Monday, August 17, 2015

Two Open Contests for Both Flash Fiction and Flash Nonfiction

Have a short piece lying around that you're not sure what to do with? Get it out, do some editing, and find a home for it. Many litmags and journals now publish flash work; some do it exclusively.

How to Write Short is Roy Peter Clark's well-reviewed book about how to master the craft of writing a short piece. The fact that there is an entire book about it tells us that short does not equal easy. For me it's tougher, but very rewarding.

(I like that pencil-in-the-bullseye image.)

Interested in a contest? Here are two open right now:

Gulf Coast's Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

"Open to prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer." Judged by Steve Almond. Monetary prizes. Deadline: August 31, 2015. More info here.

CutBank Literary Magazine's Big Sky, Small Prose - Flash Prose Contest

"Seeking interesting, compelling fiction and nonfiction prose - in 750 words or fewer. Lyric essays, prose poems, short essays, vignettes - send us your best, most dazzling short form prose. Please feel free to include original photography or art." $7 entry fee. Judged by David Gates. Deadline: September 1, 2015. More info here.


  1. I really enjoy well written flash pieces, and I like to write them, too. There is something so satisfying in crafting good flash, like cutting a tiny gem out of rough stone. I agree it's tough, since just like poetry, every single word has to be there for a reason. I suppose novels should also be that way, but a novel reader is generally more forgiving, I think. And I love how they ask for 'dazzling.' Have you ever written anything and thought, 'wow, what I just wrote is dazzling.' I haven't - 'good' maybe, even 'solid' but 'dazzling?'

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