I’m going to keep this brief. Because brevity is soul of wit, and … well, you know. Scribbler is inviting you to enter its first-ever Flash Fiction Contest. What is flash fiction? It is the prose writer’s chance to tell a story in as few words as possible. There are plenty of places you can find flash fiction online, and multiple anthologies you can check out from your St. Louis Public Library. You can also explore writers like Lydia Davis or Amy Hempel. Hell, there’s a Frenchman called Felix Feneon who wrote Novels in Three Lines, containing gems like these (Feneon’s tart and bleak anecdotes are a perfect fit for Twitter):
There is no longer a God even for drunkards. Kersilie, of Saint-Germain, who had mistaken the window for the door, is dead.
Flash fictions challenge prose writers to approach the precision and compression of poetry. They push us to dive into the story without any preliminary throat-clearing. They force us to get to the point. Flash fiction makes it sound fast, but it’s the kind of writing that makes us read slowly, because it is dense and rich, because every word has been tested and considered.
What makes it work is the limitation. Sometimes it’s 1000 words, sometimes 500. For this contest the limit is going to be 750 words. That is three pages double-spaced. This is a hard limit and all stories that exceed 750 words will be disqualified.
So what do you say? The STL Scribblers group will be reading flash fictions at our meeting on March 2, 2015. There will be a popular vote, and the story with the most votes will be published on this blog. Any current or former members of the STL Scribblers, readers of this blog, or patrons of St. Louis Public Library are eligible to participate.
1. Submit a story of no more than 750 words by March 2, 2015–you can bring them in person to our meeting at Central Library or submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 pm.
2. Give your story a title, but do not include your name on the manuscript, as they will be read anonymously.
3. Winning entry will be published on Scribbler in March 2015. Winner will be determined by popular vote at March STL Scribblers meeting at Central Library. They will also receive a small prize (**update: a $25 gift card from Left Bank Books). The winning writer will retain all rights to their work.
Good luck! We look forward to reading your work!
This post comes in at 419 words, FYI.