There has been a huge increase in flash fiction opportunities over the last few years, and it’s a genre that seems to be getting ever more popular. As the name suggests, it is quick, short fiction. This can be anything from 50 words to a surprising 1000 words.
I’ve come across several markets - some paying, some regular competitions, and some just for fun. I’m posting as many as I can think of at the moment!
Txtlit: Text a story from your mobile phone in no more than 160 characters, including title, spaces and punctuation. There is a monthly theme on their website. It costs £1 entry, plus standard call charge (taken from your mobile) and the prize is £50.
CBA: An annual fiction competition for all Commonwealth countries. Maximum 600 words. Closing date for 2010 is 31st March. Free entry.
ReadingWriters: Regular competitions – the current one is for a story of no more than 500 words and the theme is ‘snow’. Hurry with this one as the closing date is 15th January. Free entry online.
Paragraph Planet: Just for fun. Email a 75-word paragraph which, if accepted, will be published online (I’ve had one on it).
Mslexia (women only): Regular flash fiction section, no more than 150 words. Current theme is ‘harness’, to be in by 12th February.
Leaf Books: Regular competitions on various themes. Current ‘Mini-memoir’ comp of up to 1000 words to be in by 15th January. Also ‘Writing about Writing’ comp for up to750 words (can be any genre on the subject of writing) – to be in by 31st January.
Art-inspired comp: Sponsored by the National Galleries of Scotland and ES Union etc. Up to 1000 words (or poetry) to be sent in by 22nd January. See website.