WOW! Women On Writing Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Custom Search

Writer's Digest 101 Best Sites for Writers Award

Flash Fiction Workshop - 4 week writing workshop with Gila Green

Spring 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Winter 2019 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Summer 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Spring 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Winter 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Fall 2017 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Summer 2017 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Spring 2017 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

Winter 2017 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Fall 2016 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Summer 2016 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

Spring 2016 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

Winter 2016 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

Summer 2015 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

Spring 2015 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

Winter 2015 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

Fall 2015 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!

Strengthening Your Fiction

2008 - 2016

Truly Useful Site Award


Go to wow-womenonwriting.comArticlesContestMarketsBlogClasses

WOW! Summer 2019 Flash Fiction Contest Winners


We had an open prompt this season. Our only guidelines were that the entries be fiction with a minimum of 250 words, and a maximum of 750 words. So, enjoy the creativity and diversity!


Thanks to our Guest Judge:

Literary Agent Kaitlyn Johnson

Literary Agent Kaitlyn Johnson

WOW was honored to have guest judge literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson choose the summer season’s top winners. Thank you, Kaitlyn, for sharing your time and efforts to make these contestants’ dreams come true!

Kaitlyn’s bio:

After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. As well as being an associate agent for Corvisiero Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, K. Johnson Editorial, and has worked as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, and a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston. She has written various articles for Writer’s Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed.

For #mswl listings and writerly life thoughts, feel free to check out her MSWL profile or Twitter @kaitylynne13.

Visit the Corvisiero Literary Agency:



Note to Contestants:

We want to thank each and every one of you for sharing your wonderful stories with our guest judges this season. We know it takes a lot to hit the send button! While we’d love to give every contestant a prize, just for your writing efforts, that wouldn’t be much of a competition. One of the hardest things we do after a contest ends is to confirm that someone didn’t place in the winners’ circle. But, believe it when we say that every one of you is a true winner.

Every writer has been a gracious participant through the whole process, from the beginning of one season to the next. We’ve written emails to authors, agents, and publicists who have donated books to our contest, and we’ve shared our delight regarding the true sportsmanship among our contestants. It doesn’t matter if it’s one writer who placed or another who tried but didn’t; all writers are courteous, professional, and wonderful extensions of WOW! Women On Writing’s team. Writers’ stories and e-mails fill us with enthusiasm.

Kudos to all writers who entered, whether you won or not, you’re still a winner for participating.


To recap our current process, we have a roundtable of 8+ judges who blindly score equally formatted submissions based on: Subject, Content, Technical, and Overall Impression (Style). That’s the first step of the process. If a contestant scores well on the first round, she (or he) receives an e-mail notification that she passed the initial judging phase. The second round judging averages out scores and narrows down the top 20 entries. From this point, our guest judge helps to determine the First, Second, and Third Place Winners, followed by the Runners Up.

As with any contest, judging so many talented writers is not a simple process. With blind judging, all contestants start from the same point, no matter the skill level, experience, or writing credentials. It’s the writer’s story and voice that shines through, along with the originality, powerful and clear writing, and the writer’s heart.


We’ve enjoyed reading your stories, each and every one of them. The WOW! Women On Writing judges take time to read them all. We recognize names of previous contestants, writers familiar with our style. We enjoy getting to know you through your writing and e-mailing. Remember that each one of you is a champion in our book. We hope that you continue to enter so we can watch you grow as writers and storytellers, because each season is a rebirth of opportunity.

Now on to the winners!

Drum roll please....

1st Place Winner
1st Place:  Myna Chang
Potomac, Maryland
Congratulations, Myna!
Myna Chang

Myna’s Bio:

Myna Chang grew up in the Oklahoma panhandle, surrounded by vivid reminders of the ecological disaster known as the Dust Bowl. Her grandparents filled her head with frightening and exciting tales of their adventures during that harrowing time, and now she explores those remembrances in her writing. She also enjoys stories about robots, dinosaurs, and kung fu. Her work has been featured in Writers Resist, Twist In Time, Enchanted Conversation, Daily Science Fiction, Copperfield Review, Dead Housekeeping, and others. Myna’s story “Good Deal” won an honorable mention in the WOW Fall 2018 Flash Fiction Contest. Myna lives with her family in Potomac, Maryland. Read more at or find her on Twitter @MynaChang.

Printable View



Air So Thick


April 20, 1935
Oklahoma Panhandle

The chicken coop is 57 steps north of the back porch.

Chickens suffocate easily. We find them, after a dust storm has passed, entombed in drifts of powder-fine dirt. Daddy says the blowing grit blinds them and they lose their way. Even if they make it to the coop, they still might choke. Pulverized earth seeps into their eyes and their beaks and fills them up.

The radio is two steps from Daddy’s chair.

Our farm is inside a bowl. The radio announcer said so after last week’s storm. He called it Black Sunday, though the dirt whipped all the way through Tuesday night. Momma wishes our bowl was filled with soup instead of bone-dry dust.

The barn is 100 steps from the porch, due east.

Daddy strung a rope from our porch to the barn door. He says to use it as a guide when the wind is strong enough to knock us off our feet. The horses need hay and water, whether we can see the path or not. Tie a damp rag around your face to filter the silt, he says, and hold the rope tight.

Momma’s garden is 5 steps south of the kitchen door.

Potatoes and carrots can survive a dust storm. Shovel every speck of blow-dirt away from the leaves as soon as it’s clear enough to see. Plants buried beyond two days die. Momma says remember, Millie, if you’re starving, dig up the roots. Half-grown turnips will keep you alive. Just boil them and drink the pot water.

The kitchen table is 8 steps from my bed.

Powdered silica swirls for days after a storm passes. The air’s as thick inside as out. When your little brother’s chest rattles like a snake, rinse his breath rag. Shelter him under something to block the settling dust. It probably won’t help, Daddy says, but hide under the table with him, anyway.

The clothesline is 25 steps northwest of the back door.

Fabric scraps dry in an hour under the sun. Sheets take all morning. Momma used to say hurry, when a black roller tainted the horizon, hurry and collect everything from the clothesline. Now she says leave it. Little boys suffocate almost as quickly as chickens. Now Momma says cover your mouth, Millie, and run inside. Don’t let the dust fill you up.



What Myna Won:

  • $400.00 Cash Prize
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Publication of winning story on website
  • Interview on WOW!’s blog The Muffin
2nd Place Winner
2nd Place:  Shermie Rayne
Richmond, Virginia
Congratulations, Shermie!
Shermie Rayne

Shermie’s Bio:

Shermie Rayne writes a gamut of fiction, and sometimes even happenstance poetry. Several of her stories have found publication homes here and there. In addition to excelling as a barely-functioning mom in suburbia, Rayne runs a local writing group for women. She resides in Virginia with her husband, three teenagers, an orange tabby, several tanks of fish, and a very mischievous pup.

Connect with her on Twitter @shermierayne. Visit her website at

Printable View



Crooked Door Lullaby


The first time Death arrived at the family’s unlocked door, Accident had sent him. He entered the warm and bright home. This family did not know yet of sorrow. When Death retrieved the son—blue from January’s frosted kiss—the mother, the father, and the daughter gaped in disbelief. Death bowed respectfully while cradling the almost-grown son—now heavy in what-could-have-been potential. The mother screamed. It was the cry of millions of mothers before her. Death concealed each plea beneath his cloak, for he was intrigued by this love and kept it close. The tender smoke of last-sung cradlesongs. Death took his leave then; never again would the door to the home seal quite right. The family was broken: walls forever misaligned. Warped. The mother nearly starved into skeletal consternation.

Clouded days of routine managed to push them on, blinking into many years. The home thickened in silence. Hinges calloused shut. Still, Illness slithered beneath the door with a rattle. The enraged mother rushed to barricade it. Her might was strong, but His will stronger. When Death arrived, his pity permitted pause. Each night he returned to the sympathetic door and sang a lullaby through its widening cracks. Death studied the sleeping mother then, wondering again about her kind. Why was their pain so great? Did mothers sow slivers of their souls into the young they’d cradled—making loss insufferable? He told himself it was folly to ponder this, for it opposed his very nature. Death dealt with endings not beginnings. But, perhaps, both stitched by the same thread?

While the mother and Death puzzled over one another, Cancer weaved into the daughter, now a grown woman graying into middle age. Only when the daughter screamed against the sharp biting in her bones would the mother let go of the door. Death stepped inside of the home, feeling almost welcomed. He was gentle and slow moving whilst gathering the daughter, allowing for goodbyes. Father wept. Mother did not cry, for she saw that Death was shielding the daughter from agony. No longer was pain etched from inside out; lines of torment gone.

Then, it was just the father and the mother. They grew old. The home was held together by the sardonic door with its sour-rusted hinges. Many locks were added, yet Life has an arbitrary key ring, and lost keys can be found. Death stood ready at the door. But tricky Chance gave him leave, contented in claiming the old man at the beginning of a well-earned retirement, taking the legs and tongue—trapping the old man in a paralyzed body that would never again dock a boat or catch fish.

The old woman ached more deeply for the old man with each passing year. For his eyes were knowing and watchful of the door. Unselfishly, the old woman unlocked it and wondered why Death did not return in haste. Many long years later, the doorknob turned. The old man lay withered from unrest. Death scooped him up gently, smoothly. The old man’s dimpled smile returned. This gave the old woman peace. She listened at the doorway until the lullaby disappeared into the heartbreak of nightfall.

The old woman was truly alone. No children, no husband, and no parents. She was the first and the last. Nevertheless, each day the old woman awoke to see a bluebird at the window. That was all she had: the one day given each morning, so she kept it joyful. And waited. Some years later, the old woman heard a creaking at the front gate. She flung open the crooked door and ran to Death, greeting him as an old acquaintance, for he was. The old woman asked what had taken so long. Death replied, Time had not yet said so. Then he took her hand and sang the sweetest lullaby.



What Shermie Won:

  • $300.00 Cash Prize
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Publication of winning story on website
  • Interview on WOW!’s blog The Muffin
3rd Place Winner
3rd Place: Shelley Day Jewell
Monroe, New Hampshire
Congratulations, Shelley!
Shelley Day Jewell

Shelley’s Bio:

Shelley Day Jewell resides in New Hampshire with her husband and two middle sons, a bloodhound, a beagle, and a springer spaniel. Her daughter and new grandson live close by, and her oldest son lives near Dallas, TX.

She’s been a writer in her head since grade school, but didn’t start the real thing until about ten years ago. She’s had short stories published in Boys’ Quest, Hopscotch, and The School Magazine. She’s been an honorable mention in the Women On Writing flash fiction contest three times.

Shelley is currently working on a MG adventure series, a YA mystery, and YA fantasy.

When Shelley isn’t trying to find time to write she reads, knits, spends time with family and friends, travels, binge watches Netflix, and drinks too much coffee.

Printable View


Something Crazy


Before Charlie died he’d said, “Nina, you’ll never be able to spend all of my life insurance. So promise me you’ll do something crazy, because, darling, life is short and then, poof, it’s over.”

Well, Charlie, I’m trying. I’ll warn you though; this isn’t a cruise, or sports car crazy.

This crazy started with that hydrangea that grew between our house and the apartment next door. I’d gone to cut a bouquet of flowers when a whimper came from under the leaves. I froze until it whimpered again, so I parted the branches.

In the dirt, under the leaves, huddled a little girl. Her curls frizzed around her tear-stained face. A scratch across her cheek glared fresh and angry.

“Oh, sweetie, are you okay?”

And that was that. I became her secret guardian. I kept watch, and witnessed her mother yank, slap, yell, and leave her outside alone. Too many times I huddled under that hydrangea with her, and brought her snacks and read her stories.

I tried to do this the right way, Charlie. I called Family Services. The mother always had an excuse. Kaitlyn was accident prone. A klutz. Tripped over nothing. I called the police when the parties started, and the street filled with cars, and Kaitlyn scurried under the hydrangea. “The door is unlocked,” the police woman said, her face sad and knowing. “She can go inside if she wants.”

“But she’s only four,” I yelled.

“I know,” the officer said.

Charles Morgan, how I miss your guidance.

Without you, I was forced to take matters into my own hands, and the money you left me begged to be spent. I sold our house. It wasn’t the same without you. I bought a place over the border in Canada and got the legal paperwork done. And after that, I worked on the illegal paperwork, which I must say, with money, was too easy.

Yes, Charlie, illegal paperwork. Kaitlyn is now Ella Morgan. Surprise! We have a daughter.

These last few days though, I’ve grown nervous, with second thoughts. I moved two months ago, so I wouldn’t be suspected. Besides, everyone in the neighborhood has seen Kaitlyn outside alone. So many things could happen to her. I threw one of her socks and a shoe beside the river, while I wore gloves, of course.

This was supposed to be the night to take her. Had I gone crazy? Perhaps I suffered from grief insanity.

I slouched in the car as a man stepped around the corner of the apartment and stalked toward the hydrangea.

I eased the car window open.

“Hey, Katie, I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said.

“I have something for you.” He strode toward a jacked up truck. “Come on, a whole bag of candy.”

He reached in the window and hauled out an extra-large bag of assorted minis. “I’ve got something yummy just for you,” he chuckled as he grabbed his crotch and headed back across the lawn.

I cringed. Ella loved candy. “Don’t fall for it,” I whispered.

I almost drowned in panic. But as I watched the man search for her, my crazy morphed into a stronger, more primal fear for Ella. I hauled on gloves, snatched the matching sock and shoe that hadn’t been tossed near the river, slipped from the car, crept next to the pickup, and dropped them into the truck bed.

Then I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my new dark hair and sauntered toward the scum. “Who you looking for?”

He whirled around to face me. “Why do you care?”

“Because I do care.”

He gave me a confused scowl before he headed back inside the apartment with the bag of candy.

“Nina?” Ella whimpered.

“I’m here, love. Are you ready for that trip I told you about?”

“For real?” Ella peered out from under the leaves that had started to dry up and curl.

I nodded. She scurried away from the hydrangea and slipped her hand into mine.

Once in the car, I buckled her into the car seat and handed her a baggy of cheerios.

“Why is your hair so black?” Ella asked.

“Do you like it?”

She pinched her lips, but then said, “Yes.”

Phew, because that was important. “Can I make yours black, too?”

“To match you?”



Relief flooded me, and my heart swelled with the possibility of Ella finally being safe and loved.

I did what you asked, Charlie. Something crazy.



What Shelley Won:

  • $200.00 Cash Prize
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Publication of winning story on website
  • Interview on WOW!’s blog The Muffin


Congratulations to the runners-up! It was very close, and these stories are excellent in every way.

Click on their entries to read:

Something to Salvage by Victoria Melekian, Carlsbad, California

War-Beast by Connor Sassmannshausen, QLD Australia

Madagascar Lolita by Susan Moffson, Boulder, Colorado

Fragments of Bones by E. Izabelle Cassandra Alexander, Des Plaines, Illinois

September’s Harvest by Amber Watkins Yearwood, Berkeley, California

The Weaver by Cassandra Chambers, Louisburg, North Carolina

Out of Place by Laila Miller, Perth, Western Australia

What the Runners Up Won:

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Publication of winning story on website
  • Interview on WOW!’s blog The Muffin

HONORABLE MENTIONS (In no particular order):

Congratulations to our Summer Contest Honorable Mentions! Your stories stood out and are excellent in every way.

Retribution by Michelle Upton, Brisbane, Australia

Safe by Alice Benson, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Abracadabra Turn Mommy into a Person by Kimberly Crow, Massachusetts

Love, Elizabeth by Alison Ogilvie-Holme, Brockville, Ontario, Canada

About the Moon by Alicia Starr Cook, Osaka, Japan

Glass Coffin by Joy Givens, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia

Dancing in the Moonlight by H.R. Conklin, San Diego, California

Postcard by Victoria Mack, Brooklyn, New York

Time & Loss & Light by Erin Shifflett, Somerset, Pennsylvania

Winter Uncorked by Alison Ho, New Haven, Connecticut


What the Honorable Mentions Won:

  • $20 Amazon Gift Card


This brings the Summer 2019 Flash Fiction Contest officially to a close. Although we’re not able to provide a prize to every contestant, we will always give our heartfelt thanks for your participation and contribution, and for your part in making WOW! all that it can be. Each one of you has found the courage to enter, and that is a remarkable accomplishment in itself. We’re looking forward to receiving your entries for our next contest. Best of luck, and write on!

Check out the latest Contest:


    About WOW! Women on Writing | Ad Rates | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved.

Graphic Design/Illustration by Mackintosh Multimedia.
Web Design/Programming by Glenn Robnett.