Thank you to all who submitted to this year's Flash Fiction Contest! 

Our staff and our brilliant guest judge Jennifer A. Howard are currently reading and deliberating. Keep an eye on our website and social media for announcements about winners!

In the meantime, read more about Jennifer and the contest below.

Jennifer A. Howard

About Jennifer:

Jennifer A. Howard teaches and edits Passages North at Northern Michigan University, in the snowy Upper Peninsula. Her latest chapbook is Flat Stanley Reports Back to His Third Grader, published by The Cupboard Pamphlet. She photographs chickadees, crochets granny squares, and swims in inland lakes until late in the summer when Superior finally warms up.

What Jennifer looks for in a winning flash piece:
While I of course like very tiny narrative stories – people action talking – I also love flash that experiments and crosses genre boundaries: tiny meditations, experimental structures, prose poems, micro essays heavy with research. I love to learn, about science, history, the natural world, unfamiliar jobs and landscapes. And I like genre tropes made literary and small, especially sci-fi but also mysteries. I’m drawn to plain language, directness, and insight that surprises because it's stated so clearly. The best small stories, to me, are built from genuine curiosity about the world, and about how people work, and when that careful attention comes through on the page, I can’t help but be in.


Submission Guidelines

Theme: no theme! We your most unrestrained, original work.

Word count: 1,000 words max, no min.

Submission period: Submissions extended until Monday, September 11th!

Submission fee: $8 per submission; $18 per submission with feedback from one of our editors.

Guest judge for this awesome flash fiction contest: Just you wait and see… we can’t wait to announce it (and we will be announcing it soon!). Keep your eyes on our website and social media.


First Prize: $100 (to be awarded in the form of sweet, sweet cash via PayPal)

Second Prize: $50 (also to be awarded via PayPal)

The winning pieces will be published and featured in Volume 10 of Fatal Flaw, set to launch in mid-November. Additionally, the winning writers will receive special promotion on social media and be featured in an interview on our website and on Instagram Live. 

Additionally, the winners will be invited to showcase their work at our next in-person reading in NYC or at our next virtual reading (if you are unable to travel to New York).

What does fatal flaw look for?

For an idea of the type of work we usually gravitate toward, check out our most recent issue or learn more about us on our About page.

Looking for some flash-specific inspiration? Learn more about the winners of our 2022 Flash Fiction Contest, thoughtfully selected by last year's guest judge, Cheryl Pappas, and featured in Vol. 6: FATAL FLAW.



About the author:

Michelle Champagne is the Editor-in-Chief of Susurrus, A Literary Arts Magazine of the American South. She earned her Master’s in English at Wake Forest University, where she was the Graduate Fellow for Fiction Collective 2. Her work has been published in The Pinch, Ligeia, Sledgehammer Lit, and more.

Cheryl's note:
“Honeytrap” dances between worlds, between elements of familiar myths and fairy tales and commonplace ones from our modern lives; it questions in delightful, awake language those age-old symbols—apples and sleeping girls—all while offering a narrative that tells the reader: This is a lie. Keep listening. The last line is deliciously fierce. The fatal flaw will surprise you. I kept reading this story again and again to understand its magic.



About the author:

Originally from the midwest, Alex now lives in Brooklyn, NY. She spends her days helping improve government services as part of the growing civic tech community. In her spare time she writes short fiction, runs, and tries to get her two cats to take her seriously.

Cheryl's note:
I was absolutely captivated by this tightly woven modern retelling about Medusa, one of the three Gorgon sisters. In sensual, vivid detail, we see this young woman on the verge of transformation after she goes home with a man from the bar. I was impressed that the writer so judiciously incorporated backstory, as well, with fresh, haunting imagery.

For more about our 2022 winning writers, check out their Q&A on our Features page.