page overhaul.

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
Gemini Magazine
Flash Fiction Contest
USA Varies Varies 1,000 Varies $1,000
Notes on Gemini Magazine Contest: Any style / genre - winners published on Gemini Magazine website - entry fee usually around $6 to $10 - winner nominated for Pushcart Prize
Gotham Writers Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize NY, USA March Varies 750 $25 $1,000
Notes on Gotham Writers Competition: Any style / genre - winner receives cash prize plus 10 week writing course - winners usually announced around May / June
New Millennium Flash Fiction Award USA Varies Varies 1,000 $20 $1,000
Notes on New Millennium Competition: Any style / genre - winners published in printed anthology and on website
Quantum Shorts Competition Singapore Varies Varies 1,000 FREE $1,500
Notes on Quantum Shorts Competition: Any style / genre but themed around quantum physics, so check website for full details - the competition is Biennial - winners published on website and receive illustrations to accompany their stories
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 March 1,000 £15 £1,000
Notes on Ruth Rendell Competition: Any style / genre - winner commissioned to write four more short stories for InterAct Stroke Support
SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction USA Varies Varies 1,000 $15.50 $2,000
Notes on SmokeLong Quarterly Award: Any style / genre - entry fee allows 2 entries - they announce free entry days and also offer a reduced earlybird entry fee, so check website for full details - winner and minimum of 11 finalists will be published in SmokeLong Quarterly - run biennially - multiple cash prizes
Stories of the Nature of Cities Prize for Flash Fiction USA January ? 750 FREE $2,000
Notes on Stories of the Nature of Cities Prize: Any style / genre but inspired by a phrase, so see website for current details - multiple generous runner-up cash prizes - winners published in anthology by Publication Studios
The SmokeLong Flash Fellowship for Emerging Writers USA Varies Varies 1,000 $8 $1,000
Notes on SmokeLong Quarterly Fellowship: Any style / genre - run biennially - submit 3 flash fiction stories, each under 1,000 words in length - the winner (AKA the SmokeLong Fellow) will receive $200 upon winning the fellowship and $200 for each story published in the 4 quarterly issues of the following year and they will work with the SmokeLong editors for a year, workshopping 3 stories each quarter and reading / commenting on SmokeLong submissions

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Free Flash Fiction Writing Course

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
Charmouth Community Library Mini-Saga Competition UK September October 50 £2 £50
Notes on Charmouth Library Competition: Any style or genre - stories must be exactly 50 words long, plus a title of max 15 words - 3 categories: under 12, under 18 and all ages - 3 cash prizes in each category
Coram Voice 'Voices' Writing Competition UK February April 500 FREE See notes
Notes on Coram Voice Competition: Any style or genre - for children writers in care and care leavers up to the age of 25 - winner receive £100 in shopping vouchers - shortlisted entries published on website and in a printed book
Darling Axe 'An Axe To Grind' Writing Contest Canada March April 1,000 $5 See notes
Notes on Darling Axe Contest: Any style or genre - top prize is minimum $200 but increases depending on number of entrants - winner and two runners-up published on the Chopping Blog
Edinburgh International Flash Fiction Award UK August February 250 £6 £600
Notes on Edinburgh International Award: Any style / genre - publication offered to top 20 stories in biennial anthology - managed by the Scottish Arts Trust
Eyelands International Flash Fiction Contest Greece Varies Varies Varies Varies See notes
Notes on Eyelands Competition: Any style / genre - winner receives a free holiday on the island of Crete - winners and shortlist published in an anthology - see 'present' and 'future' sections of the website
Farnham Flash Festival Competition UK June June 500 £5 Varies
Notes on FFF Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories performed at awards ceremony and published in festival book - top prize has been between £75 and £100 in the past
Fiction Factory Flash Fiction Competition UK Varies Varies 500 £6 £150
Notes on Fiction Factory Competition: Any style / genre except children's and YA - winners published on website and in anthology - they also run a short story comp
Green Stories Flash Fiction Writing Competition UK March June 500 FREE £500
Notes on Green Stories Competition: Any style / genre but stories should be inspired by positive green solutions
Grindstone Dirty Dozen Competition UK Varies Varies 144 £1.44 See notes
Notes on Grindstone Prize: Any style / genre - prizes x 12 = publication in 'Dirty Dozen' Collection - winners also published in year-end anthology, and they receive an invite to participate in the Atmos Collections
Grindstone Flash Fiction Prize UK Varies Varies 500 £8 £500
Notes on Grindstone Prize: Any style / genre - winners published in year-end anthology, and will also receive an invite to participate in Grindstone's Atmos Collections
Hastings Literary Festival Flash Fiction Competition UK June August 500 £5 £100
Notes on Hastings Literary Festival Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for full details - winners published in anthology
Iceland Writers Retreat Writing Contest Iceland Varies Varies Varies FREE See notes
Notes on Iceland Writers Retreat Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current theme - top prize is a place at the Iceland Writers Retreat, including accommodation - sometimes it's fiction, sometimes poetry and sometimes non-fiction - usually closes towards the end of the year - look in 'About' section of website and then 'News' to find latest competition details
Ireland Writing Retreat Wild Atlantic Writing Awards Ireland May July 500 €10 €500
Notes on Ireland Writing Retreat Awards: Any style / genre - in addition to cash, winner receives a writing retreat participation package worth €990 - they also run a non-fiction award
Mslexia Women's Flash Fiction Competition UK Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Mslexia Competition: Any style / genre - doesn't always run every year, so check website for current competition details as they run all sorts of different contests
New Flash Fiction's Anton Chekhov Prize UK Varies Varies 800 $6 $300
Notes on New Flash Fiction Prize: Any style / genre - usually closes around June time, but check website for current details - winners published on website
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 details - only open to unpublished writers living in the six Merseyside boroughs of Liverpool - look through posts on the homepage for latest competition news as there is no dedicated competition page
Retreat West Flash Fiction Prize UK September January 500 £8 £350
Notes on Retreat West Flash Prize: Any style / genre except children's - decent runner-up cash prizes - all winning and shortlisted stories published in anthology
Room Magazine Short Forms Contest Canada Varies Varies 500 $49 $500
Notes on Room Magazine Contest: Any style / genre - entries for Canadian residents ($35) and all entries include a year's subscription to Room Magazine - winners published in Room Magazine
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)

Santa Barbara Literary Journal Award USA Varies Varies 1,000 FREE $100
Notes on SB Lit Jo Prize : Any style / genre - winners published in Santa Barbara Literary Journal
Segora International Vignette Competition France June August 300 £5 £100
Notes on Segora Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on website and invited to a presentation event in France
SMK Contests USA November January Varies $5 $100
Notes on SMK Contests: Any style / genre - they have multiple categories for flash fiction, poetry, short story, non-fiction, novel and more, so check website for full details
Southam Flash Fiction Competition UK September October 100 £2 £50
Notes on Southam Competition: Any style / genre but story must contain a specific phrase, so check website for full details - winner published in local magazine and on website
Stafford LitFest Writing Competition UK February March 300 £5 £50
Notes on Stafford LitFest Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for full details - prize paid in vouchers - winner receives VIP invite to Stafford LitFest - winning entries published in local monthly magazine The Purple Diary - also accept poetry and run children's comp for 11 to 15 year-olds with free entry and 3 x £10 voucher prizes - look in the 'Events/Blog' section of their website to find competition details
Staunch Flash Fiction Prize UK July October 300 £5 £100
Notes on Staunch Prize: A prize for thrillers in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered - winners might be published in anothology
Stroud Book Festival Flash Fiction Competition UK September October 500 £5 £500
Notes on Stroud Book Festival Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners announced at the festival - also run a competition for young writers
Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival Very Short Fiction Contest USA Varies Varies 1,000 $10 $500
Notes on Tennessee Williams Contest: Any style / genre - winners published in New Orleans Review and receive tickets to Panels and Master Classes at Festival - usually closes around October / November time
Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest USA November December 350 FREE $50
Notes on Weird Christmas Contest: Any style / genre but themed around Christmas - winners published on website and read aloud in podcast - no dedicated competition page, so look through most recent posts on the homepage
Wimbledon Bookfest Short Story Competition UK Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Wimbledon Bookfest Competition: Themed, so check website for current theme (look in NEWS section of the site)

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Flash Fiction Magazines

This table gives details of magazines that focus solely on flash fiction. They don't always run competitions, but are open for general submissions.

Magazine Country Submissions Payment Notes
Flash Fiction North UK online submissions only - see link None 500 words max - free platform - showcase northern English writers but also publishes anyone globally who writes with a gritty, down to earth style
Flash Fiction Magazine USA online submissions only - see link $40 for stories in anthologies - no payment for online 300 to 1,000 words - ask for stories that feel complete, where there is conflict and character development
Sassafras Literary Magazine Sweden online submissions only - see link None 1,000 words max
University of Chester Flash Magazine UK online submissions only - see link None 360 words max - one of the most respected flash fiction / micro fiction publications on the market - winners published in highly prestigious, industry leading magazine - also run comps on occasion

 

 

Flash Fiction Writing Course

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
MK LitFest Flash Fiction Competition UK 31st May 2020 31st August 2020 500 FREE £25
Notes on MK LitFest Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for details - entrants must live in Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire or Bedfordshire UK - two age categories: 14 to 19 and over 20 - also open to poetry - at least 20 stories and 20 poems published in anthology
No more to list at present... TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC

Notes on TBC Competition: More coming soon... 

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How to Write a Short Story Get Published & Make Money

Other Flash Fiction Competition Lists

Here are some other useful lists of flash fiction competitions:

Free Short Fiction Writing Course

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
All for Writers Flash Fiction Contest UK Monthly Monthly Varies FREE £15
Notes on All for Writers Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winners published in All for Writers Ezine - WEBSITE DISAPPEARED 2019
Alsina Flash Fiction Contests UK Varies Varies Varies FREE £50
Notes on Alsina Competition: Styles, genres and themes vary - word limits are between 400 and 1,200, so they also run short story comps - winning stories translated and recorded in multiple languages and distributed electronically through an app - HAVEN'T PUBLISHED anything for a year, so removed listing 2019
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) - WEBSITE NOT UPDATED SINCE 2016, so removed from lists Jan 2018
Arkbound Writing Competition UK December January 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 - BEEN ROLLING OVER FOR 3 YEARS, so removed listing 2020
Artificium Short Fiction Competitions UK Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Artificium Very Short Fiction Competition: Any style / genre but themes vary so check website for current details - also run short story competitions - WEBSITE DISAPPEARED during 2018, removed from lists 2019
Arts Quarter Books Teignmouth Prize Knockout Contest UK July August 1,000 £5 £100
Notes on Teignmouth Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winner decided by 100 random readers on the basis of how long they remain interested in the story - prize is minimum of £100, or half the total entry fees if greater - DISCONTINUED 2019
Asymmetry Flash Fiction Contest USA Varies Varies 1,000 $2 $40
Notes on Asymmetry Contest: Speculative fiction - themed so check website for current details - winners published on website - NOT RUN FOR OVER A YEAR, so removed listing in 2019
Avid Writers The Sunday Saga Flash Fiction Competition UK Weekly Weekly 500 £2.50 £25
Notes on Avid Writers Competition: Any style / genre, but you have to choose from 3 lines of dialogue every Sunday to include in your story, so see website for current details - winner published in Spotlight - WEBSITE DISAPPEARED during 2018, removed from lists 2019
Bandit Flash Fiction Award UK April June 1,000 FREE £50
Notes on Bandit Award: Any style / genre - all shortlisted stories to be published digitally in an anthology - CANCELLED in 2018, hoping to run in 2019, listing retired until I hear more
(b)OINK Flash and Micro Fiction Contests USA Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on (b)OINK Contests: Any style / genre, but some are themed so check website for current details - they run frequent competitions, sometimes as often as monthly - prizes of up to $500 - NOT RUN since 2017, so removed from lists 2019
Cafe Aphra Flash Fiction Fridays UK Varies Varies 500 FREE None
Notes on Cafe Aphra: Any style / genre - stories published every two or three weeks on a Friday - always open to submissions - CLOSED 2018
Comps & Calls Flash Weekly UK Weekly Weekly Varies FREE £10
Notes on Comps & Calls Competition: Any style or genre but theme changes each week, so check website for details - story length varies from 100 words to 999 words - WEBSITE DISAPPEARED during 2018, removed from lists 2019
Creative Writing Institute Flash Fiction Contest USA 31st October 2018 November 1,000 FREE $100

Notes on Creative Writing Institute Contest: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for full details - winners published on website - CLOSED, was a one-off

NOTE 1: I have received a number of complaints regarding this contest as they state: 'No swearing, profanity, explicit sexual scenes, graphic violence, LGBTQ' in their submission guidelines. It's the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer, or questioning) reference that is causing offense, as it seems discriminatory and prejudiced. I'm currently investigating this and will update the listing soon.

NOTE 2: I have finished my investigations. Below is my email correspondence with Deb, the competition administrator.  I thought it best to share the whole thing so that you can make up your own mind about the competition and the conduct/intentions of the people who run it.

*

Hi Deb

I hope all is good with you.

I’m emailing you because I’ve received complaints about your flash fiction contest from my website users via email, Facebook and Twitter. You state 'No swearing, profanity, explicit sexual scenes, graphic violence, LGBTQ' in your submission guidelines. It's the LGBTQ reference that is causing offense, as it is being viewed as discriminatory and prejudiced. If this is the case, it is not something I will support on my website.

Please could you let me know why you view LGBTQ people as being in the same category as profanity, graphic violence and sexually explicit material, and why you have mentioned them in your subs guidelines? Also, please could you clarify if you accept entries from LGBTQ writers? If not, why not?

And if you have any other comments regarding this issue that explain your brand’s position, please do share them.

Many thanks, Chris

*

Hi Chris,

We have had gays on staff and as students. We are not discriminating against gays. We are simply stating what kinds of stories we are looking for. As long as we hold the purse-strings, we will retain that right. I will not succumb to their shameful bullying tactics, nor will I spend any more time trying to reason with them.

At first, I listed the LGBTQ separately and they asked why I was singling them out, so I included it in the group and now they're complaining about that. They won't be satisfied until they run my contest their way.

I guess you'll have to figure out how far they can push you. So far as I am concerned, whether they are gays, Martians, or people of color, their rights end where mine begin.

If you're willing to take the plunge, I would appreciate your backing.

Very best, Deb

*

Hi Deb

Thank you for your reply.

Just to be clear, are you saying you won’t accept stories with any LGBTQ characters? Or are you saying you don’t want any LGBTQ sex scenes/references?

I’m not being pushed or bullied. I found it surprising that you mentioned LTBTQ, to be honest. It comes across as being prejudiced against that group of people, whether that is the intention or not. Hence my query.

Cheers, Chris

*

Hi Chris,

We are not specifying any particular train of thought. It should be sufficient to say we don't want LGBTQ stories. If I were to enter a contest and it said, "No stories about cats," I wouldn't put a cat in my story. This whole thing befuddles me.

Deb

*

Hi Deb

OK, thanks for letting me know.

I feel the mention of LGBTQ singles out certain people, hence it’s causing offense. Singling out cats is not comparative, as cats are not capable of taking offence – they are not people.

Personally, I think that saying you don’t want any sexual content covers everything needed and is unlikely to cause offence to anyone. But that’s just my opinion.

I would add that I’m a firm believer in freedom of speech, so I’m not trying to tell you how to run your competition. I’m simply trying to determine if I want to be associated with it, by advertising it on my website.

I’ll give it some thought.

Cheers, Chris

*

Thank you Chris. Everyone is welcome to enter the contest. You made a good suggestion and I will probably do that next year. Thanks very much.

Very best, Deb

*

No problem, thanks Deb.

Cheers, Chris

*

Have you decided where you stand?  :-)

You might want to check my front page. [CF: check link in main listing, the subs guidelines have been updated but still mention LGBTQ]

Best,

Deborah

*

Hi Deb

I have given this some thought. To me, it comes across as prejudiced, even if that isn’t the intention. It’s like saying ‘no stories concerning Chinese people’ or ‘no stories concerning women’. I would regard these examples as racist/sexist and, therefore, discriminatory.

I will leave the listing on the site, but will add a note regarding the issue. At the end of the day, my users can make up their own minds if they wish to enter or not. But it’s not something I can support as it goes against my beliefs of acceptance and equality.

I’m swamped with work at the moment, but will update the site soon.

Cheers, Chris

*

Chris, I'm so glad you believe in equality. You disagree, and I don't have a problem with that. God gives you that right and we are not here to take it away, but I have a question. Do we have the right to disagree? Do we not have the right to read what we choose? Gay writers are certainly welcome! I hope you'll rethink this. I know where your sympathies lie, but it doesn't bother me. I fail to see why this should trouble anyone. We are not exempting them. We are merely limiting content.

Thanks so much. I value our relationship.

Deborah

*

Hi Deb

No problem at all.

In answer to your question, yes, I believe we do have the right to disagree. I respect the opinions of others, even if I don’t agree with them. You and I simply don’t agree on this point. I will leave the listing on the site and let people make up their own minds.

Cheers, Chris

*

I will defend to the death your right to believe anything you want, Chris. Thank you for allowing me the same privilege.

Warmly,

Deb

Dorset Fiction Award UK Varies Varies 999 £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 - WEBSITE DISAPPEARED 2019
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 - CLOSED, they stopped running writing competitions at the end of 2018
Field of Words Flash Fiction Competition Australia May June 1,000 A$10 A$200
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 cash prize too - NOT RUN since 2017, still run short story and memoir competitions
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 CLOSED 2016
Garden Gate Arts Ms Shakespeare Through Time UK 3rd January 2018 10th January 2018 1,000 FREE See notes
Notes on Garden Gate Arts Competition: Any style / genre of prose or dramatic monologue - only open to women who live in Yorkshire - 3 winners commissioned to write monologue, paid £300 and their work will be performed at Huddersfield Literature Festival - CLOSED, was a one-off
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 and in book - they accept fiction and non-fiction entries - not running in 2019, hopes to be back 2020 - NO LONGER MENTIONED ON WEBSITE, so removed listing 2020
Gotham Writers 'A Very Short Story Contest' USA 14th May 2018 14th June 2018 10 FREE See notes
Notes on Gotham Writers Competition: Any style / genre - winner receives a free class with Gotham Writers - winners published on website CLOSED, was a one-off
Hampshire Libraries 100 Words for 100 Years UK 16th October 2018 11th November 2018 100 FREE £50
Notes on Hampshire Libraries Competition: Any style / genre but themed around the First World War so see website for topics - winners published in a commemorative booklet and on the library website - CLOSED, was a one-off
Horror Scribes' Flash Contest UK Quarterly Quarterly 300 £3 £100
Notes on Horror Scribes' Contest: Horror - winners published on website and/or in newsletter - NOT RUN FOR ALMOST A YEAR, so removed listing 2019
Info 4 Writers Flash Fiction Competition UK Monthly Monthly 999 FREE £15
Notes on Info 4 Writers Competition: Any style / genre but themed so check website for current details - winners published on website - WEBSITE DISAPPEARED during 2018, removed from lists 2019
Link Age Southwark Writing Competition UK 31st August 2018 October 1,000 See notes £200
Notes on Link Age Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for details - free entry for ages 11 to 17, adults pay £5 - winners published on website and invited to award ceremony in London - CLOSED, was a one-off
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 - NO LONGER RUNNING, removed from lists Jan 2018
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

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 - alternates between flash fiction 1 year and poetry the next - WEBSITE HAS WHITE TEXT ON WHITE BACKGROUND, so is unusable - removed 2020
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 - CLOSED due to illness, removed from lists Jan 2018
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
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 - CLOSED, was a one-off
Nowhere.Ink's $100 Weekly Writing Contest USA Weekly Weekly 500 $2 $100
Notes on Nowhere.Ink Contest: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winner published on website - winner also receives a copy of The Literary Hack, a quarterly magazine, and is considered for publication in it - WEBSITE not updated since June 2018, so removed listing 2019
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 - COMPETITION NO LONGER MENTIONED ON WEBSITE, so removed listing Jan 2018
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
READ Foundation Writing Competition UK 10th October 2018 13th October 2018 500 FREE See notes
Notes on READ Foundation Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for full details - winner publicly displayed across hundreds of schools and read by tens of thousands of children, plus feedback from writer Qaisra Shahraz - also accept poems and non-fiction - CLOSED, was a one-off
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 - NO LONGER MENTIONED on website, so removed listing 2019
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 - NO LONGER MENTIONED ON WEBSITE, so removed listing 2020
Shady Grove Flash Fiction Competition USA Quarterly Quarterly 300 FREE $100
Notes on Shady Grove Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on website - DOESN'T LOOK ACTIVE ANYMORE, so removed listing 2020
SlingInk 500 Word Story Competition UK Quarterly Quarterly 500 £5 £100
Notes on SlingInk Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winners published on website - entries must be exactly 500 words in length - WEBSITE DISAPPEARED during 2018, removed from lists 2019
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 - NOT RUN since 2017, so removed listing 2019
Story Cities UK 16th September 2018 November 500 FREE See notes
Notes on Story Cities Competition: Any style or genre but themed so check website for full details - winners published in printed anthology and receive a free copy of the book CLOSED, was a one-off
Sweek Flash Fiction Competitions Holland Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Sweek Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the website - NOT RUN SINCE 2018, so removed listing during 2020 update
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
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 - NO LONGER MENTIONED ON WEBSITE, so removed listing Jan 2018
The Arcanist Ghost Story Contest USA 28th September 2018 1st October 2018 1,000 See notes $200
Notes on The Arcanist Contest: Ghost stories and hauntings - $5 early bird, $7 standard and $10 last minute - winner also receives a Ghost Stories booklet and a special addition halloween t-shirt - winners published in The Arcanist - CLOSED, was a one-off
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 - NOT RUN SINCE 2018, so removed listing 2020

The Short Story (TSS) Flash Fiction 400

UK Quarterly Quarterly 400 £5 £400
Notes on TSS Competition: Any style / genre - winning stories published online to a significant flash fiction readership - 1st place winners nominated for the Best Small Fiction Awards - NOT RUN FOR A YEAR, so removed listing 2020
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) - CLOSED DUE TO POOR QUALITY OF WORKS SUBMITTED, so removed from lists Jan 2018
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 - WEBSITE NO LONGER EXISTS, removed from lists Jan 2018
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 - CLOSED, was a one-off
Theatre Cloud's Tell a Tale: Gothic Fiction UK 21st April 2018 16th May 2018 500 FREE £300
Notes on Theatre Cloud's Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for prompt - winner's published on the Theatre Cloud website - CLOSED, was a one-off
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 - NOT RUN SINCE 2016, so removed from lists Jan 2018
Wax Poetry and Art Magazine's Flash Fiction Contest Canada Monthly Monthly 300 FREE See notes
Notes onWax Poetry And Art Contest: Any style / genre - there is no monetary prize, but winners are published online and in print and will receive royalties from sales - NO FICTION published since 2016, so removed listing 2019 - see poetry comps lists for details of poetry competition
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
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 - NO LONGER MENTIONED ON WEBSITE, so removed listing 2020
Write Story Books For Children Winter Writing Competition UK December February 500 FREE See notes
Notes on Write Story Books For Children Competition: Any style / genre but themed so check website for full details - winner receives an Amazon Kindle e-Reader and a collection of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairytales - NO LONGER MENTIONED ON WEBSITE, so removed listing 2020
Writers' HQ 'From LGBTQ With Love The Fight Back' Flash Fiction Contest UK 30th November 2018 ? 500 FREE £100

Notes on Writers' HQ Contest: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for full details - in addition to cash prizes, Writers' HQ subscriptions are given away - winners published on website and maybe in a book too - CLOSED, was a one-off

Writing Maps A3 Review Short Fiction Contest UK Monthly Monthly 150 $5 £250
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 - yes, entry fee is in dollars, that's not a typo - NO LONGER MENTIONED ON WEBSITE, so removed listing 2020
Writing Writers Drabble Competition UK Monthly Monthly 100 FREE £35
Notes on Writing Writers Competition: Any style / genre - winners published on the website - WEBSITE DISAPPEARED 2019
YSCI-FI Flash Fiction Competition UK 28th February 2018 13st March 2018 1,000 FREE $250
Notes on YSCI-FI Competition: Any style / genre - CLOSED 2018, was a one-off

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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.

Jason L
Hi. Do you have a free flash fiction competition?

Chris Fielden
Hi Jason. I run a lot of free flash fiction writing challenges. You can learn about the challenges here.

If that's not what you're looking for, there are quite a few free competitions in the lists above.

Marina N
I've discovered Sweek thanks to your awesome list, sir! And can't thank you enough for that. That is an excellent platform for aspiring writers allowing us to grow via free reading, writing, and sharing. Love their flash fiction contests!

Also, adore Ad Hoc Fiction.

Heartfelt thanks!

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Marina - very kind of you to say so :-)

I hope you're writing is going well!

Samuel N
Thanks for the information.

Chris Fielden
No problem, Samuel :-)

Amy O
Hi Chris, in regards to the flash competition that discriminates against LGBTQ+, a counter competition has been set up by the lovely Writers HQ in response with some great prizes. Would be great if you could list it on the website as an alternative!

Chris Fielden
Hi Amy. Thanks for letting me know about this - much appreciated. Listed!

Dave M
Hi Chris, there's a site called 50 word stories which I can't see in your lists (it may be there, I'm dizzied by it all). This site publishes two 50 word stories every weekday. The best story of every week gets to go into the final at the end of the month. The winner, chosen by the editor gets 10$ (Canadian). I was published on it three times last year (never made the final - always the bridesmaid). It's a great way to hone editing skills, says he babbling on.

Cheers mate, Dave Earl of Huyton

Chris Fielden
Fab, thanks for letting me know about 50 Word Stories, Dave Earl of Huyton.

I have added it to the regular flash comps list :-)

Teresa T
Hello, I wanted to cite your page as a source for a paper. This is made more difficult by the fact that the information at the bottom of the page is covered by an ad that I am not able to close. (Well, it said the ad was closed by Google, so now it is just a blank tan square that still blocks the information.) The information there is not crucial for my purposes, but I thought you might want to know how the page appears to a viewer.

Chris Fielden
Hi Teresa. Thanks for letting me know - very much appreciated.

The ads are automated by AdSense (Google) so there's nothing I can do about it unfortunately - it's a problem their end.

I would consider removing the ads, but as it's a source of income that helps me cover the costs of running the website, I'm not in a position to do so unfortunately.

Thanks for citing my website. I wish you all the best with your paper.