WOW! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months, and has done so since 2006. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, great writing, and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. We are open to all styles and genres of flash fiction, although we do encourage you to take a close look at our guest judge for the season (upper right hand corner) if you are serious about winning. Please make sure you download our Contest Terms & Conditions PDF below for complete guidelines. Get creative, and let’s have some fun! We look forward to reading your work!
The title is not to be counted in your word count. We use MS Word's word count to determine the submitted entry's word count.
That’s right, this is your chance to shine, and get creative. You can write about anything, as long as it’s within the word count and fiction. If you’re feeling inspired, write something new, or dig out those stories you started way back when and tailor them to the word count.
We’re open to any style and genre. From horror to romance. So, get creative, and most of all, have fun.
Click to Download the SPRING 2017 FLASH FICTION Contest Terms & Conditions PDF
FALL: September - November 30th 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED
WINTER: December - February 28th, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED
SPRING: March - May 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - NOW OPEN!
SUMMER: June - August 31st, 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) - CLOSED
This is not a reading fee. Entry fees are used to award our 20 winners as well as administrative costs.
We are limiting the number of entries to a maximum of 300 stories. Please enter early to ensure inclusion. If we reach 300 entries, we will disable the PayPal buttons.
Buy Entry Only: $10.00
Buy Entry with Critique: $20.00
ADDITIONAL OPTION: Due to popular demand, we now have two options for your entry. For an additional $10.00 you can purchase a critique of your contest entry.
Upon the close of our contest, and after the winners are announced, you will receive a critique from one of our round table judges on three categories:
You will be provided with your scores (1-5) in each category, and personal editorial feedback for each category as well. There’s also an additional category that does not get scored: Overview. That is the general impression your story had on the reader. Please be patient upon the close of our contest and allow time for our editors to thoroughly critique your piece. We send out critiques after the contest winners are announced.
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF. Download the latest version at http://www.adobe.com
Please read the contest terms & conditions in full before submitting your entry. Please make sure you read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) before sending us an email.
Winter 2017 Contest Update 4/13: First Round Judging is complete, and we just sent emails to contestants whose stories are moving on to the finals. If you didn't receive an email notifying you that your story is moving to the finals, then unfortunately, it did not advance.
Winter 2017 Contest Update 4/15: Critiques sent. If you purchased a critique and didn't receive it, please email contestinfo[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com and we will resend.
Winter 2017 Contest Update 5/1: Top 10 emails sent. As soon as we receive bios/pics from the top ten winners, we will post the contest results. Honorable Mentions have not been notified, but will be posted with the contest results. Thank you for your patience. :)
Fall 2016 Flash Fiction Contest
Summer 2016 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2016 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2016 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2015 Flash Fiction Contest
Summer 2015 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2015 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2015 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2014 Flash Fiction Contest
Summer 2014 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2014 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2014 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2013 Flash Fiction Contest
Summer 2013 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2013 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2013 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2012 Flash Fiction Contest
Summer 2012 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2012 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2012 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2011 Flash Fiction Contest
Summer 2011 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2011 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2011 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2010 Flash Fiction Contest
Summer 2010 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2010 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2010 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2009 Flash Fiction Contest
Summer 2009 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2009 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2009 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2008 Essay Contest Sponsored by Skirt! Books
Summer 2008 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2008 Flash Fiction Contest Sponsored by Seal Press
Winter 2008 Flash Fiction Contest Sponsored by W. W. Norton
Fall 2007 Essay Contest Sponsored by skirt! Books
Summer 2007 Flash Fiction Contest
Spring 2007 Flash Fiction Contest
Winter 2006 Flash Fiction Contest
Fall 2006 Flash Fiction Contest
QUOTES FROM CONTESTANTS:
“Thank you so much for my critique! Even though I didn’t win there was much valuable information shared that I know will make my story so much better. I will definitely take the guest judge’s suggestions to heart and rework my story to submit next time. This is the best critique I’ve ever received! Thank you for running such an organized contest and supporting women writers!”
- Stacey Ray, San Diego, California
“Please thank the editor who critiqued my story. She pointed out several consistency errors and one major plot point I never would’ve noticed. I got more out of this one critique than years at my writers group! It’s a big help because I plan on expanding this story into a longer piece. This wasn’t the first time entering your contest, but it was the first time receiving a critique. My advice to others will be to spend the extra ten dollars because it’s worth it!”
- Vanessa Chen, Casa Grande, Arizona
“I wanted to thank you for the gifts from my honourable mention, which arrived yesterday. I was ‘tickled pink’ by the thoughtfulness behind every gift.
On another note, I want to congratulate you for the wonderful job you do every day. When I enter your website, a feeling of grace, kindness, and generosity of spirit prevails. It is inspiring to feel those sentiments when all I’ve done is punch a few keys to order the fiber optics to display your site.”
- Evelyn Marentette, Ontario, Canada
“This award, and being published on the WOW website, made it feel official; I really am a writer!... a special thanks to the staff and editors of WOW...and reading the past winners’ stories is an excellent way to hone your own writing skills.”
- Donna Wilkins, New Mexico
“Thank-you so much again for the services you are rendering by running this website, the contest and all that you do. You have to be the most encouraging people I have ever met!”
- Jane Johnson, Kansas
“Your contests help spur some of us writers who have our hands full with so many other things to make out time for our writing.”
- Ubong-Abasi Johnathan, Ontario, Canada
“I received my prize package today and I can't stop saying "wow!” The goodies were AMAZING, and so much of it! I love everything, the shirt and the hat will be proudly worn when I kayak, and the adorable totes will be used for writing materials! A timer, a bookmark, such wonderful books. WOW! I just can't thank you enough.
Your site is so supportive and warm hearted, I feel like I have found the sisters I never had! Your personal attention to every detail makes it so special that I think even the most astute writer would have a hard time putting my heartfelt gratitude into words. Thanks again for everything. You have given me more than you know.”
- Dianne Greco, Port Jefferson, New York
“Thank you for having a challenging word length. I also love the way you communicate with your writers. You really appreciate the time and effort that everyone puts into their entries. It’s a pleasure to read your emails and your website.”
- Mandy Vicsai, Australia
“I just wanted to send a quick note to say, "thank you". I was one of the Honorable Mention Winners in the Flash Fiction Winter Contest and the goodies y'all sent me as a prize were so wonderful and thoughtful. When I opened the package, the care and consideration were obvious and it was tremendously appreciated.”
- Kristen Lamb, Texas
“Thank you sooooo very much for your gift I received in the mail yesterday. I am sure everyone else was as touched as I was to receive the great WOW bag and goodies inside of it. I know you put a lot of work into making these gifts very special and I could tell right away. You guys are somethin' else. I'll cherish these gifts always and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you!!!”
- Jennifer Daniels, Alabama
“I received the big (!) box today with my honorable mention prize for my submission to the winter flash fiction contest (my story: TP-ing Casa de Clooney). Thank you so much for such a generous prize. It was such a nice surprise, arriving as it did on a Monday after a long day at work. I'm thrilled.
Thanks again, not just for the great prize, but also for a such a well-run contest.”
- Charity Tahmaseb, Minnesota
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