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18 Best Flash Fiction Contests (2024)

If you are like me you have been writing flash fiction and they have somehow magically grown in number.

You are wondering what to do with them.

Maybe you want to participate in a Writing contest but you are not ready to write something big.

You want to start small.

In this blog post, I go over a list of the best flash fiction contests most of which are open to international writers.

Some are paid while others are free.

Some of them would require you to write the flash fiction with a prompt, others don’t care as long as it’s a good piece.

Let’s get started.

Note: This list contains flash fiction contests between 250 words to 1500 words.

Are Flash Fiction Contests Worth It?

Flash fiction contests are a great way for writers to challenge themselves and hone their skills. 

These contests often have strict word count limitations, often requiring stories to be under 1,000 words or even as short as 100 words. 

This forces writers to be concise and creative, condensing their ideas into a tight and compelling narrative.

Not only do these contests provide a fun and exciting challenge for writers, they also offer the opportunity to be recognized and celebrated for their work. 

Many flash fiction contests have cash prizes and the opportunity to have their work published, providing valuable exposure for up-and-coming writers.

But flash fiction contests are not just for aspiring writers. Even established writers can benefit from the creative constraints of these contests. 

Working within a strict word count forces writers to think outside the box and come up with innovative ways to tell a story.

 It can also help writers improve their editing skills, as they must carefully consider every word choice and sentence structure in order to make the most impact within the limited space.

Additionally, flash fiction contests are a great way for writers to connect with other writers and readers. 

Many contests have active online communities where writers can share their work and receive feedback from their peers.

 This can be a valuable resource for writers looking to improve their craft and connect with others who share their passion for storytelling.

Overall, flash fiction contests are a fun and exciting way for writers to challenge themselves and improve their skills. 

Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced writer, these contests offer a unique opportunity to flex your creative muscles and get recognized for your work. 

So why not give it a try? You never know what kind of incredible story you might come up with.

1. Bath Flash Fiction Award

The Bath Flash Fiction award is one of the popular flash fiction contests.

“Our goal is to promote flash fiction for both writers and readers and to bring the genre to a wider audience.”

Your flash fiction can be on any theme or style.

Entry Fee

£9.00. They have reductions for multiple entries and early submissions.

Word Count

300-word limit

Simultaneous submission

Yes, but you should let them know if you are accepted elsewhere so they can withdraw your submission.

Multiple submissions

No limit. Each with its entry fee but you get a reduction.

Available

Available to all writers internationally

Prize

1st prize:£1,000

2nd prize:£300

3rd prize:£100

Two commendations will receive £30 each.

50 longlisted entrants would be offered publication in their end-of-year print and digital anthology with a free print copy for the writer.

Deadline

The contest is held three times a year.

  • March to June
  • July to October
  • November to February
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Check the website for the specific day in the month for each round.

NOTE:They only accept previously unpublished works.

2. Flash 500 Flash Fiction Contest

This is one of the other contests run by the flash 500. The contest seeks to generously reward the winning flash fiction.

Word Count: 500 words.

The contest is held quarterly every year.

Deadline

31st March, 30th June, 30th September, and 31st December 2022.

Prizes

First: £300

Second: £200

Third: £100

Flash Fiction

Entry fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories

Optional critiques: £15 per story

3. Cranked Anvil Press Flash Fiction Contest

The contest is held by the cranked Anvil Press.

You can submit stories with any theme or genre.

Word Count: 500 words or less.

Deadline 

The deadline for the contest is the last day at midnight of the following months (UK time ).

February

May

August

November 

Entry fees: £5 for the first | plus £3 for the second | plus £2 for the third (and fourth)

Prizes

1st – £150

2nd – £75

3rd – £30

4. Fusilli Flash Fiction Contest

This contest is different in a lot of ways from the others. The contest automatically ends the moment it receives 100 entries.

Word count: 200 words maximum with a twist.

Entry Fee: Free 

Additional option to request feedback and the fundamentals of flash fiction with payment.

5. Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction

Here is what Bridport Prize wants from you 

“It may be the sprint of creative writing but that doesn’t mean you can rush the creative process. Take us somewhere fast then let your story marinate in the reader’s mind.”

Word Count: Maximum of 250 words.

Prize

First prize: £1,000

Publication in Anthology

Feedback from Judges

Second Prize: £500

Publication in Anthology

Third Prize:£250

Publication in Anthology

The Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English aged 16 and over at the time of the closing date.

Deadline

The deadline date for entries is midnight (UK time) on 31st May 2023. Postal entries postmarked 31st May but received later will be accepted.

6. Oxford Flash Fiction Prize

About

 “Write yourself into history and become one of the greats with the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize.

For centuries, the greats have come to Oxford to ink masterpieces. Now, in one of the oldest towns, where the history of the English language can be traced back to its ancient streets, we are celebrating one of the newest forms in literature – flash fiction.”

Word Count: Maximum of 1000 words.

No minimum word limit.

Does not include the title.

Prices

£6 for one flash fiction

£10 for two flash fiction

£14 for three flash fiction

Free entries available

Prize

1st Prize: £1000 

2nd Prize: £200 

3rd Prize: £100

Shortlisted entrants will be offered publication in our end-of-year anthology and more.

7. The Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

This is a Ghost story competition

GUIDELINES: ” As with The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award, in our flash fiction competition we’re seeking the finest work we can find that incorporates an uncanny element. Ghost stories are welcome, of course—but your submission may involve any paranormal or supernatural theme, as well as magic realism. What we’re looking for is superb writing, fresh perspectives, and maybe a few surprises.”

Word Count: 1000 words or fewer.

Prize

First Prize:$1000

Second Prize:$200

Third Prize:$200

Entry Fee is $15

Deadline: January 31st, 2023

8. PARANORMAL FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE 2022

This competition is organized by Globe Soup.

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When you register for the contest you are given a paranormal prompt to write a flash fiction of not more than 1000 words. The prompt should be part of the story.

Mentioning the word in the story is not enough; it should be part of the plot.

Prize: £1,000

Early Entry: £2.50 for one story

General Entry: £5 for one story

Late Entry: £15 for one story

Word Count: 1,000 (max)

Deadline:  23:59 (UK time) 12th Dec 2022

Winner Announced: 28th Feb 2023

9. Women on Writing Quarterly Flash Fiction Contest 

WOW! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months and has done so since 2006. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, and great writing, and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The WOW Flash Fiction Contest has awarded over $100,000 in cash.

As the name of the contest implies the contest is open only to women.

CONTEST DEADLINES:

FALL: September – November 30th, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) – CLOSED

WINTER: December – February 28th, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) – NOW OPEN!

SPRING: March-May 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) – CLOSED

SUMMER: June – August 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) – CLOSED

ENTRY FEE: $10.00

This is not a reading fee. Entry fees are used to award our 20 winners as well as administrative costs.

The entries are limited to 300 entries. Once the limit is reached the entry fee button will be disabled.

10. Fiction Factory Flash Fiction Contest

This is organized by the Fiction Factory based in the UK.

The Contest is open to ages 16 and over.

All genres are accepted except children and young adult fiction.

Word Count

Maximum of 1000 words.

 1 Entry fee £5.00

 2 Entries fee £9.00

 3 Entries fee £13.00

Prize: Not Mentioned

11. Writing on Love 

Writing on love is a five hundred-word story on love contests.

500-word short story including an element of love.

Prizes

USD 500 to the winner.

USD 150 to the runner-up.

Who

Anyone in the world who loves writing short stories that capture an audience. See the Rules for more information.

Deadline

Sadie Tells Stories will be accepting submissions for the Writing LOVE Short Story Competition from April 15th, 2022 until 11:59 pm PDT on August 15th, 2022. The winners will be notified by October 15th, 2022.

Write a super short story that includes an element of love. 

Pay the $10 entry fee.

Use the form to submit your story. 

Celebrate!

Refer a friend! If your friend is the first prize winner of the competition you also receive a $50 prize. 

12. Yeah write Super Challenge 

This contest is different from the rest. When you sign up within the registration period you will be given a special day to collect your prompt. This is the day the contest begins. Once the prompt is released you have 48 hours to write and submit a flash story of not more than 1000 words.

Each story gets personal feedback from the Judges.

$150 for first place, 

$100 for second place, 

and $50 for third place.

13. The George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest

The Contest is organized by the Third Wednesday Magazine.

Word Count: Your story should be less than 1000 words.

The entry fee of $6 per story 

Three winning stories will receive $100 for each print copy of the contest issue.

14. Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition

Enter the competition with your flash fiction stories. What you will notice about the Writers Digest Contest is the generous Prizes they have. The Prize is not a reserved for one person.

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Word Count

1500 words or less.

DEADLINE: 12 December 2022

Prizes

One First Place Winner will receive:

$3,000 in cash

Their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s September/October 2023 issue

A paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, including a coveted Pitch Slam slot

The Second Place Winner will receive:

$1,500 in cash

Their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s September/October 2023 issue

The Third Place Winner will receive:

$500 in cash

Their short story title published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s September/October 2023 issue

Fourth through Tenth Place Winners will receive:

$100 in cash

Their short story titles published in Writer’s Digest magazine’s September/October 2023 issue

Eleventh through Twenty-Fifth Place Winners will receive:

A $50 gift certificate for writersdigestshop.com

15. Bio page Flash Fiction Contest

The contest is limited to 5000 characters or 1000 words.

Deadline: 31 January 2023

Prize

First Prize: $300

Five Runners up get $100 each.

16. Flash Fiction Magazine Contest

This contest is organized by the flash fiction magazine. This contest is different from the other contests because of the level of feedback you get whether you win or not.

Every submission receives feedback that focuses on:

Strengths: The editor will identify where the story is strongest and most effective.

Weaknesses: The editor will address elements of the story that could be stronger.

Revision Suggestions: The editor will provide suggestions for revision and editing

1st Prize = $500, publication on our website and in a future anthology.

2nd Prize = $300, publication on our website, and consideration for our next anthology.

3rd Prize = $200, publication on our website, and consideration for our next anthology.

Entry fee = $30 per story.

Please do not submit stories over 1000 words

17. Blurred Genres Flash Contest 2022

Blurred Genre Flash Contest

Submission Period:

March 1, 2022, to March 31, 2022

Judge:

Lynn Steger Strong

Prizes:

First Place – $500

Second Place – $200

Third Place – $100

Publication of Top Five

Submission Details:

750 words

Flash fiction or prose poetry

1 submission per person

Entry Fee:

None. Submissions are free.

18. F(r)iction Contest

Fall Contest Information

Deadline: Nov 1, 2022

Results: Announced March 18, 2023

Prizes: Win $1,600 in prizes!

Guest Judges: Ken Liu, Brian Evenson, and Faylita Hicks

Flash Fiction: up to 1,000 words per piece

Conclusion

Wow, we have gone over a list of flash fiction competitions.

Flash Fiction contests are an excellent way for writers to showcase their talent and passion for the art form.

 By participating in these contests, writers not only have the opportunity to have their work recognized and celebrated, but they also have the chance to see how their work stacks up against others in the field. 

With over 18  flash fiction contests in this blog post, there’s sure to be one that’s right for you. 

So why not take the plunge and submit your work today? 

You never know where it might lead. 

And if you have any suggestions for contests that we haven’t mentioned, be sure to let me know in the comments or through the contact form.

Now it’s your turn.

I want to know which of the Contests are you going to submit to .

Let me hear from you in the comments section 🤔.

If you have any suggestions you can let me know in the contact form.

By Onyemechi Nwakonam

Hi ,I write poetry and short prose. I am excited to help you organise your writing journey.

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