2015 Flash Fiction Challenge Rule Changes

flash fiction contest gavelStarting with the January 10, 2015 flash fiction prompt, Indies Unlimited will be instituting some changes as to how the winning entries will be selected. Please see the italicized text in the bullet points below for the new rules. All the other rules remain unchanged.


Here are the parameters for the 2015 Flash Fiction Challenge:

  • Each Saturday, we will post a challenge, consisting of a picture and a  written prompt. Award-winning author and photographer K.S. Brooks has graciously extended permission for the use of her photos for this purpose.
  • Authors can participate by writing their entries in the comment section. The word limit for entries is 250 words. The word limit will be strictly enforced.
  • Each weekly exercise will accept entries until 5:00 PM the following Tuesday.
  • Tuesday night, a panel of judges will choose the top entries based on a) the quality of writing (grammar, punctuation, and style); and b) relevance to the written and photo prompts. Only the stories chosen by the judges will be included in the public voting.
  • On Wednesday, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.
  • ONE VOTE PER PERSON, please. Duplicate votes will be deleted. Results displayed in the poll are unofficial until verified by administration.
  • Each Saturday, the winner will be recognized as we post the the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.
  • In the event of a tie in the voting, the entry which posted earliest will be chosen as the winner.
  • At the end of the year Indies Unlimited will publish an eBook with all the photos and the winning expositions, adding one more credit to your portfolio.
  • By submitting an entry, the author agrees to these terms and grants Indies Unlimited the nonexclusive rights to publish the material submitted and waives any and all further consideration in return for acknowledgement as a contributing author to the final anthology.

We hope you will have fun, hone your chops, and call in all kinds of favors from your friends to get them to vote for your entry. Most of all, we hope to offer you one more way to reach a wider audience.

Author: Administrators

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19 thoughts on “2015 Flash Fiction Challenge Rule Changes”

  1. question: How do you count words? The traditional way is that every 5 letters is a word. Or do you count actual words, so that a two-letter word counts the same as a hyphenated word with 12 or more letters?

    1. Each entry is pasted into an empty MS Word document and the word count is provided that way. That means each word is a word. If the count is over, we double and triple-check it. Very rarely is the count over other than those who enter to lose on purpose.

  2. duz that meen if i cant spel it wil counte agin meh? bravo on the change. several going into the anthology could have used an edit or two. mine included…but i am getting better. thanks for the opportunity to hone my skills. brand new at this and have had a great time writing on prompt.

    1. LOL. Actually, we have been editing the winning entries for spelling and typos before they go into the anthology. We’re very glad to have you here, Howard. Love the spin you put on the prompts. So glad you’re enjoying them.

  3. I like the changes. They force us to really practice what we are doing for the contest even more.

    I do have one question though… where is this weeks prompt?

  4. I’m looking forward to these changes and getting back to submitting for the contests again, as I enjoyed those I participated in in the past.

  5. Love the changes. Some of the submission have been so off the prompt and picture they’ve left me scratching my head. Hopefully this will get people to stay on task.
    I’ve been entering almost from the beginning and enjoy the challenge. My writing has definitely improved. Looking forward to a new year.

  6. Hello everybody! Thanks for the awesome site and wonderful community of writers. I am new to all this and have some questions with regards to the publishing rights. If we have blog posts that would fit in to certain flash-fiction entries, can we do that and still be published in final the anthology if we win? Additionally, if we don’t win can we ever delete our entries in order to use them on other sites and publications? Thanks for the help and support. Looking forward to getting to know you all better.

    1. Hi J.M., welcome!

      You’re welcome to post whatever you like in response to the prompt. Please remember, if it is over 250 words, it will be disqualified. If the judges deem it doesn’t really connect well to either the written or photographic prompt, it won’t make it through to the voting round.

      IU is run by volunteers, and right now we only have one person in administration, so unfortunately, we don’t have the manpower to be removing entries for people. You are welcome to republish them on your own blog or wherever you’d like; we do ask for the courtesy of a link back to IU, and if you want to republish the prompt or the photograph along with it, we do appreciate you getting permission first.

  7. Charlie shuttered with an intense confusion when he realized the face occupying the silk-lined container was his own. Anger and envy jumbled his thoughts as he considered the husband and wife duos circulating within this room. His tender spouse of four decades sat alone in a corner reviewing the scene through red-rimmed eyes and a nose that defined the reddest red. Charlie trembled as his being corrupted into a blend of contradictions. He could visualize but not see; words penetrated his mind as misunderstood noise; his central core transformed into a block of ice, while his brain burned in a young fire.
    The wall clock read10:57 this morning maning the funeral would start soon. The shuffling from nervous feet and chairs sliding across a wooden floor rang the beginning of an end. The background cacophony melted together birthing a strident and bewildering crescendo.
    One woman moved in grace and a dutiful rhythm as her shaky hand reached and grasped the edge of the obscene and overpriced burial box. Her progression slowed as if this hesitancy would suspend and adourn the portrayal of this hollow ritual. The observers stood hushed in silence witnessing a pure testament to love as the garish lights reflected off watery eyes.
    Something warm touched Charlie’s face…..the sun! He awoke running downstairs and embraced his wife.

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