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Stone Soup holds a Flash Contest during the first week of every month. The month’s first Weekly Creativity prompt provides the contest challenge. Submissions are due by midnight on Sunday of the same week. Up to five winners are chosen for publication on our blog. The winners, along with up to five honorable mentions, are announced in the following Saturday Newsletter. Submit via our Submittable site.

The May Flash Contest is now closed. Come back June 6th for our next Flash Contest prompt. 

Every contest has its own winners' page, where you can read all the winning entries for the month. You can find the links to all of those pages below. Note that the first Monthly Flash Contest is #23. For previous Flash Contest results, please check the Weekly Flash Contest Winner page.

We are proud of everyone who takes part in the contest. Thank you for trusting us with your work!

Midnight’s Song raccoon
Our May Flash Contest was based on Prompt #202 (provided by intern Sage Millen), which, like her last contest prompt from February, dealt with food in a remarkably whimsical way. This time the food was pizza rather than tomato soup, as participants were asked to write a story where somebody betrays their best friend for a slice of slightly stale pizza. Once again, the submissions matched the sheer creativity and ingenuity of the prompt as submissions ranged from a direct address story in verse to a story set in an interrogation room to a piece of historical fiction set during the Bay of Pigs Invasion. We were also so impressed with the work of Ellis Yang in their story "An Unsent Letter" that we decided to publish it separately on the blog at a future date. As always, we thank all who submitted, and encourage you to submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "The Stale Pizza Slice" by Suanne Li, 8 (San Jose, CA) "The Perils of Pizza" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "The Triad Trials" by Emily Tang, 13 (Winterville, NC) "The Trash Pandas and the Pizza" by Michael Wilkinson, 12 (San Carlos, CA) "Would You Like a Slice?" by Joycelyn Zhang, 12 (San Diego, CA) Honorable Mentions "Hope" by Jeremy Lim, 9 (Portland, OR) "The Tale of the Raccoon" by Anushi Mittai, 10 (Beaverton, OR) "The Last Slice" by Arshia Ramesh, 12 ...
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A collage of a woman, using magazine clippings arranged on a tree stump.
Our April Flash Contest was based on Prompt #198 (provided by intern Sim Ling Thee), which challenged participants to write a story in which the protagonist failed at everything and ultimately didn't succeed in the end. Unsurprisingly, this subverting prompt led to some the most inspired writing we've seen yet! Submissions ranged from a violin recital from the perspective of a snooty child to an unreliable narrator's laundry list of past failures to an old woman's battle with growing tomatoes. In one story, the unlikeable protagonist even smeared butter on their nemesis' lawn! As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "Curses!" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "Beatrice" by Olivia Owens, 13 (Jacksonville, FL) "A Failing Success" by Emily Tang, 13 (Winterville, NC) "Cypress Woman" by Ellis Yang, 12 (Los Altos, CA) "You Win Some, You Lose Some" by Savarna Yang, 13 (Outram, New Zealand) Honorable Mentions "Dangly Necklaces" by Victoria Gong, 10 (Scarsdale, NY) "Learning to Fly" by Marin Hamory, 10 (Wellesley, MA) "The Last Leaf" by Kimberly Hu, 9 (Lake Oswego, OR) "The Performance" by Elizabeth Sabaev, 11 (Forest Hills, NY) "Gray" by Alex Zigoneanu, 11 (Portland, OR) Curses! Lui Lung, 12 “'When people heard his name, breathed reverently in hushed tones, it was fear that swiftly rooted in their veins.' Curses! That doesn’t make sense. No, how about… 'It was fear that blasted ...
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Mirrored
Our March Flash Contest was based on Prompt #194 (provided by contributor Molly Torinus), which challenged participants to craft a frame narrative—like a story within a story—for their submissions. This delightful prompt readily invited experimentation with form, and we weren't disappointed—one story went "Behind the Scenes" to show the editing processes and inner workings of the story itself! Others ranged from riffs on creation myths to campground misadventures to conferences wherein time travelers presented on their unique eras. As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "The Element" by Kimberly Hu, 9 (Lake Oswego, OR) "Speakers of the Past" by Sophie Li, 11 (Palo Alto, CA) "A Way Out" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "The Last Chapter" by Savarna Yang, 13 (Outram, New Zealand) "Nightbear" by Melody You, 11 (Lake Oswego, OR) Honorable Mentions "Useless Sidekick" by Dalia Figatner, 11 (Mercer Island, WA) "Hope and Amelia" by Noelle Kolmin, 10 (New York, NY) "How the Skunk Got Her Stripe and the Kangaroo Her Pouch" by Nova Macknik-Conde, 10 (Brooklyn, NY) "Behind the Scenes" by Emily Tang, 12 (Winterville, NC) "Earthquake in a Book" by Karuna Yang, 11 (Outram, New Zealand) The Element Kimberly Hu, 9 Xi smiled at Ari. The Story begins once upon a time, a long, long time ago. “Isn’t that how all stories start?” Ari asked curiously. Yes, Xi minded softly. But this ...
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Cream of Tomato Soup
Our February Flash Contest was based on Prompt #190 (provided by intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants write a story about a character who falls into a bowl of tomato soup and into a magical land. The whimsical yet specific prompt served as the perfect vehicle of creativity for our participants as we received more submissions—43!—than we ever had before! While every story was naturally based upon the same premise, these stories could not have had more variety. Submissions ranged from an epistolary story addressing a corrupt king to the origin story for a pet rabbit to a story surrounding the subsequent events of the eerie, dystopian "Orange Day." As we received a record number of submissions, we found it extra difficult to choose only ten stories worthy of mention, so we added a sixth story to our honorable mentions. As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "The Magic of Tomato Soup" by Ananya Cronin, 9 (Fishers, IN) "Dear King Solanum" by Sophie Li, 11 (Palo Alto, CA) "Tomato Island" by Nova Macknik-Conde, 10 (Brooklyn, NY) "The King Who Fell into a Bowl of Tomato Soup" by David Yu, 11 (Hong Kong) "Ten Times" by Natalie Yue, 10 (San Carlos, CA) Honorable Mentions "It Started with the Tomatoes" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) To"Clara and Whiskers" by Elizabeth Sabaev, 11 (Forest Hills, NY) "Reality ...
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ApartTogether
Our January Flash Contest was based on Creativity Prompt #185 (provided by Molly Torinus, Stone Soup contributor), which challenged participants to write a story in which the protagonist explained COVID-19 to people in the distant past. What a way to begin the new year! Molly's thoughtful prompt led to a surge of creativity; these stories took us on journeys to Ancient Egypt and Greece, invented time travel via carrier pigeon, and centered on ghostly interactions. We even received a play set during the end of the Black Death! While each and every story was a pleasure to read, we narrowed down our selections to the usual five winners and five honorable mentions. As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "What Are You Talking About?" by Audrey Billington, 10 (Hillsboro, IL) "Dear Jane" by Finoula Breen-Ryan, 10 (Bridgeport, CT) "The Warning: A Play" by Nova Macknik-Conde, 10 (Brooklyn, NY) "Old Answers" by Daniel Shorten, 10 (Mallow, ROI) "The Ghost of You" by Eliya Wee, 11 (Menlo Park, CA) Honorable Mentions "Covid-19 Explained to Ancient Egyptians" by Poorvi Girish, 8 (Fremont, CA) "Royally Messed Up" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "Dear People of the Past" by Zayda Parakh, 12 (Chattanooga, TN) "COVID-19.63" by Divya Srinivasan, 12 (Sammamish, WA) "COVID Time Travel" by Savarna Yang, 13 (Outram, NZ) What Are You Talking About Audrey Billington, 10 I was in ...
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Colored pencil drawing of multicolored floating boxes above grey boxes
Our December Flash Contest was based on Creativity Prompt #181 (provided by Molly Torinus, Stone Soup contributor), which challenged participants to write a creation story for a fictional world of their own imagination. For the third consecutive month we set a record for number of submissions, all of them worthy of recognition. Molly's ingenious prompt led to a breadth of creativity, with creation stories for fully realized worlds containing mathematical sets with biblical influence to anthropomorphic clouds to the misadventures of a musical note. In the end, we selected our usual five winners and five honorable mentions. As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "Darkness" by Kimberly Hu, 9 (Lake Oswego, OR) "Adventure to the Lost Kingdoms" by Tang Li, 9 (Palmetto Bay, FL) "The Beginning, the End, the Rebirth" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "The Fearful Cloud" by Julia Ma, 11 (Portland, OR) "The World of the Grand Staff" by Maya Mourshed, 10 (Silver Spring, MD) Honorable Mentions "One Dance" by Audrey Billington, 10 (Hillsboro, IL) "Math: The Origin" by Lucas Hinds, 13 (Lenoir City, TN) "The Creation of Warland" by Sophie Li, 11 (Palo Alto, CA) "Eternalia" by Brooke Negin, 11 (Kanata, ON, Canada) "The Fourth Dawn" by Divya Srinivasan, 12 (Sammamish, WA) Darkness Kimberly Hu, 9 Where am I? What am I? Why am I here? What even is this place? Is this ...
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Photograph of snowy mountains taken from above
Our November Flash Contest was based on Creativity Prompt #176 (provided by Sage Millen, former Stone Soup intern), which asked participants to create a character that had everything they'd always wanted, yet still wasn't happy. Again, we received a massive influx of submissions, all of them worthy of recognition. Interestingly, this prompt also gave rise to more poetry submissions—a welcome sight. The work we read ranged from complex narratives involving time travel to an existential search for ice cream to inspiring poetry surrounding the nature of perfection. In the end, we decided there was too much good work to limit our Honorable Mentions to just five writers, and so highlighted a sixth! As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "Natalie's Wish" by Josephine Alpert, 13 (Cambridge, MA) "Allison!" by Quinn Brenner, 11 (New York, NY) "Perfection by Sierra E., 11 (Mountain View, CA) "Gone" by Scarlet He, 10 (Scarsdale, NY) "Hole of Debt" by Emily Tang, 12 (Winterville, NC) Honorable Mentions "Realization" by Kimberly Hu, 9 (Lake Oswego, OR) "The Bird and a Boy" by Jeremy Lim, 9 (Portland, OR) "Dare to Dream" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "Pride" by Nova Macknik-Conde, 10 (Brooklyn, NY) "Boredom" by Liyue Sally Wang, 10 (Newton, MA) "A Month of Awakening" by Eliya Wee, 11 (Menlo Park, CA) Natalie's Wish Josephine Alpert, 13 Every child of Lisren city was ...
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Our October Flash Contest was based on Creativity Prompt #172 (provided by Molly Torinus, Stone Soup contributor), which asked participants to perform the meta task of writing about somebody writing a story. The result was a wave of submissions unlike we have ever seen, making the selection process this month even more difficult. We read stories that anthropomorphized bananas, that projected protagonists' lives far into the future, that literally wrote out entire stories within stories, and much, much more. In the end, we wound up with five winners and five honorable mentions whose fantastic and distinct work gives shape to a bright and promising future! As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "With Great Power..." by Jack Liu, 13 (Livingston, NJ) "Words" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "Myrtle and Sage" by Pranjoli Sadhukha, 11 (Newark, OH) "Rejection Miracle" by Alexandra Steyn, 12 (Greenwich, CT) "Coffee Mates" by Emily Tang, 12 (Winterville, NC) Honorable Mentions "Crumpled Papers" by Anushka Dhar, 12 (Hillsborough, NJ) "Charlotte's Unusual Story" by Hannah Francis, 11 (Stanford, CA) "Writer's Block" by Nova Macknik-Conde, 10 (Brooklyn, NY) "It Should Bother You" by Violet Solana Perez, 13 (Scarsborough, ON, Canada) "Behind the Counter" by Eliya Wee, 11 (Menlo Park, CA) With Great Power... Jack Liu, 13 George slammed his fist onto the table, staring at his screen. He stared down into his lap, feeling the immense ...
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A watercolour painting of a fantastical city in outer space.
Our September Flash Contest was based on Creativity Prompt #168 (provided by Molly Torinus, Stone Soup contributor), which asked participants to write about themselves with one small twist: the story had to take place inside a parallel universe where they led a different life. The prompt was interpreted in myriad ways, with many branching into the realm of science fiction, others into fantasy, and some choosing to remain within the world of the mundane. We were dazzled by participants' creativity, our minds taken on journeys to a car ride with a yapping dad, a dystopian future where fires reigned supreme, a skillfully disguised Magic Store, and much, much more! As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "The Concert" by Lucas Hinds, 13 (Lenoir City, TN) "Recognition" by Serena Lin, 10 (Scarsdale, NY) "Are you Ready?" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "Phoenix" by Eliya Wee, 11 (Menlo Park, CA) "The Magic Store" by Chloe Yang, 12 (Cranbury, NJ) Honorable Mentions "A Day with My Drox" by Tahra Araujo, 9 (Brooklyn, NY) "The Puzzle" by Anushka Dhar, 12 (Hillsborough, NJ) "Normal Universe/Parallel Universe" by Nova Macknik-Conde, 9 (Brooklyn, NY) "Mechanical Master" by Rishab Suresh, 13 (Sanford, FL) "Duplicates" by Emily Tang, 12 (Winterville, NC) The Concert Lucas Hinds, 13 “Time to get up, boys!” my mom shouted, waking me. “Please, just 30 more minutes,” I mumbled. “No way!” she said sternly. “We have to get ready ...
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Our August Flash Contest was based on Creativity Prompt #164 (provided by Anya Geist, Stone Soup '20–21 Intern), which, combining art and writing, challenged participants to write a stream of consciousness piece based off of J.M.W. Turner's painting The Banks of the Loire. The result was, unsurprisingly, breathtaking! In their own unique ways, each piece evoked Turner's painting with stunning vividity. Reading the participants' work, it was easy to envision the kneeling lady in red, the arching trees, and the backdrop of the seacliff, the tops of sails just visible through the mist. Participants also interpreted the qualification of stream of consciousness in a variety of ways, with their submissions ranging from meandering prose without punctuation to highly structured poetry to paragraph blocks written from the perspective of a tree! As always, thank you to all who submitted, and please submit again next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "A River Flows in Me" by Inca Acrobat, 11 (San Francisco, CA) "The Melancholy Landscape" by Sophie Liu, 9 (Surrey, BC, Canada) "The Watcher" by Lui Lung, 12 (Danville, CA) "Scattering Beams" by Emily Tang, 12 (Winterville, NC) "The Banks of the Loire" by Alexis Zou, 13 (Lake Oswego, OR) Honorable Mentions "A Dream or the End?" by Phoenix Crucillo, 13 (Los Angeles, CA) "Thoughts Harbored" by Rex Huang, 11 (Lake Oswego, OR) "Perspectives Not Human" by Ivy Liu, 9 (San Jose, CA) "So Still" by Sophie Yu, 13 (Houston, ...
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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Hi! I know that the November Flash Contest has ended, but I just wanted to ask: Do you have to write a story that matches the prompt if you submit?

    Thanks!

  2. We logged on this morning to get the December writing prompt but we don’t see it yet. What time will it be posted and what time zone?

  3. Are flash fiction submissions for a fee, and, if so, how much? Also, just checking, but the next available submission date is January, right? And, since I already have a bout of questions flung around haphazardly, here is one more: If you win a flash fiction contest, can you still win the annual novel contest, or are you exempt? Thank you!

    • Hi Lola,

      1) The Flash Contest costs two dollars to enter. 2) Yes, January third. And 3) You are absolutely not exempt! You can also be selected as a Flash Contest winner multiple times. Hope this helps!

    • Hi Jaylen,

      The results for this February’s Flash Contest will be posted either Thursday night or Friday morning. The rest of the Flash Contest results for previous months are included in this page. Hope this helps!

    • Hi Sabriah,

      It is now up, apologies for the wait! In the future, even if the prompt might not yet say it is up on this page the prompt is likely to have been posted to the blog.

  4. P.S.
    It is April 4th right now and I have been checking for a bit, for me, it is 11:08 eastern time and I still don’t see it.
    – Thank you for your answer 🙂

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