Posts Tagged Flash fiction
I’ve had an email from Mars Hill about a new competition being run by Nottingham Writers’ Cub. To reflect the growing popularity of flash fiction, the Club are offering prizes of £100, £75 and £50 for the best 100-word stories on the theme ‘Wish You Were Here’.
The competition details suggest, ‘You could tell a story in the traditional form of a postcard from a beautiful place, or maybe you’d like someone special to be with you at a certain time. It can be happy, sad, dramatic, frightening, scary or horrifying, the choice of genre is yours, and please make it clear who you wish to be where.’
The entry fee for each story is £5 (free for Club members) and everyone gets a few lines of feedback. Entries will be accepted from 1st to 28th February 2022 either by post or via the Club website.
However, this is not a competition for ‘professional’ writers and those who have earned more than £150 from short stories during 2020/21 should not enter. And, as always, don’t forget to read all the terms and conditions.
Over the last couple of years we’ve had less opportunity to send postcards but increased reason to ‘wish you were here’. It’s a theme that will resonate with most of us – so why not make the most of it and get writing?
Here are a couple of competitions for you to mull over whilst you finish the Quality Streets and prepare for whatever 2013 might bring.
- The Bath Short Story Award is a new international competition. The prizes are good – £500, £100 and £50 plus an additional £50 for a local winner. Stories can be on any theme and the maximum word count is 2,200. Entry fee is £5 and the closing date March 30th 2013. Enter by post or online but note that online entries must be in PDF format. Full rules are here.
- Erewash Writers’ Group are running a FREE flash fiction competition on the theme ‘Start’ – which seems appropriate as we approach the beginning of a new year. First Prize is publication on the Erewash Writers’ website, a copy of Dan Purdue’s book
‘Somewhere To Start From’ and one free entry to the Erewash Open Competition 2013. Second prize is one free entry to the Erewash Open Competition 2013. Word limit is 500 and the closing date is March 21st 2013.
The judge is author, Dan Purdue and he offers some advice on flash fiction on his blog.
Full competition details are here.
The first National Flash Fiction Day will be taking place on May 16th 2012 and if you want to be part of it you need to get your thinking caps on now.
There is a list of specially organised competitions listed here. Some are specific to certain parts of the country (this narrows down the field of entrants, so if you are lucky enough to live in any of the chosen areas – get writing!). Many are FREE to enter and there’s a variety of closing dates (but they’re mostly in April so don’t delay).
If you fancy getting involved in person, take a look at this list of planned events organised geographically. Unfortunately there’s none near me in the West Midlands but Derby ‘s doing well with 2 workshops going on.
So if you like your writing short, sharp and to the point – what are you waiting for?
If you’re struggling with a story, agonising over an article or gnashing your teeth about the novel, why not take a short break to recharge your batteries and have a go at some flash fiction instead? Spending a short time playing around with just a few hundred words (or less) will get the brain cells working again, send you back to the magnum opus refreshed and also give you that lovely satisfied feeling that comes from finishing a piece of work and submitting it.
Flash fiction seems to be growing in popularity and here are just a few of the competitions and markets for it:
Flash Fiction World runs quarterly FREE to enter competitions – plus the site contains details of other competitions and helpful advice for the writer.
Emerald Writing Workshops runs quarterly 500 word story competitions with cheap entry fees – I’ve extolled the virtues of Eddie Walsh and his competitions before, so I won’t go on and on again.
Real People Magazine pays £25 each week for a 60 word story – most of which tend to have a twist in the tail.
And don’t forget the ‘Win a Book’ competitions which appear each month in Writing Magazine. They usually ask for around 250 words on a particular theme. I find them great for kick starting the grey matter and for trying a genre I might not otherwise consider – I recently won the ‘Paranormal’ competition and have had a go at ‘Pitching a SitCom’. These competitions are a quick and easy way to step outside your comfort zone.
If you know of any other extremely short fiction markets then let me know – I’m always looking for reasons to deviate from my current project!
The 5 word sentence, where each of the 5 words is identical is:
Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
The meaning is:
Buffalo buffalo (i.e. buffalo that live in Buffalo) buffalo (i.e a verb meaning to intimidate or fight) Buffalo buffalo (i.e. buffalo that live in Buffalo).
Whilst we’re on the subject of short pieces of writing, here are a couple of flash fiction competitions:
- Early Works Press are offering £75 first prize plus two runners-up prizes of £10 for a 100-word story. Entry is £3.50 and the closing date is 31/8/2012. Full details here.
- Multi-Story want 600 words and offer prizes of £300, £100 and £50 for an entry fee of £5 (or £8 for 2 stories). It’s an open theme and the closing date is 29th February 2012. Full details are here.
Write Exposure has launched its first monthly competition. There are 3 categories – short fiction (up to 1200 words), flash fiction (up to 250 words) and poetry. Entry into each category is £4 or you can enter all 3 for £9.
The winner will be showcased on the website for a month along with 3 other ‘honourable mentions’.
Prize money depends on the number of entrants. I couldn’t find it on the website so I contacted Cheslyn Baker, who is running the competition, to find out the ‘formula’ that would be used to calculate the prize. She told me that it would be 25% of the total entry fee received in each category.
The theme for the competitions will change each month. For November it is “I know your face” and the closing date is 30th November.
Please read the full details here before you enter.
In most competitions we never know what percentage of the entry fees was paid out in prizes so this competition is being transparent in that respect. It is also being open about its judging. It will be using a panel of 3, one of whom is a ‘citizen’ judge and any of us can apply to sit in that third seat. See the website for details.
What does anybody think about prize money being 25% of the pot? Is it fair? Can we (the entrants) actually reach a fair conclusion on this question when so many other competitions only advertise a fixed prize rather than a percentage?
There is a lot of work in running a writing competition – including a large amount of administration as well as the actual reading and judging of entries. 100 entries would be required to win £100 – and I’m sure that a lot of competitions offering a prize of £100 receive more than 100 entries so maybe 25% is realistic.
By coincidence I came across another competition recently where the prize money is dependent on the number of entrants. Words Magazine is running a ‘winner takes all’ competition for short stories of up to 2000 words. Entry fee is £3 – so if 100 people enter the prize will be £300 (Closing date is December 31st).
Best of luck if you decide to enter either of these!
Emerald Writing Workshops 2012 Competition Calendar is out now!
These competitions are entering their third year with an increased prize pot of £100 per competition – First £65, second £20, third £15 plus three runners-up each receive a book of short stories. Entry is only £1.80 (overseas entrants can pay via PayPal) and I think that’s really good value!
All the competitions are for a 500 word piece of flash fiction and the 2012 themes are as follows:
- Story set on a train – closes 28/02/12
- Story including the words ‘Nobody will ever know’ – closes 31/5/12
- Story about anything you like – closes 31/8/12
- Story on the theme ‘Trapped’ – closes 30/11/12
Plus, if you enter any of the above (or have entered any of the 2010/2011 comps) then you can submit a Four Sentence Story. This is free to enter and 5 winners will each receive £20.
Entries are by post only but entries from different people or for more than one competition can all go in the same envelope.
Full details of how to enter are here along with winning entries from previous competitions.
It was my birthday on Sunday and the day was made even more special by receiving an email from Eddie Walsh of Emerald Writing Workshops to let me know that I was a runner-up in his Airport themed 500 word short story competition. A book of crime short stories is on its way to me – an unexpected ‘extra’ birthday present!
Eddie Walsh is an Irishman living in Nottingham. He mainly writes fillers and letters but has recently become interested in fiction writing. In his competitions he is aiming to encourage the hobby writer and believes even getting on a shortlist stops a writer from giving up. He provides critiques of entries whenever he can, as writers rarely receive independent feedback.
Eddie runs a 500 word story competition every three months with a £75 prize fund for each one (£50 first prize, £15 second prize, £10 third prize plus books for 3 runners-up). There are 3 competitions currently open to submissions:
- First 500 words of a novel – closes May 31 2011
- 500 words on an open theme – closes August 31 2011
- 500 word ‘Riches to Rags’ story – closes November 30 2011
The entry fee is 5 second class stamps (or a cheque to that value). There are discounts for multiple entries into the same competition. Entries are acknowledged on receipt and periodically the site is updated with the number of stories received for each of the competitions.
Eddie is also currently running a 4-sentence competition which is free to enter and has a £75 prize fund to be divided equally between the 3 best entries. However, entries will only be accepted from people who have previously entered one of the 500 word competitions.
So if you’re looking for a competition with a friendly feel try Emerald Writing Workshops . And remember that the cost of second class stamps will be going up in April, so buy them now to use for your entry fee or if you intend paying by cheque, get your entries in before the price increase takes effect.
Not got much time for writing? Fancy trying something short and sharp? Have a look at these competitions for 500 word stories. But beware, just because they’re short it doesn’t mean they’re easy. It’s very difficult to get a beginning, middle and end, plus a bit of character development into 500 words.
- The Flash 500 Competition is a quarterly competition with an open theme, the next closing date is the 31st March and there is the option of receiving a critique on your story. Entry fee is £5 and there is a £250 first prize plus publication in Words with Jam
- Emerald Writing Workshops also run a quarterly competition with the next closing date being 28th February. The theme varies and the for the current competition the story must be set in an airport. Previous winning entries plus the judge’s comments are available on the website. Entry fee is 5 second class stamps for a total prize fund of £75.
- Spilling Ink Review have a flash fiction competition for stories up to 500 words in length. The closing date is 1st April 2011 and it is an open theme. Prizes are £250, £125 and £50 plus a free copy of their annual print anthology. Entry fee is £5
But if they all sound like too much hard work then take the easy option and enter my free prize draw instead.