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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Havok seeks flash fiction

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Answering the Call
February 2020 (deadline: December 1)


Every great hero’s journey starts with a choice. Whether faced with an ancient prophecy or a secret admirer, the best characters are always faced with an important question: “Do I step up to the challenge or not?” What if Harry Potter had stayed under the Dursley’s stairs? What if Walter White had remained a law-abiding chemistry teacher? What if Neo had taken the blue pill? What if Bill and Ted had decided to fail their history class so they could focus on music? What if Luke Skywalker had never left Tatooine? What if Elle Woods had decided to become a hairdresser because Harvard Law was too hard? Every decision comes with consequences, and this month, you get to decide the fate of the world, or at least the fate of the high school dance. Whether your hero answers the call or not is up to you. But don’t make your choice lightly, because ultimately, it’s the fate of your story that hangs in the balance.

Havok provides sharp, memorable fiction under 1,000 words. We want stories that hit fast and strike hard––stories that, no matter the genre, can cut through the day’s troubles and grip distracted readers. And there’s no quicker way to get your masterpiece rejected than to ignore our submission guidelines. So read through the following information and be sure to follow it to the letter. Or else…

Your Story

  • Your well-edited story should be between 300 and 1,000 words long.
  • We only accept stories that fit our daily genres (mystery, science fiction, comedy, thriller, fantasy) and Season Themes. Check ’em out. The themes function as story prompts that will help us together craft story collections that readers will love.
  • Tip: Make sure your opening lines have a strong hook! Hook our editors and you’ll have a better chance all around.


  • Previously published flash fiction.
  • Fan fiction. All stories must comply with copyright and trademark law.
  • Collaborative work with multiple authors. You must be the sole author of your story.
  • Scenes/excerpts/synopses from novels (however, you can use existing characters from your own novels).
  • Excessive violence, profanity, or erotica in any form. These stories are going on the internet. And the internet is gross enough already. Use a PG-13 movie rating as a guide.
  • Conversely, we don’t want thinly veiled stories that preach from a soapbox of any sort, whether political, religious, or otherwise. Again, the internet is gross enough already.

FLASH FICTION RESOURCE & SAMPLE STORIES: The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction is a great place to learn the fundamentals and intricacies of flash fiction if you’re new to the genre. Also, we encourage you to peruse our story sample and daily free story so you can get a feel for the type of well-written flash fiction we typically publish.

Submission Process

We only accept submissions within our Accepted Genres (mystery, scifi, comedy, thriller, and fantasy) that fit our Season Themes. If a story that doesn’t fit the theme is submitted, that story will be unceremoniously rejected. Hard.
Review our Manuscript & Email Formatting Guidelines carefully for instructions on how to format your story (we provide a downloadable MS Word template to make it easy).
Upload your properly formatted story using our SUBMISSION FORM.
IMPORTANT: Add to your allowed senders list, or our reply may go to your junk/spam email folder.


Once submissions for a Season Theme are opened, we review and acquire submitted stories continuously until we acquire all stories for each month. Our editors will start sending out acceptance and rejection emails during the first week of each month for the next month’s stories (e.g., if you submitted a story for January, you should hear something the first week of December). Once all days in a given month have been acquired, submissions for that month will be closed. Please check the website before submitting to make sure submissions are still open for your target Theme.

If Your Story is Acquired for Daily Flash Publication on

RIGHTS: Havok retains the rights to exclusive electronic publication of Daily Flash stories for six-months from the online publication date and reserves the right to maintain that story in our online members-only databases in perpetuity. But after that six-month exclusivity period ends you have the freedom to publish your story elsewhere as well–UNLESS your story is acquired for an anthology. Other terms are delineated in our contract.

AUTHOR BIO & PHOTO: If your story is selected for Daily Flash publication, you may submit a 50-word bio and a high-resolution headshot (at least 300 dpi .jpg or .tif file). Your headshot should be professional—no “selfies,” props, or excessive shadows. You must own the rights to all images you send to us, including those of your headshots. Instructions for submitting these items will be sent at the time of acquisition of your story.

PAYMENT: Authors are paid if their stories are selected for inclusion in an anthology.

If Your Story is Acquired for an Anthology

At least twice a year, the top stories (as determined by our editorial staff) over the previous months will be selected for publication in an anthology alongside best-selling authors. This anthology will be available in print and digital formats.

RIGHTS: Havok retains the rights to all Anthology stories for one year from the online publication date and reserves the right to reprint the anthology in which your story was published in perpetuity, but after that one year period ends, you have full rights to your story again. Other terms are delineated in our contract.


Havok pays authors $10 via PayPal for each story published in an Anthology, and you will receive one complimentary digital copy of the anthology.**
The Editor’s Choice Award winner will receive one free print copy of the anthology and a $100 Amazon gift card, additional literary rewards, and fame.
The Reader’s Choice Award winner (the anthology story that receives the highest reader ranking) will receive one free print copy of the anthology, a $50 Amazon gift card, additional literary rewards, and fame.
* Fame mileage may vary. Fame may grow over time. Don’t take more fame than the suggested daily dosage. If a rash develops, or you experience dry mouth, dry heaves, or need to dry your eyes, consult an industry professional or a wise old woman in the woods.

** We understand that $10 is a paltry sum to some professional authors. One of our primary business goals now that we’ve launched is to pay professional rates for every acquisition (including those published on our website). Until that happens, we appreciate every author who loves what we’re doing enough to join us on this grand adventure!

There is never a fee to submit your stories to Havok.

Before You Submit

Double check to make sure you’re fulfilling all guidelines. If you don’t, we won’t read your story until you resend it in the prescribed format. Srsly.

Please see our Season Themes page for the theme schedule, including when submissions open and if the current theme has closed for submissions.

Should we select one of your works for publication, we will notify you via email. If you don’t hear from us within four weeks after your submission, feel free to follow up.

Thank you for your interest in Havok. Please contact us with any questions or submissions at submissions (at)

Andrew Winch
Havok Publishing

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