What is flash fiction, what’s going on and where to submit

All about flash fiction

National Flash Fiction Day is on 24th June 2017. Calum Kerr, writer, editor and lecturer,  created a day for flash fiction back in 2012 and like a lightning bolt it has transformed the fiction landscape, celebrating very short stories.

The South West is a hotspot for flash activities with Bristol hosting the launch of the National Flash Fiction anthology for the last couple of years. This year the anthology is being launched at the Bath Flash Fiction Festival, the UK’s first festival devoted to the form.


  • The UK’s first Flash Fiction Festival takes place on 24th – 25th June 2017 in Bath
  • Entries are open for Flash Flood journal between 15th June – 22nd  2017. This competition is organised by  National Flash Fiction Day. They want your best flash fictions of less than 500 words. Prize – your story published on the flash fiction blog
  • Events take place in Manchester, and Ireland. Details at National Flash Fiction Day
  • In Bristol, on 19th June Novel Nights, presents an evening focusing on short and flash fiction with readings and a talk and Q and A with guest speaker, KM Elkes.

Where to submit

With all competitions, it’s good practice to understand the publication you’re submitting to. Read it, buy it, support other writers and the editors who sift through submissions and publish work.

This list isn’t definitive. If you would like to be featured here send information to grace@novelnights.co.uk

  • Litro Magazine has a rolling submission programme. Free entry
  • National Flash Fiction Day – competition with prize of publication in annual anthology, 100 word – it also lists magazines and online outlets where you can submit
  • Ambit – up to 1,000 words, submission fee £6.  “We’re very enthusiastic about flash and very short fiction too which is under 1000 words that have not been published elsewhere including blogs and internet. Our portal opens twice a year on 1st of February and 1st of September”
  • Flash Magazine The International Short-Short Story Magazine,– accepts stories up to 360 words
  • Open Pen – take stories between 50 – 4,000 words
  • Bath Flash Fiction Award A rolling flash fiction award for stories under 300 words. A novella-in-flash award for stories 6,000 – 18,000 word limit in 1,000 word flashes.

Major Competitions

  • Bristol Short Story Prize – annual competition for short story writers
  • Bridport Prize – annual competition. In 2017 judged by Kit de Waal. Prize money £1,000
  • Fish Publishing annual competition. Flash Fiction – 300 words or less. Short Story – 5,000 words or less

Definitions of Flash Fiction

  • A dribble – a story of 50 words or less
  • A drabble – a story of exactly one hundred words, excluding the title.
  • Micro-fiction – a story of three hundred words or less
  • Sudden fiction – 750 words
  • Short fiction or short short fiction – it’s short
  • Flash fiction – 1000 words or less
  • Such definitions are not necessarily fixed – this is a guide to what you can expect.