30 Flash Fiction Writing Competitions With Cash Prizes

30 Flash Fiction Competitions With Cash PrizesThere are more short story competitions than words I’ve written. And I’ve written a shit load of words. But finding a FLASH fiction comp (under 1000 words) is a bit of a rarity, so when I do find one, I get a bit giddy.

But lately, I’ve had to weep myself to sleep over the number of writers who have told me they never enter competitions because either: they don’t know how to find them or didn’t know so many existed.

*Tut*

Seriously?! Don’t make me use Caps. The fastest way to get recognition, more often than not is through competitions. The road to traditional publishing (if that’s where you want to go) is like the final fight in Lord of The Rings – fucking endless. Don’t take for granted the ease of entering competitions. Most of you enter weekly writing challenges, like my writespiration, or Esther’s or Charli’s. So there’s actually no excuse.

If you don’t can’t think of shorts or flash for comps then there are plenty of comps for novels too.

Before I give you the list of comps, here’s my top tips for finding competitions:

12 TOP TIPS For Finding Writing Competitions

1 – Nothing like a good old google…!

2 – Keep a bookmarks folder dedicated to writing competitions so you can easily find them

3 – Keep a record of the competitions you enter, with entry date, date of results, the title of your story and the price of entry

4 – Subscribe to my newsletter as each month I will bring you a selection of writing competitions ending in the following month.

5 – Subscribe to Hope Clark Funds for Writers – I know, another newsletter, try not to grumble though this newsletter is chock full of competitions, agents and publishing houses looking for writers, retreats and much more.

6 – Subscribe to Adam Cohen – Winning Writers, because everyone likes a bargain. This website specialises in FREE writing competitions, and most of them have seriously juicy cash prizes.

7 – Follow Esther, cause every Wednesday she posts a new writers market.

8 – Follow Rachel as she does a monthly post on writing competitions.

9 – I don’t know what magazine’s you get overseas but in the UK there are a handful of writers magazines, in particular Writing Magazine, does a bumper edition in the new year with an entire extra magazine with competitions laid out for the whole year.

10 – Check writing magazines’ websites, they hold writing competitions every month and always with cash prizes, like this magazine and this one.

11 – Check womens’ weekly magazines, often they have competitions too.

12 – Google search for ‘Lists’ of writing competitions like Almond Press.


For the sake of saving my aching fingers from repeating words, format for the competitions listed below is:

Competition name and link, Deadline, Word Count, Entry Fee, Prizes in order of 1st, 2nd, 3rd


No Way OutMarch 30th (hurry last call), 700 words, £3.50, Prizes 1st £500, 2nd £300, 3rd £200


Honeyed Quill, 31st March (hurry last call), 100-500 words, $15, Prizes $250, $50, $25


Tethered by Letters31st March (hurry last call), 750 words, $10, Prizes $300


 One of my faves:

Less Than 100 WordsEvery Two Weeks, 100 words, 99p, Prize £20


Writing Magazine, 14th April, 750 words, £5, Prizes £200 £50


MASH, 15th April, 500 words with key words, FREE, Prize $100


Brentwood Writers Circle, 30th April, 75 words, £2, Prizes £40, £20, £15


Just 100 words, Daily, 100 words, $5 then $2 (after first entry), Prizes $50


National Association of Writers’ Groups, rolling comp closes and re opens every 100 entries, 100 words exactly, £3, Prizes £75, £25


Writers Bureau Flash Fiction Competition, 30th April, 500 words, £5, Prizes £300 + course, £200, £100


Writestars’ Short Story, 30th April, 250 words, £3.50, Prizes £100 plus goodies


Exeter Flash, 30th April, 250 words, £4, Prizes £150 £100 £50


The Page is Printed, 6 May, 1 Page, £5, Prizes 4x £75


Esther Newton, 31st May, 100 words,  £2 for up to two stories, Prizes 1st £25, 2nd £15, 3rd £10


Bridport Prize, 31st May, 250, £7, Prizes £1000 £500 £250 plus 3x £25 highly commended


Wow! 1000 Word, 31st May, 1000 words, £5, Prizes £200, £100, 50


1000 Word Challenge, Quarterly themed, 1000 words, £5, Prizes, £100, £50, £25


Bath Flash Fiction, 12th June, £9, Prizes, £1000 £300 £100


Brilliant Flash Fiction, 15th June, 750 words, Free, €50, €25, €15


Flash 500, 30th June, 30th Sept, 31st Dec, 500 words, £5, Prizes £300 £100 £50


Fiction Desk, 30th June, 250-1000words , £TBC, £TBC but last year £300 £100 & £50. Subscribe for updates on comp opening.


Ink Tears, 31 July, 500, £3, Prizes £250 £50 and 4x £25


Early Works ,  31st August, 100 words,  £3, Prizes £100


ELLE Talent Contest, 14th Sept, 700 words, Free, Prizes TBC (this isn’t open yet, but will be later in the year)


Chorleywood Literary Festival, 800 words, £5, Prizes £50 £25 (use link but actual website is down at the moment)


Mere Literary Festival, 24th Sept, 350 words plus key phrase released on 16th Sept – timed competition – open for one week only, £2, Prizes £60 £30


RW Flash, 30th Sept, 500 Words, £10, Prizes £250, £100, £75, £15

RW Monthly Themed, Last Day of Each Month, £5, Prizes £50 £25


Writers Forum, Monthly – must check mag for theme details, £5, Prizes £100 plus publication


Fish – This one has closed, however it is annual so check it out next year, 300 words, £14, Prizes €1000


If you thought this post was handy, why not subscribe to my newsletter now, for more of the same?

Have you found any other flash fiction writing competitions? If so let me know in the comments. What competitions do you enter?

73 comments

      1. If I manage Sacha, I’m sure I’ll sound the trumpets on WP!!! And if I was to win….. Goodness knows what I’d do!!!
        But in the first instance, I’ll try to actually enter one!!!!

          1. The last time I won anything writing related…. Other than a poetry mention on a blog comp last year, I was around 15, in school, and got ‘Highly commended’!
            I’ve never thought to enter a competition before!

          2. Well a lot of flash are REALLY competitive because they are short loads of people enter. I did about 30 last year and only one once!! But still, that once was enough to keep me going ??

          3. Bless you… more mad woman, I prefer to say. But thank you.
            It is a vocation indeed.
            I wanted to teach since I was 7… so 33 years!!!

  1. Wow, Sacha. Great info and you are so right that it’s a great way to get some press. I’ve never entered one of these. (I can hear you tutting). I get overwhelmed by this stuff. I’m saving this post and will start whittling away at it. Thanks for wearing your fingers to the bone pulling all this together, I feel obligated to follow through 😀 <3

    1. Thanks Diana, saw Dylan’s review of your book today too, really made me want to read it. Haha, I will forgive you for not entering – you already have a ton of books out – it was more a dig at myself truth be known!

  2. Ok so the little dig was at me, right? Or us that my ego playing games again. Right then fab list, you officially Amazeballs Queen of the May or something. I will knock off some of these just as soon as I’ve finished B&M which is taking longer than hoped courtesy of my bloody laptop (and if you so much as think Mac I will do something really awful like praise you).

    1. Actually you’re the second person to ask if it was aimed at them.

      Ironically it was aimed at neither. I’m far too blunt to be a bitch I’d just dig AT you to your face! ?

      It was more a self motivational prep talk.

      Oh and an Apple a day keeps the laptop doctor away….

      ? did I just…..

  3. Great post! Here’s the deal with getting published traditionally — they use ONE BRICK in the writer’s platform and that is credibility. With blogs we build brand, community and target audience. You can build credibility, but not the CREDIBILITY that trad pub wants to see. I get to hang with those in the US trad pub industry through BinderCon and every time they say “platform” they mean author cred. In order to get to the credible outlets, you have to win smaller bricks of credibility. Build those up and start targeting bigger contests and submissions. Get some there and you just might win bigger contests and submission where the agents and publishers cruise for new work. If you do this, you must have a completed unpublished manuscript ready to go. Yep. It’s the hard road to the Final Battle, but it is the reality of traditional publishing. Small regional presses are easier targets (if you fit what they publish) and small to medium contests will get you noticed there, too. Readers will find you through contest audiences, as well even if you independently publish. And even indies can find new doors to distribution open through winning contests. It also give you, as a writer, feedback on what works or doesn’t. Even studying contest winners is a good idea for your genre.

    But let me give you a completely different incentive: money. Because many writers hold back, lots of prize money is given to mediocre work. I’m surprised at how few writers actually enter some big paying contests. Show up to contests on a regular basis with polished pieces and you can earn some good money.

    1. Thats actually fascinating that when they say platform they really mean credibility. I wonder what their definition is then. Yeah my manuscript isn’t ready yet, so I will stick to the mini flash fiction stuff for now – I don’t think i am much of a short story writer anyway.

      I think studying contest winners is a REALLY good point – something we should all do if we intend on entering anything.

      haha – its a rarity we win though – but you’re right the money is an incentive!

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