Flash fiction competitions 2020

[Updated 3/5/20] It’s been a while since I featured a flash fiction competition list, so here are some interesting things coming up. A few of these competitions push the boat out in terms of the micro form, asking for collections of flashes that work together as a whole. Could yield some very interesting results.

As always, check out the finer details for yourself before entering. Happy New Year and good luck!

Totes worth having
  • Lunate 500 Flash Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: January 15
  • Prizes: 1st place £40, 2nd place £30, 3rd place £20. The three winners will also receive a Lunate Fiction literary journal tote bag. All shortlisted stories (including winners) will be offered publication on the site and inclusion in future print anthologies
  • Theme: ‘The First’, however you choose to interpret that
  • Word limit: 500 words
  • Entry fee: £2 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • TSS/BIFFY50 Awards Microfiction Competition
  • Closing date: January 31 (quarterly)
  • Prize: £75 and publication on The Short Story (TSS) website. The judge may also pick up to three Highly Commended writers who will also be offered publication
  • Theme: ‘Beginnings’
  • Word limit: 100 words (including title)
  • Entry fee: free to enter, one entry only, and you have to nominate a piece of flash fiction for the BIFFY50, written by a British or Irish writer, published ONLINE between November 1, 2019, and January 31, 2020. The organisers encourage participants to tweet their via @TheBIFFY50. Open internationally
  • London Independent Story Prize (LISP): Flash Fiction
  • Closing date: February 9 (quarterly)
  • Prize: £100 and publication on the LISP website, as well as an interview with the winner
  • Theme: none
  • Word limit: 300 words
  • Entry fee: early bird £5 per entry until January 12, thereafter £7 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • National Flash Fiction Day Microfiction Competition
  • Closing date: February 15
  • Prizes: 1st place £100, 2nd place £50, 3rd place £25. The winning and shortlisted authors will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2020 anthology. Winning and shortlisted authors will receive a free print copy
  • Theme: none
  • Word limit: up to three flashes of 100 words or less each
  • Entry fee: £2 for one entry, £3.75 for two, £5.25 for three. Open internationally
  • Bath Flash Fiction Award
  • Closing date: February 16 (rolling competition held three times a year)
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd place £300, 3rd place £100. Two commendations receive £30 each. 50 longlisted entrants are offered publication in the end-of-year print and digital anthology and receive a free copy
  • Theme: none
  • Word limit: 300 words
  • Entry fee: £9 for one entry, £15 for two, £18 for three. Open internationally
  • Fish Flash Fiction Prize
  • Closing date: February 28
  • Prizes: 1st place €1,000. 2nd place €300, 3rd place an online writing course with Fish Publishing. The top 10 stories will be published in the Fish Anthology 2020
  • Theme: none
  • Word limit: 300 words
  • Entry fee: €14 for one entry, €8 for subsequent entries, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Reflex Fiction Spring 2020 Flash Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: February 29
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd place £500, 3rd place £250
  • Theme: none
  • Word limit: 180-360 words
  • Entry fee: choose your own entry fee system. The suggested entry fee is £7 per entry (£6 per entry for two, or £5 per entry for three or more), but if that’s prohibitive, just pay what you can afford. If you’d like to support a writer who can’t afford the full fee, there’s an option to donate towards other entrants. Open internationally
  • Writing for a Change: (Irish Writers Centre) Flash Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: March 11 (5pm)
  • Prizes: there will be four winners – two Irish language winners, one over 30 and one under 30, and two English language winners, one over 30 and one under 30. Each will win a place on a one-day writing workshop at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin, publication in Irish environmentalist literary magazine Channel, a €50 book voucher and the opportunity to read at the competition event alongside IWC commissioned writers in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin on April 28
  • Theme: the climate crisis, in partnership with the National Botanic Gardens and Channel. Can be fiction or CNF
  • Word limit: 400 words
  • Entry fee: free to enter. No details about whether it’s open to international entries, but the prizes do rely on the winners being in the country
  • The Cambridge Prize for Flash Fiction 2020
  • Closing date: March 15
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd place £300, 3rd place £200, and shortlisted stories will be awarded £50. All shortlisted and winning writers will be published online across 2020
  • Theme: none
  • Word limit: 400 words
  • Entry fee: early bird (until February 14) £8; £9 thereafter. There will be a limited number of free entries for those in economic hardship – full details tbc. Open internationally
  • Retreat West Themed Flash Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: March 29 (quarterly)
  • Prizes: 1st place £200. Two runners-up will win £100 each, and the three winning stories will be published on the Retreat West site
  • Theme: ‘Abandoned’, however you choose to interpret it. Themes for the three competitions coming up later in the year are ‘Music’ (June), ‘Glass’ (September) and ‘Bridges’ (December)
  • Word limit: 500 words
  • Entry fee: £8 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • 2020 QuietManDave Prize
  • Closing date: April 17 (5pm)
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd place £200, 3rd place £50
  • Theme: none (but flashes can be fiction or CNF)
  • Word limit: 500 words
  • Entry fee: £5 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Sponsored entries are available for those who might not otherwise be able to participate; you can also sponsor an entry (or entries) for someone else. Open internationally
  • Retreat West Novelette-in-Flash Prize 2020
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prizes: 1st place an eight-month mentoring package with writer, tutor and editor Mary-Jane Holmes to write a new novelette, novella-in-flash or flash collection. 2nd place a Retreat West Gold Flash Membership. 3rd place a feedback report from Mary-Jane Holmes on the novelette submitted. Shortlisted writers will receive feedback on one story from the novelette submitted from either Mary-Jane or Retreat West founder Amanda Saint
  • Theme: none
  • Word limit: 3,000-8,000 words, consisting of standalone flashes of max 500 words each
  • Entry fee: £10 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Hastings Writers’ Room Flash Fiction Five/Twenty Nine Competition
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prizes: 1st place a Retreat West Gold Flash Fiction Membership (worth £200) or £100 cash alternative, 2nd place a Retreat West Silver Flash Fiction Membership (worth £100) or £50 cash alternative
  • Theme: can be on any theme, but the idea is to submit five stories that work together as a collection or sequence
  • Word limit: five stories with a maximum of 29 words each, coming to a max of 145 in total
  • Entry fee: £7 for one entry (of five connected stories), £10 for two entries. Open internationally
  • The Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000 and an invitation to the awards lunch to read your story to the audience, chat to the judges, meet other writers, agents and take part in publicity. 2nd place £500, 3rd place £250, both with an invitation to the awards lunch. 3 Highly Commended stories will be awarded £100 each. All the winning and highly commended pieces will be published in the Bridport Prize anthology
  • Word limit: 250 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £9 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Wild Atlantic Writing Awards (Flash Fiction)
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prize: €500. The winner will also receive a free place on an Ireland Writing Retreat of their choice in Paris or Donegal in 2021 (valued at €990, it will include excursions, by land and sea, food and drinks tastings, concerts and dance performances, writing workshops and author talks, but does NOT include travel or accommodation)
  • Word limit: 500 words
  • Theme: ‘Writing’
  • Entry fee: €10 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Michael Mullen Cancer Fund Flash Fiction Competition 2020
  • Closing date: July 16
  • Prizes: 1st place €100, 2nd €50. Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded at a special event in Naas Library as part of the 2020 Kildare Readers Festival (scheduled for October 1-20, but this is obviously open to change closer to the time depending on the Covid-19 situation).The winning entries in each competition will be published on the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund website and also on the Kildare Library and Arts Service website
  • Word limit: 500 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: €10 per entry, multiple entries permitted. All entry feeds will go to the Michael Mullen Cancer Fund

Photos: Peter H/Pixabay; Kaboompics/Pixabay; Skitterphoto/Pixabay

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