2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Guidelines

Join us in February for our first ever February Flash Fiction Challenge! Write a new short short story each day in February with daily writing prompts from editor Moriah Richard.
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Introducing the very first Flash Fiction Challenge!

Flash Fiction Challenge

I was officially introduced to this form during my MFA when I had the opportunity to take a course dedicated to it. It immediately hooked me! There’s something electrifying about being confined to such a small space; using words to their greatest potential is the key to a great flash piece.

(What Is Flash Fiction?)

In about a month, we'll start meeting here every day to draft short short stories with writers from around the world. To get us ready to dive in, I’ll be answering a short series of questions here to outline the challenge and set our writing expectations.

What Is the Flash Fiction February Challenge?

Like Robert Lee Brewer’s April PAD Challenge, where poets are tasked with producing one draft of a poem every day, our main goal will be to produce one draft of a flash fiction piece every day in February. I'll be posting a prompt in the morning (Washington, D.C. time), and writers will draft a story in response.

Some writers will choose to share those stories on the blog in the comments on each particular post; others keep their words to themselves. I won’t require comments on the blog to participate (I too suffer from first-draft jitters!), but it does make it more fun when people join in and share their work. Plus, I'll do my best to recognize my favorite stories of the month this year by using comments on the blog.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who wants to write flash fiction–whether you've been writing all your life or just want to give it a shot now, whether you’re trying out a new form or actively write flash, whether you intend to publish these pieces or are just here for fun. The main thing is to write!

I should also note that I'm excited about content shared on the blog, but I expect everyone who participates in the comments to be respectful and encouraging to others. My goal is to make this challenge fun and inspiring for all. I'll be removing or warning folks who get a little carried away.

(That said, please send me an e-mail if you ever feel like someone is crossing the line. I won’t act as a censor, but I do want to make sure people aren't being bullied or attacked in the comments.)

Where Should You Share Your Stories?

If you want to share your flash pieces throughout the month, the best way is to paste your short short story in the comments on the post that corresponds with that day's prompt. For instance, post your story for the Day 1 prompt on the Day 1 post in the comments.

You'll find that people are pretty supportive here on the WD site. And if they're not, I expect to be notified via e-mail.

If you’re new to WritersDigest.com, you'll be asked to register (it's free) on the site to make comments. Plus, your comments will likely not immediately show, because I'll have to approve them. This is just for people completely new to the site; I believe after I approve your comments once, you're good to go for future comments. But if you run into problems, you can reach out via e-mail.

Flash Fiction Challenge Guidelines:

  • The challenge begins February 1 and runs through March 1 (to account for time differences in other parts of the world).
  • The main purpose of the challenge is to write flash fiction, but I also will attempt to highlight my favorite stories of the month from writers who post their stories to each day’s blog posts.
  • Write as you wish, but I will delete stories and comments that I feel are hateful. Also, if anyone abuses this rule repeatedly, I will have them banned from the site. So please "make good choices," as my mother always tells me.

Other Rules, Questions, Concerns, Etc.?

If you need any other questions answered, put them in the comments below, and I'll revise this post as needed.

Other than that, I can't wait to start writing with you in February!

When you take this online workshop, you’ll explore creative writing topics and learn how descriptive writing can breathe life into your characters, setting, and plot with Rebecca McClanahan’s Word Painting. Stretch your imagination, develop your creative writing skills, and express your creativity.

When you take this online workshop, you’ll explore creative writing topics and learn how descriptive writing can breathe life into your characters, setting, and plot with Rebecca McClanahan’s Word Painting. Stretch your imagination, develop your creative writing skills, and express your creativity.

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