“Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.”
~~Jean Luc Godard Editor’s comment: How true is that!
Writer Advice’s Flash Prose Submission Information:
THE NEW NORMAL:
What 2020 is Exposing
Writer Advice seeks both Flash Fiction and Flash Memoir for our summer contest. Write about what’s happening in your immediate life, in your community, in your country or in the life of a character as we face Covid-19, racial awareness, and the upcoming elections.
That’s a huge topic so your first step is to narrow it down. NOTE: You can write as yourself or as a character. These suggestions may trigger even better ones from you. You are not limited to them.
- Write about something you saw, heard, or felt and how it affected your sense of normalcy.
- Write about a frontline fighter against Covid-19 or a speaker at a Black Lives Matter march.
- Write about a medical professional or a contact tracer or any of our thousands of unsung heroes. Notes in a diary and lists are both acceptable forms as long as we see a beginning, middle, end, and some character growth.
- Write about being unfairly arrested or hassled or misunderstood or underappreciated. Or write about handling a person who fits that description.
- Write what happens when someone in your family has Covid or you lose friends or foes to disease or violence. Yes, you may write this as a characters.
- Write about a particular news story that depresses or energizes you.
- Write if you love or hate masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, social distancing or if you think the virus is fake news. Either your story or a character’s story can work here too.
- Write about the police in your community or tell about a stop or arrest if you are a part of the police.
- Write about being laid off or working from home or being a business owner this year.
- Write about being Black, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Indian, something else, or mixed race this year. This is a place where you can try on another ethnicity if you want. Please be authentic and sensitive if you do.
- Write a letter to your grandkids (born or not), to your future students, or to someone you lost about what happened after they were gone.
- Of course you are not limited by these ideas. Write your story about what you see happening and where it may lead us. Write it as yourself or as a character.
My suggestion is that you keep in mind that we’re looking for complete stories in 750 words or less so pick your subjects and your words carefully. You could write a book or two about 2020, but that would not be right for this contest. Flash Prose focuses on an incident and how it enlightened, educated, entertained, surprised, or distressed the narrator.
Of course we accept simultaneous submissions. Please notify us immediately if the piece is accepted elsewhere.
We want strong, polished work, and we guarantee a response from an award-winning author, whether you are a finalist or not. Please submit through Submittable only.
The last day we’ll accept submissions is Wednesday, September 2. Early submissions are encouraged. A $14 fee helps us pay expenses. That said, we want to read your work and hope you will submit to Writer Advice’s Flash Prose Contest.
Finalists receive responses from all judges. Everyone receives a detailed response from award-winning author B. Lynn Goodwin.
DEADLINE: Submit to the WriterAdvice Flash Fiction Contest by September 2, 2020. Early submissions strongly encouraged.
JUDGES: will be selected from previous prizewinners. Their names will be announced soon and you can read their pieces by clicking on Archives.
PRIZES: First Place earns $150; Second Place earns $75; Third Place earns $40; Honorable Mentions will also be listed.
FOR BEST RESULTS:
- Include your name, contact information, and title in the cover letter, but include only your title in the submission so it remains anonymous.
- Since we judge these anonymously, you don’t need a cover letter that includes more than your contact information including your e-mail address. If you are a finalist, we’ll ask for a bio.
- Please double-space your submission. We recommend that you use a 14-point font that is easy to read. Cambria, Ariel, and Verdana are all good. If you forget, we can fix it for you.
- You own the copyright. If we publish your work, the rights still belong to you.
- Simultaneous submissions accepted. You may submit up to 3 pieces to us, but each one must be submitted separately.
- We prefer unpublished work, though we do accept stand-alone excerpts from fiction seeking a publisher or agent. If it doesn’t work as a stand-alone, it’s best to submit it elsewhere.
- If you have questions, please click on the contact button and ask.
COMMENTS FROM PREVIOUS CONTESTANTS:
“WriterAdvice.com is one of my all-time most reliable and accessible sites for writers. I use it—and recommend it to my clients.” ~Carolyn Howard-Johnson, multi award-winning author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers (http://howtodoitfrugally.com), poetry and fiction
“I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told about the great feedback you give to folks no matter how many entries you get.” –Bill Buschel
“Just a quick note to say THANK YOU for this feedback. It’s such a refreshing experience to have some exchange — as most submissions disappear into the either like rogue satellites.” –Charles Watts
“Thank you so much for your detailed feedback!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to read and analyze my work . . . It’s not every day a contest gives you comprehensive feedback instead of a simple yes/no!” –Lena Crown
“Your insights are excellent” –Dan Dubelman
“You are the first professional to offer feedback and your encouraging words have given me additional motivation! It is reassuring to know that I was on the right track; you have a remarkable ability to give constructive feedback in a positive way (and you are absolutely correct). I look forward to submitting more stories and continuing to improve.” –Jamie Fouty
“I learned about this contest from the Submittable page. I then checked out your website and felt comfortable submitting my story as you seem like someone who genuinely wants to help and advise others.” –Roger Yetzer
“Thank you so much for your feedback! I really appreciate you taking the time to give me your thoughts. I’m always striving to improve my writing, and feedback from editors like you make it much easier to do so.” –Margarite R. Stever
“Many thanks for your response, from it, I can tell you’re very good at what you do.” –Kisa, Visually Versed
“Thank you so much for your feedback, it always makes me feel inspired and motivated.” –Elizabeth Cockle
“Thanks for the wonderful feedback, never, never, got that before in thirty years.” –Jenny Hickinbotham
All entries should be submitted through Submittable,
Winners will be announced on WriterAdvice, www.writeradvice.com at the beginning of October or—worst case — because no one knows what may happen as the year progresses — later.