We're having a Hot Flash, and you're invited to join us!

Enter your flash fiction (no longer than 600 words) in our Hot Flash contest, open to all Story Circle Network members as well as women who are attending our 2018 Stories of the Heart IX conference in Austin, July 20-22, 2018.

What is flash fiction? It's a short-short story (sometimes called a micro-story) that usually contains the four classic elements: protagonist, conflict, complications, and resolution. But there are no rigid requirements. Here, for example, is Hemingway's famous six-word story: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." There's an art to wrapping up a big story in a tiny package.

Your flash fiction topic for this contest: Stories from the Heart. Consider (but don't feel confined to) these possibilities and more: heartache, heart throb, heart attack, heartfelt, broken heart, beating heart, dancing heart, bleeding heart...

Hot Flashes gives you an opportunity to explore the short fiction form and share your work with other conference goers. Of course, our Stories from the Heart conference is always a great time for connecting, and for growing your writing skills. So sign up for our conference now and get started on a story. You may win one of our three cash prizes ($100/$50/$25)!

We look forward to seeing your submission!

enter the contest


  • You must be a dues-paying member of Story Circle Network or have registered for the Stories from the Heart Conference to enter.
  • There is a $10 entry fee, which can be paid online or by check (send to the address below).
  • One entry per member.
  • To be eligible, your entry must be unpublished. We define a "published" piece as one that has been reviewed and accepted by an editor, either for a print or an online publication. For the purpose of this contest, blog posts are not considered "publications."
  • You must submit your entry to us electronically by using our online form [see below].
  • Each entry must be titled, and no longer than 600 words (count actual words, or use the MS Word word-count function). Title must be included in the word count. Entries that are longer than 600 words will be rejected.
  • The winning entry will be published in the Stories from the Heart IX conference program and in the Story Circle Journal. By submitting your story, you are giving Story Circle the right to publish it.
  • Include a 50-word bio to be published with your entry if you win. Winners' stories must be available for publication; however, if you wish your story to be published anonymously, we will remove your name. Keep a copy of your entry.

Criteria and Judging: The judges look for entries that are fresh and original, tell a compelling story in a clear and authentic voice, are responsive to the topic, and have been polished and proofread for presentation in the competition. The most successful submissions are rich in evocative detail and avoid generalizations and abstractions. The judging team will be made up of published authors.

Deadline: Your entry must be submitted via our online form, and your entry fee must be postmarked (if mailing a check) or date stamped (if paying online) NO LATER THAN midnight EDT June 22, 2018. No exceptions will be made.

Notification: Winners will be notified by July 1, 2018.

How to Enter: All contest entries must be made via the web form, here.

enter the contest