Writer's group monthly flash fiction contest and magazine

Contest Rules

Contest Rules

The following rules were adapted / adopted from Jot Russell's Science Fiction Microstory contest on Goodreads. Thanks to Jot.

Anyone is free to join. We welcome all levels of writers, new and just testing the water, or seasoned pro looking for some 'exercise'—come on out. The goal of the monthly contests is to help polish our skills and present a flavor of our art to other members in the group. There is no money involved—at this time—but there is also no telling what a little recognition and respect might generate. If / when we start earning money the monthly winners will share the proceeds. Payments made via PayPal (unless things grow larger and we can accommodate other payment options).

The rules are simple:

1) The story needs to be your own work and posted in the Member section of the site. You maintain responsibility and ownership of your work to do with as you please. You may withdraw your story at any time.

2) The stories must be 1,200 words or less.

3) Stories can be from any genre: literary, science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller, historical, etc., with one exception: No erotica allowed. The world of the story should be consistent, but some of its laws may be different from the real world. Two great examples would be "Planet Of The Apes" (alternate history) and "Star Wars." (Dude, give it up! The force is magic, and that's okay.) You would have to include Jeff Vandermeer's "Bourne" in there too. What we care about are good stories told well. Use your imagination. The more imaginative the better!

4) You have until midnight EST on the 22nd day of the month to post your story to the Contest. One story per author per month.

5) After stories have been submitted, each member of the site has until midnight EST of the 25th day of the month to rate each story. The vote results will be available to members once voting is closed. Voting is required if you want to win. At the bottom of each story is a Voting Poll. You do not have to wait until the end of the month to vote for a story. If you do not vote, your story will be disqualified from the contest. You don't need a qualifying story to cast a vote. You only have to be a member to vote, meaning you can log into your account and vote for stories even if you didn't write one.

6) The TOP THREE STORIES—as voted by the group—will be published on the site with that month's edition for the public. The winner for the month is the highest rated story on average, or, in case of a tie, the story with the most 5-star ratings.

Winning stories from each month will be included in the "Listen" section, as well. Readers can opt to listen to the podcast of the monthly winning stories. We prefer the author read the stories (mpeg format) and submit them to us. However, Undertow Press will create the audio version if needed. Podcasts will be submitted to various outlets other than this site. We have in mind a Spotify Fiction Podcast and an Apple podcast.

7) COMMENTS. Please have all posts abide by the rules. Comments should be supportive and professional. We are trying support each writer and help them to become better storytellers. Anyone violating these rules may be banned from the site. Comments can only be seen and left by members in good standing.

8) For each month there will be a Stories submission link and a comments section for that month, accessible once you log into your account.

9) The winner has until the last day of the month to email the prompts for the following month. However, we have a list already so there will not be an immediate turnaround. Otherwise, if there are no prompts in the pipeline Undertow Press will create the next contest.

About Reviews

We don't always write fiction, do we? The Review section is for anyone who wants to submit a movie or book review to the site. Once a review is submitted it will be curated by staff and images will be added, whether a book cover or movie poster. You will receive notification via email when the review is published.

The next month's contest is underway. Join now!

Join—Writers Wanted

We are looking for writers who want to hone their skills, get feedback and participate in our monthly contests. Join our community!



Stories have to stick to the monthly prompt and can be no more than 1,200 words. Any genre and style is encouraged.


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