Since we're all going to be stuck at home a lot more than we expected over these next six weeks, the time is ripe for some apocalyptic flash fiction. The guidelines for this contest are more or less self-explanatory; your entry must include an apocalyptic or dystopian element of some kind.
But that comes with one important caveat: no viruses or pandemics! That's a little too non-fiction for our tastes right now, and we'd like to see you get a lot more creative with your entry. So if you were already angling for something like a plague that turns people's brains into bowls of clam chowder, maybe can it for this contest and think of something stranger.
Get creative with your apocalyptic or dystopian scenarios. And they need not even involve humans or take place in the modern day. Go universal or microcosmic with it. An ancient race of space ants falling under the sizzling glare of a giant magnifying glass? Go for it. The denizens of an isolated future town assailed by carnivorous tulips? Worth a shot. All the water in ancient Egypt turning to blood? Well, that's kind of been done already, but you're on the right track.
Make your entry as outré and avant-garde as you want with this one, because we could all use a little escapism right now, but we'd also love to see a strange end-of-days scenario effectively tap into the anxieties many of us are feeling right now.
It's a brave new world out there, so party like it's 1984.
The top three entries will win cold, hard cash
(assuming money still has value by the time the contest ends).
$300 for Flashpocalypse winner
$150 for 2nd place
$75 for 3rd place
We also give mad props (do the kids still say "mad props"?)
to 4th-10th place,
publishing them in our Flashpocalypse mega-issue
and in a future print anthology, with contributor copy included.
Follow these guidelines, and you could have some extra coin in your pocket, and some bragging rights as the Flashpocalypse winner.
– All submissions must absolutely be under 1,000 words, and we tend to look more kindly on 750 or fewer because…THE WORLD'S LAST SQUIRREL!
– All contest submissions will be read blind, so we won’t be playing favorites. Sorry, Mom!
– Please paste your submission into the corresponding field. Do not list your name anywhere in your submission or we’ll assume that you don’t know how to read.
– Costs $8 to enter. (Sorry, no refunds.)
– We reserve the right to extend deadlines if necessary (and you can expect our usual week-ish Procrastinator Special—with corresponding increase in submission fee for you slackers).
– Submissions must be previously unpublished work, and you will retain copyright (duh). By entering this contest you give us permission to publish your work—if selected for our Top 10—both online and in a future print anthology.
– No limit on how many entries you can submit, but you must submit them one at a time. Don’t just mash them all in there.
– Early Bird deadline is March 25th, 2020. Contest soft deadline is end of day (PST) Monday, May 4th, 2020. Winners announced on Friday, May 15th, and we'll unleash the Flashpocalypse mega-issue shortly thereafter, assuming the internet still works.
– And, most importantly, this is a FLASHPOCALYPSE contest, so your story must include an apocalyptic or dystopian element. But again, this can be in any form imaginable (except viruses!).
Submissions must not exceed 1000 words unless those extra words are fucking genius. Even so, you'd be wise to keep it under 1000, with priority given to fiction that tells the most engaging and self-contained story in the fewest words (average length of accepted pieces is around 300-600).
Include a clever two-sentence bio in the space provided. You can list all the publications in which your previous work has been featured if that gets you off, but we prefer insight into who you are or imagine yourself to be.