Flash Fiction Contest 5: The Dream Child

Across the globe, the dreams of the artists are causing many a restless and feverish night. Someday soon the call would come, when the stars were ready. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Flash Fiction Contest; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Flash Fiction Contest would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.

A special Flash Fiction contest portal will open on Submittable at midnight EDT on 8/15 and close at midnight on 9/15. If the portal disappears, submissions are formally closed and will not reopen.


In order to be a valid submission to the contest, each story must adhere to the following rules:

1. The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Google Docs.

2. The story must adhere to the general Pseudopod submission guidelines. Most importantly, it needs to be a horror story; other genres, including science fiction and fantasy, are discouraged. As a general rule, we will take a very liberal view of what constitutes horror, but authors should note that past experience shows that stories which attempt to skirt the genre restriction tend to fare badly in the voting.

3. The story must be original and previously unpublished. Stories will be posted on a members-only portion of the forum, so first publication rights will not be spent if your story does not win.

The person submitting the story must be the story’s author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story. A story that is derived from a previous published work in another format (i.e. not a short story) is fine (assuming doing so isn’t in violation of copyright, obviously).

If you are not sure whether your story counts as published or not (for example, if an earlier version has appeared on your blog but nowhere else), please write (PM or send a query to brian@escapeartists.net with the subject line “QUERY”) and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous Escape Artists contest.

4. The story should be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.

5. Each author may submit only one story.

Included the body of the submission should be the title and the text of your story. Any byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when either the story fails to advance, or ultimately wins. Feel free to request a pseudonym for the byline, but we will need a legal name if you win for prize purposes.

Please blog, tweet, email, send postcards, telephone, summon demons, and otherwise get the word out.