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Sunday, September 29, 2019


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NEXT DEADLINE 30th September 2019

The competition runs quarterly, with deadlines on 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December.

Word limit is 500 words of prose. It’s a flash thing, y’all. Short and punchy, right in the feels, please.
There’s no theme. No restriction on genre or style. We just want your best words.

However: please note that this is a flash fiction competition. Please don’t send us poetry, scripts, essays, or stories longer than 500 words. They will all be automatically rejected. Sorry. Them’s the breaks.

Winners will be published on the Writers’ HQ site and in an annual print anthology.

12 months Writers’ HQ membership, 3 free retreats* (cash value £450), a massive gold star and a pat on the head

6 months Writers’ HQ membership and 3 free retreats* (cash value £270), a medium gold star and a pat on the back

3 months Writers’ HQ membership and 3 free retreats* (cash value £180), a small gold star and a kick up the bum

[*Note: we currently only run writing retreats in the UK, but if you’re not a UKer we’d be happy to switch up the retreat aspect of the prize for a critique instead]


Send us up to 500 words of flash fiction (not including title)

Rolling deadlines: 31st March 2019, 30th June 2019, 30th September, 31st December (all deadlines end at midnight GMT)

Open theme/subject but anything misogynist/homophobic/racist/abusive etc is gonna get deleted superfastthankyougoodbye

This competition is for FLASH FICTION only – poems, scripts, essays and children’s book manuscripts (yes, we’ve received all of these) will be rejected, sorry

Entry is FREE (because yay inclusivity!) but if you have the means to do so you are very welcome and actively encouraged to make an optional donation to our bursary scheme to fund places on our courses and retreats for low income and minority writers.

Maximum of 3 entries per author

We’d prefer unpublished stories but posting on your personal blog is fine

Simultaneous subs are fine (just let us know if your story has been accepted elsewhere)
Judging is blind so please do not put any identifying details (your name, email etc) on your story document

Please use a boring, easy-to-read font of around 12pt size.

Submit your entry using the form down below as a doc, docx or pdf attachment. (Any questions or general chat please email to but please don’t send your stories via email or they will be immediately disqualified!)

  • Do not include your name ANYWHERE on your story.
  • Use page numbers.
  • Use your story title as your file name, eg: my-amazing-story.pdf (or .doc, or .docx). This is very simple to do. Please do not ignore this instruction. And DO NOT put your name in the title (see point 1 above). Just to be clear, if your story is called Feather On A Millpond and it’s a PDF, you name your file feather-on-a-millpond.pdf. If your story is called The Blindness Of Mauve and it’s a docx, you call your file the-blindness-of-mauve.docx
  • Triple check your name isn’t anywhere in your document (are you seeing a pattern here?).
  • Send us your motherflapping story.

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