Last year, I had the pleasure to host our very first flash fiction challenge! I first encountered the form during my MFA program, and I've found a love for how concise and vibrant short short stories can be. We had so many participants last year that we've decided to repeat the challenge again this year!
In about little more than 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.
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 always 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. Last year, we had a total blast, and there weren't any problems in our comments section. That said, 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. The comments are found at the very bottom of the page; you might have to scroll beyond the recommendations for other articles.
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 don't forget that if you want others to comment on your work, it might be a good idea to share some love for their work as well.
- 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!