Flash fiction competitions 2021

[UPDATED 13/4/21] Happy New Year to you all – how’s it going so far?

I’ve been sitting on a UK and Ireland flash fiction competition list for a while, waiting for several regular ones to be announced, but a lot still seem to be in hibernation. This is understandable when times are so uncertain, particularly with regards to festivals. So this is the information I have at the moment, and I will add to it as and when new competitions are announced.

Best of luck, as always, and I hope you’ll find great comfort and escape in your writing world this year.

  • Retreat West Monthly Micro Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: January 10 (monthly competition with a different theme every month)
  • Prizes: 1st place 30% of the entry fees received for the competition. 2nd place 20% of the entry fees received. Both finalists will receive a free entry to the Retreat West annual Flash Fiction Prize (top prize £350) and the winning stories will be published on the website. Shortlisted writers will receive a free entry to the next Monthly Micro Fiction Competition. There will also be a secret People’s Prize which will change each month and be revealed with the results 
  • Theme: ‘Flight’, however you choose to interpret it (this is the prompt for January only, check the website for the latest one)
  • Word limit: 100 words exactly
  • Entry fee: £5 per entry (with an option to receive feedback for £25), multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-flash Award
  • Closing date: January 17
  • Prizes: 1st place £300, two runner-up prizes of £100. The three finalists will be published as individual novellas. All entries will be considered for publication. Each published author receives five copies
  • Theme: none
  • Word limit: 6,000-18,000 words. Each flash should be no more than about 1,000 words
  • Entry fee: £16 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • The Phare magazine WriteWords Flash Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: January 17
  • Prizes: 1st place £100, an invitation to record the entry for the journal’s podcast and a free place in The Phare’s WriteLines online writing retreat. 2nd place £50. Both finalists will appear in the February competition issue and be published in a print anthology
  • Word limit: 1,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £7 for one flash, £12 for two. Appears to be open internationally
  • Fiction Factory Flash Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: January 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £150, 2nd £50, 3rd £25
  • Word limit: 1,000 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £5 for one entry, £9 for two, £13 for three. Open internationally
Last year’s anthology cover was a beauty
  • Bath Flash Fiction Award
  • Closing date: February 7 (rolling competition)
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd £300, 3rd £100. Two Commended prizes of £30. Fifty authors will be offered print publication in the annual anthology, and will each receive a free copy
  • Word limit: 300 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £9 for one entry, £15 for two, £18 for three. Open internationally
  • National Flash Fiction Day (NFFD) Microfiction Competition
  • Closing date: February 15
  • Prizes: 1st place £150, 2nd £100, 3rd £50. The winning and shortlisted authors will be published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2021 anthology, and receive a free print copy of the anthology
  • Word limit: 100 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £2 for one entry, £3.75 for two, £5.25 for three, up to three entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Free Flash Fiction Competition Two
  • Closing date: February 23 (opens for entries January 5)
  • Prize: £75 and publication on the Free Flash Fiction website. Two Commended flashes and two shortlisted entries will also be featured
  • Word limit: 100-300 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £1 per entry. Appears to be international
  • Fish Flash Fiction Prize 2021
  • Closing date: February 28
  • Prizes: 1st place €1,000, 2nd €300, 3rd a place on an online writing course with Fish Publishing. The top 10 stories will be published in the Fish Anthology 2021
  • Word limit: 300 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: €14 for one flash, €8 for any subsequent entries. Open internationally
  • The Blinkpot Flash Fiction Award
  • Closing date: February 28 (biannual)
  • Prizes: 1st place £200. The top three flashes will be published on the Blinkpot site , and they and the onglisted entries will be published in the Blinkpot ebook
  • Word limit: 80-100 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: free to enter, one entry only. Open internationally
  • Reflex Fiction Spring 2021 Flash Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: February 28
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,200, 2nd £600, 3rd £300, 4th £150. All longlisted stories will be eligible for publication in the year five print anthology to be published in June 2022. Featured authors will receive one free copy
  • Word limit: 180-360 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: choose your own entry fee system. The suggested entry fee is £7 per entry (£6 per entry for two, £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
Looking for your weird and wonderful stories
  • The Wild Hunt magazine Short Story Competition
  • Closing date: March 9
  • Prizes: 1st place £200, 2nd £100, 3rd a copy of competition judge Helen McClory‘s new novel Bitterhall. All three will be published on The Wild Hunt magazine website
  • Word limit: 500-3,000 words (I’m including it in this flash fiction list because of the minimum permitted word count)
  • Theme: none, but they are looking for stories of literary merit that embrace the mission and ethos of The Wild Hunt magazine. The journal is described as celebrating ‘the weird, surreal, the other, and imaginary worlds (ie. not actual hunting!). Its aim is to feature writing and artwork that includes strange occurrences, mysterious places, magic, creatures and monsters, the uncanny, fairies, folklore, horror, the ghostly and ghoulish, and any whirlwind adventures’
  • Entry details: £4 per story, up to three entries permitted. Open internationally
  • Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition
  • Closing date: March 31 (quarterly competition)
  • Prizes: 1st place £300, 2nd £200, 3rd £100
  • Word limit: 500 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £5 for one flash, £8 for two. There’s an option to receive a critique for £15 per flash. Open internationally
  • National Association of Writers and Groups (NAWG) 100×100 Spring Competition
  • Closing date: May 1
  • Prizes: £100. The winning entry will be published on the NAWG website and in LINK magazine, NAWG’s bi-monthly member magazine. The winner will also be given the option of publication in NAWG’s annual anthology
  • Word limit: must be exactly 100 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee:  £3 for one flash, £5 for two, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally (you don’t have to be a member of the association to enter)
  • Wild Atlantic Writing Flash Fiction Award
  • Closing date: May 2
  • Prizes: 1st place €500. The top ten finalists will receive special Ireland Writing Retreat certificates, and their stories will be published on the website
  • Word limit: 500 words
  • Theme: ‘Love’
  • Entry fee:  €10 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally
  • The Cambridge Flash Fiction Prize 2021
  • Closing date: May 14 (opens for entries February 15)
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd place £300, 3rd place  £200, and all remaining shortlisted writers will be awarded £50. The winners and shortlisted stories will be published on the TSS Publishing site
  • Word limit: 400 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: there’s a staggered entry fee, with early-bird of £7.50 from February 15-March 14, £8.50 until April 14 and then £9.50 until the closing date, multiple entries permitted. There will also be 30 free entries for those in economic hardship on a first come, first served basis. Open internationally
  • The Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction
  • Closing date: May 31
  • Prizes: 1st place £1,000, 2nd £500, 3rd £250. Three Highly Commended stories will be awarded £100 each. All the winning and highly commended pieces will be published in the annual Bridport Prize anthology
  • Word limit: 250 words
  • Theme: none
  • Entry fee: £9 per entry, multiple entries permitted. Open internationally

Photos: Alexas Fotos/Pixabay; Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

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