The 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash [sign-ups are open]

It’s that time of year again. Time to announce the 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash.

This is where you get allllll the details.

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A brief explanation of flash fiction:

Definitions of “flash fiction” vary, but for the purpose of this challenge flash fictions are stories that are 1000 words or less. They are not always easy to write, but they are often rewarding.

I’ll share some helpful posts about flash fiction at the end of this post.

The general gist of how this works:

If you want to give flash fiction a go (or if you’re already a flash fiction veteran), it all starts with you signing up here. Using the information you give me in your sign-up (genre and prompt preferences), I will pick out a prompt for you (usually from the depths of Pinterest) and send it to you.

Then, you have just over three weeks to draft and edit a flash fiction using the prompt as a springboard. If you want, you can post your story on your blog.

After you’re finished with editing and such, you send me your story (or a link to your story), and I compile ALLLLLLLLL the flash fictions written into one final wrap-up post so that everyone can know where to find them all.

Same as last year–it’s a challenge, not a contest.

This is about getting people writing, not about picking which story is best. There will be no ranking who’s stories were better than whose, or anything like that.

My hope is that this will challenge you to venture out into a new story, have fun with writing, and exercise the art of telling a story in a very small wordcount.

Why you should totally be interested:

I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a Very Convincing And Not At All Like Last Year’s list of reasons why you need to sign up right away.

  • I say so (as always, this is the most compelling reason on the list).
  • If you’re in a writing slump, this is a great way to get your creativity rolling again.
  • Writing a story in a 1000 words or less will grow you as a writer (even if you’ve written hundreds of flash fictions).
  • You and your writing can get a little more exposure.
  • I want to read your stories!
  • It’s. so. much. fun!

(Okay, so these are basically the same reasons I laid out for you guys last year, but whatevs.)

Some general guidelines:

  • Your story must be 1000 words or less.
  • Stories with excessive violence, sexual content, or profanity will not be included in the wrap-up post.
  • In order for your story to be included in the wrap-up post, it must be sent back to me by 11:59 pm on June 18, 2018.
  • You must have unfettered fun.

When you post your story on your blog:

Include your prompt, mention that you’re taking part of the Penprints Flash Fiction Dash, and share your story. And then send me the link to it by June 18!

If you don’t have a blog:

Please participate! You don’t have to have a blog in order to participate. You can still sign up, get a prompt, write a story, send it back to me, and be featured in the wrap-up post.

If you don’t have a blog or won’t be posting your story on your blog, send your story to me as a Word or Google Doc (please do not paste your story in the body of the email), and I will convert it into a clickable PDF to share in the wrap-up post.

All the need-to-know dates:

Sign-ups are open April 30, 2018 – May 21, 2018.

Prompts will be sent out by May 25, 2018.

Writers have until 11:59 pm on June 18, 2018 (over three weeks) to write their stories and send them to me.

The wrap-up post will go live on June 25, 2018.

All the extra stuff:

The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash is now on Instagram. Updates on the challenge will be shared there as well as some of last year’s stories. AND all of this year’s stories will be highlighted via Instagram in the few months following the close of the challenge because if we have more stories than we did last year, it will be a lot to wade through in one wrap-up post (that was a super long, confusing sentence, but here we are).

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the challenge button on a transparent background

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the challenge button

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#flashficdash

The official hashtag to use on your social medias is: #flashficdash.

Other posts that might be helpful:

Just B. Jordan on Writing Flash Fiction

In Defense of Short Fiction

The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash [the giant wrap-up post] (from 2017)

13 Tips for Writing Flash Fiction

How to Write Flash Fiction with Ben Wolf


I think that’s everything! If you have any questions whatsoever, drop them in the comments!

Did you take the challenge in 2017? Will you take the challenge 2018??

With love,

Rosalie

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