The 2019 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time for the annual Penprints Flash Fiction Dash.

pffd open registration

What is the #flashficdash?

Definitions of flash fiction can vary, but for the purposes of this challenge, a piece of flash fiction is a short story 1000 words or less. Writing a complete story–something with a beginning, a middle, and an end–with so few words can be difficult, but it is always rewarding.

The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash is a challenge, not a contest.

Every year it’s about the same thing: getting people writing, not 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.

How it works:

You fill out the registration form, I send you a prompt, you write a flash fiction based on that prompt, you post your story on your blog (optional), send your story to me by June 7, 2019, and I’ll include your story in the giant wrap-up post on June 11, 2019.

How 2019’s Dash Is Different:

In the past, I selected an individual prompt for every single writer who signed up based on the genre info they gave in their registration form.

T’will not be so in 2019.

There are 10 different categories:

  • Contemporary
  • Urban fantasy/magical realism
  • Thriller/suspense
  • Fairytale/folklore/light fantasy
  • Dystopian
  • Gothic
  • Cyberpunk
  • Sword and sorcery/medieval fantasy
  • Superhero
  • Romance

These categories are by no means meant to cover every genre of fiction; I’ve selected the ten most popular categories out of past flash fiction dashes.

When you register, you select one category. Each category will be given one prompt. So if seven different writers select “Dystopian” as their preferred category, those seven will receive the same prompt.

Why we’re going to try it this way: 

  1. Past dashers have asked for model like this.
  2. Each person’s creativity and imagination is different, and I’m super jazzed to see what different personalities and minds do with the same prompt.
  3. I don’t have time to hunt down 40 or more individualized prompts.

Also, this year there are three different types of prompts that will go out: picture, song, or opening line.

However, it’s a secret which categories will get which type of prompt. *dun dun dunnnnn* So you won’t really know which kind of prompt you’re working off of until your prompt arrives in your inbox.

We’ll see if this adds an element of mystery, fun, and thrill or if it’s just annoying.

Why you should totally be interested:

pffd 19 promo.jpgI’ve taken the liberty of compiling a Very Convincing And Not At All Copy And Pasted From 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!

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 7, 2019.
  • 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 7!

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.

Dates to know:

registration opens 1May 7, 2019 – registration opens.

May 21, 2019 – registration closes.

May 22, 2019 – prompts go out.

June 7, 2019 – stories due back to me if you want them included in the wrap-up post.

June 11, 2019 – the 2019 wrap-up post will go live with all the participating stories.

Links to have:

The Instagram account.

The 2017 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash Wrap-up.

The 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash Wrap-up.

– > The 2019 registration form. < – 

Just B. Jordan on Writing Flash Fiction.

In Defense of Short Fiction.

13 Tips for Writing Flash Fiction.

That’s it!

I’m so excited to see what happens with the little changes this year, and I can’t wait to read the stories you guys come up with!

Be sure the share this post with anyone you think would like to participate! And let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

With love,


p.s. – hashtags to use are: #flashficdash and #flashficdash19


4 thoughts on “The 2019 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash

  1. This time around last year was when I first started following you!!!! I’m super excited to be able to participate this year! =D


  2. I found you through a Facebook post written by one of my favorite bloggers. I am going to try to participate. Also, THREE OF MY FAVORITE BLOGGERS ARE PARTICIPATING!!!!!!!!



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