Featured Flash Contest: February 1 – March 31, 2024

The Featured Flash Contest will honor two grand-prize winners chosen by our editorial staff—one in Flash and one in Sudden—by awarding $1,500 and online publication. Two runners-up will also be honored with a $300 prize and online publication. All longlisted authors will receive an archived copy of The Masters Review anthology, as will twenty randomly selected entrants not included on the longlist.
February 10, 2024

Submissions open through March 31


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The Masters Review has long been a home for excellence in flash prose, and we’re especially proud to have published many Best Small Fictions selections over the past few years. In 2024, we want to continue to feature your remarkable flash in our magazine!

The Featured Flash Contest will honor two grand-prize winners chosen by our editorial staff—one in Flash and one in Sudden—by awarding $1,500 and online publication. Two runners-up will also be honored with a $300 prize and online publication. All longlisted authors will receive an archived copy of The Masters Review anthology, as will twenty randomly selected entrants not included on the longlist.

Additionally, we are excited to share that all submitters will receive a digital copy of a recorded Flash webinar, featuring literary professionals who will discuss writing and reading flash in all its forms, moderated by Editor-in-Chief Cole Meyer. We want to support and encourage all flash prose writers as they continue to produce work in this unique and exciting genre.

For this contest, we will accept Flash up to 1,000 words and Sudden between 1,001 and 1,500 words. We welcome up to two pieces per submission, in any combination. Please include both pieces in one document. All prose submissions under 1,500 words are eligible for this contest. As always, we’re interested in character- and voice-driven submissions that surprise us, particularly those that experiment with style and form. Dazzle us—take chances, and be bold.

Submission Guidelines

  • Grand-prize winners in either category will receive $1,500 and online publication.
  • Runners-up in either category will receive $300 and online publication.
  • All longlisted authors will receive an archived copy of The Masters Review anthology.
  • Flash is any prose piece up to 1,000 words.
  • Sudden is any prose piece between 1,001 and 1,500 words.
  • Your $20 entry fee allows up to two pieces per submission. If submitting two pieces, please include both in one document. If your two pieces are from different categories, please check both relevant boxes in the submission form.
  • Submitted work must be previously unpublished in any form, even on social media or personal websites. Reprints will be automatically disqualified.
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions are allowed, though each submission requires a $20 entry fee.
  • Writers from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups are invited to submit for free until we reach fifty submissions in this category. NOTE: SUBMISSION CAP HAS BEEN MET.
  • All submissions will be considered for publication in New Voices.
  • This contest is for emerging writers only. Writers with book-length work published or under contract with a major press are ineligible. We are interested in providing a platform to new writers; authors with books published by indie presses are welcome to submit unpublished work, as are self-published authors.
  • International submissions are allowed, provided the work is written primarily in English. Necessary code-switching/meshing is warmly welcomed.
  • Please note our deadline: March 31, 2024.
  • All submissions will receive a response by the end of May.
  • Winners will be announced by the end of June.
  • Former Flash Fiction Contest or Spring Small Fiction Awards winners may not be chosen as grand-prize winners for the Featured Flash Contest, but runners-up are still eligible.
  • A significant portion of the editorial letter fee is paid directly to your feedback editor.

Editorial Letter Option

If you’re interested in getting feedback on your writing, utilize our editorial letter add-on option. Our response to your submission will be accompanied by a one- to two-page letter from an experienced guest editor, who will offer observations on the strengths of the piece as well as opportunities for revision, where a revised version of your story might be a good fit, reading suggestions, and other comments on craft. Though there is a reading fee for this option, a significant portion of the fee goes to your feedback editor. See a sample editorial letter.

Flash Prose Panelists

Kathy Fish’s stories have been widely published in journals, anthologies, and textbooks. Her work has been published in Ploughshares, Guernica, swamp pink, Electric Literature, Denver Quarterly, Best American Nonrequired Reading, the Norton Reader, and Norton’s Flash Fiction America (2023). Honors include the Copper Nickel Editor’s Prize, six appearances in the Best Small Fictions series, and a Ragdale Foundation Fellowship. The author of five short fiction collections, Fish teaches a variety of writing workshops online. She also publishes a popular monthly craft newsletter, The Art of Flash Fiction, which was recently named as one of the 20 Best Creative Writing Substacks by Writers at Work.

Tommy Dean is the author of two flash fiction chapbooks—Special Like the People on TV (Redbird Chapbooks, 2014) and Covenants (ELJ Editions, 2021), and a full flash collection, Hollows (Alternating Current Press, 2022). He lives in Indiana, where he is the Editor of Fractured Lit and Uncharted Magazine. A recipient of the 2019 Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction, his writing can be found in Best Microfiction 2019 and 2020, 2023, Best Small Fictions 2019 and 2022, Monkeybicycle, and numerous litmags. Find him at tommydeanwriter.com and on Twitter @TommyDeanWriter.

Avitus B. Carle (she/her) lives and writes outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly known as K.B. Carle, her flash has been published in a variety of places including the Lumiere Review, -ette review, Surely Mag, Milk Candy Review, and elsewhere. Avitus’s flash, “Black Bottom Swamp Bottle Woman,” was recently selected as one of Wigleaf’s 2023 Top 50 and nominated for the O. Henry Prize. Her story, “A Lethal Woman,” is included in the 2022 Best Small Fictions anthology. She can be found online at avitusbcarle.com or online everywhere @avitusbcarle.

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a writer, budding beekeeper and rising seamstress currently residing in the enchanting pine tree forest of Blackhawk, Ms. You can find her, and more of her work, at exodusoktaviabrownlow.com.

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Congratulations to Colin Bonini, Jeff Martin, and Susanna Cupido, our 2023 grand prize winners!
Runners-up: Aliza Ali Khan, Emily Pegg, and Kerry Anderson.

The 2023 shortlist can be found here.


 

All previous contest winners can be found on our Past Awards page.

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At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.



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