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You probably know that fiction can be categorized based on length, with some of the most common formats being novels, novellas, and short stories. But did you know there’s a genre of literature that includes some stories shorter than most sentences?

Flash fiction is generally considered any piece of fiction that falls under 1,000 words. (After 1,000 words, you enter short story territory.)

Flash fiction contests can have much, much lower limits, though, with maximum word counts falling below 50 words. (Ernest Hemingway once won a contest with only six!)

Writing flash fiction stories can be a great way to push your creativity to new boundaries, as you’re forced to be far more selective with your words and plot points.

Flash Fiction Contests

Below is a list of flash fiction contests where you can submit your super short fiction for a chance to win cash and other prizes.

Contest NameSubmission GuidelinesEntry FeeFirst PrizeDeadline
Prime Number Magazine 53-Word Story Contestwww.press53.com/53word-story-contestFreePublication in Prime Number Magazine + free book from Press 5315th of each month
Flash 500 Contestwww.flash500.com/flash-fiction/£5£300Quarterly: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31
Shady Grove Literarywww.shadygroveliterary.com/submissions/Free$100Quarterly: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31
Voice.club Flash Fiction Writing Contestwww.voice.club/contestFree$50 Amazon gift-cardOpen monthly
Kenyon Reviewwww.kenyonreview.org/short-fiction/$24Writing conference scholarship + publicationFebruary 15, 2021
Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prizewww.fishpublishing.com/flash-fiction-contest/$16$1,170February 28, 2021
Zizzle Literary Flash Fiction Contestwww.zizzlelit.com/contest-rules/$5$1,000March 15, 2021
Bellingham Review Literary Awardswww.bhreview.org/submissions-guidelines/$20$1,000March 15, 2021
An Axe to Grind Flash Fiction Contestwww.darlingaxe.com/an-axe-to-grind-flash-fiction-contest$5 CAD$700 CADMarch 31, 2021
The Ernest Hemingway Short Fiction Prizewww.fictionsoutheast.com/ernest-hemingway-flash-fiction-award/$10$200 + publicationMarch 31, 2021
F(r)iction Winter Literary Competitionwww.frictioncontests.com/submit$10–$12$300April 29, 2021
Bridport Flash Fiction Prizewww.bridportprize.org.uk/flash-fiction/£9£1,000May 31, 2021
The Lascaux Prize in Flash Fictionwww.lascauxreview.com/contests/$15$1,000June 30, 2021
The TSR Short Short Fiction Prizewww.thesouthamptonreview.com/short-short-fiction-contest$5$500 + publicationSeptember 1, 2021
Tadpole Press 100 Word Writing Contestwww.tadpolepress.com/events$10$1,000November 30, 2021
River Styx Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contestwww.riverstyx.org/microfiction-contest/$15–$20$1500 + one case of Schlafly micro-brew)December 31, 2021
TCK Publishing Flash Fiction Contestwww.tckpublishing.com/2022-flash-fiction-contest/$10$1,000June 30, 2022
WOW! Women On Writing Quarterly Flash Fiction Contestwww.wow-womenonwriting.com/contest$10$400Quarterly: February 28, May 31, August 31, November 30
The Third Word Presswww.third-word.com/Free£20 + publication second and fourth Mondays of each month
Sweek Monthly Flash Fiction Contestwww.blog.sweek.com/flash-fiction-competition/Free$50Monthly
Cranked Anvil Press Flash Fiction Competitioncrankedanvil.co.uk/flashcomp/£3 for 1 entry; £5 for 2 entries£100ongoing (quarterly)

Can You Make Money Writing Flash Fiction?

Believe it or not, there is a market for flash fiction! While you won’t make as much as you would with a novel or short story, there are plenty of places that will pay for your flash fiction.

But even if you don’t manage to sell one of your flash fiction pieces to a paying market, writing these ultra-short stories is still great writing practice, and you can always post them on your blog or social media accounts!

Enter TCK Publishing’s Flash Fiction Contest

TCK Publishing is excited to announce our first annual flash fiction contest! Submissions are open now through June 30, 2022. Read the full guidelines here. The entry fee is $10, and the grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

If super short fiction isn’t quite your thing, you’re still in luck, because there are lots of other great writing contests you can enter for a chance to win big prizes.

Try your hand at some nonfiction, short story, or screenwriting contests and see where your skills take you!

Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!


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