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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 and should be under 1,500 words. Up to five winners are chosen for publication on our blog. The winners, along with up to five honorable mentions, are announced on the blog. Submit via our Submittable site.

We are not accepting Flash Contest submissions at this time.

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 Flash Contest results prior to #23, 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!

playing periwinkle two girls playing with stuffed toys
Our June 2024 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #308 (provided by Stone Soup intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants write a story from the perspective of one of their favorite childhood toys. According to these submissions, stuffed animals go on some pretty incredible journeys when we aren't looking, and dolls are very adventurous too! They are also prone to fears of being forgotten by the children who once called them their best friends, replaced by computers and phone screens. But as one doll learns, a donation box can often lead to wonderful places. As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “Stuck” by Weizheng Chen, 11 “Believe” by Vanaja Raju, 13 “Something Other Than Hard Wood” by Rena Wang, 11 “Plush Toys' Secret Mission” by Nolan Wei, 8 “Spying On You” by Annabel Xu, 11 Honorable Mentions “The Life and Times of Pooh Bear” by Elise Ben-Akiva, 12 “The Hopes of Aurora” by Melody Fei, 12 “I Will Love You Forever” by Ella Ka, 11 “Tender and Delightful Love” by Keziah Khoo, 10 “A Spot of Satisfaction” by Natalie Yue, 12 Stuck WEIZHENG CHEN, 11 You're stuck. You’re stuck figuratively at least. Stuck in your mind, stuck in heaping piles of pillows and blankets, encompassing your still body. It has been that way for a while already. What has it been? A few ...
Just Don’t Quit playing instruments
Our May 2024 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #304 (provided by Stone Soup intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants write a story based on one of their favorite songs. Musical inspirations included Shawn Mendes, Ruth B., LL COOL J, and Brandi Carlisle. Characters faced 200 ft demons, made new friends, and attended incredible concerts. In one submission, a case of mistaken identity even led to an arrest! As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners "I Can Tell That We are Gonna Be Friends" by Sejal Arora-Patel, 10 "Child Psychology" by Sarah Hu, 12 "Fallout" by Gargi Mondal, 12 "Talking to the Moon" by Dora You, 11 "Oh Klahoma" by Melody You, 13 Honorable Mentions "Older" by Meera Amin, 13 "The Dandelion Wish" by Brielle Barlow, 12 "As Is" by Erin Mundt, 11 "The Wish Tiger" by Jiya Parekh, 10 "Floater" by Zoe Pazner, 13 I Can Tell That We are Gonna Be Friends SEJAL ARORA-PATEL, 10 Song: "We're Going to Be Friends" by The White Stripes Fall is here Kids are shouting and yelling and I kind of don’t know how to feel. The school building stretches high in front of me, and fall leaves are scattered on the ground. Red, yellow, orange, and rare purple that match the shoes I secretly like even though boys aren’t supposed to like purple shoes ...
Katy Runs the Store Brown shoes
Our April 2024 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #299 (provided by Stone Soup intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants write a poem from the perspective of a shoelace. The laces went on incredible adventures, protested against cruel owners, ran in marathons, and grumbled about the growing preference for velcro and slip-on shoes. In all of the entries, one thing was clear: shoelaces are severely underappreciated—and they won't hesitate to trip their owners if they deem it necessary! As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “The Woes of a Lace” by Ryan Avalos, 13 “Running, Running (Never Walking!)” by Arden Cha, 10 “Resignation Letter” by Meleah Goldman, 13 “Tied” by Peter Grace, 13 “The Shoelace's Revelation” by Sconnie Gushée, 11 Honorable Mentions “Downward Hero” by Addison Davis, 11 “Sonnet 155: Shall I Compare Myself to a Relic?” by Alice Hou, 13 “Identity” by Sophie Li, 13 “Life of a Shoelace” by Daniel Kaijie Zhang, 10 “The Poor Shoelace” by Rehan Van Dam, 12 The Woes of a Lace RYAN AVALOS, 13 Tangled in knots, I seethe with rage,Bound to this shoe in a confining cage.Forced to bend, to twist, to strain,Endlessly pulled, without refrain. I’m yanked and tugged, without a care,No thought for my plight—it’s so unfair!Tread upon, dragged through the mire,My fibers fray, my patience dire. I tongue at soil, I lap ...
the voice of the seal
Our March 2024 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #295 (provided by Stone Soup intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants write a story that takes place during a sleepover. These sleepovers were filled with fun activities; characters told scary stories, found a hidden portal, and chased after a runaway cat. They dreamed about transforming into fruit and meeting friendly dragons. One group of witches in particular even had to save Santa himself! As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “The Perfect Sleepover” by Arden Cha, 10 “A Friendship Sleepover” by Aubrey Huang, 11 “For Jade” by Sophie Li, 13 “Saving Christmas” by Miya Ma, 8 “The Cherry Tree” by Miranda Wang, 11 Honorable Mentions “Amaya's Story” by Elaine Bai, 12 “Under the Stars” by Elise Ben-Akiva, 11 “The Truth Behind the Glass” by Ella Chen, 12 “Sleepover Magic” by Jiya Parekh, 10 “Sarah” by Chris Ye, 12 The Perfect Sleepover ARDEN CHA, 10 I have always loved going to sleepovers. I remember going to my first sleepover when I was eight. My friend Calvin invited me to his house during December break. We devoured pizza, watched Home Alone, and spooked each other with eerie ghost stories with a flashlight placed under our chins (which gave the most epic spine-chilling effect). I enjoyed the sleepover so much that I hid in the bathroom when ...
The Treehouse girls climbing
Our February 2024 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #291 (provided by Stone Soup intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants write a story about a person discovering a secret passageway. Characters stumbled upon doors to incredible lands of zombies, witches, and mermaids. They found staircases in trees, tunnels in garbage cans, and a golden elixir that prevents aging. In one submission, a man in a green suit took the main character to a land of misfit creatures. As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “Hole in the Ground” by Angelina Chen, 12 "The Stars" by Xi Huang, 11 "Sewer Rats" by Alborz Yousefi Nooraie, 12 "Wake Up" by Vanaja Raju, 12 "Passage" by Chris Yihan Ye, 12 Honorable Mentions "The Hidden Truth" by Rayansh Bhargava "The Search for the Past Life" by Hope Dekkers, 13 "The Gateway" by Yuna Jung, 10 "The Enchanted Pathway" by Miya Ma, 8 "Shattered Land" by Adam Xu, 11 Hole in the Ground ANGELINA CHEN, 12 “Fine, I hate you too,” Len hissed with feral eyes. His mother and father stood before the television, his father’s hand on his console’s plug. Len clutched the edges of the couch, trying to burn a hole through his parents while sinking into the sofa cushions. “Len, buddy, we never said we hated you; we just told you to turn off the ...
Twisted Friendships girls playing
Our January 2024 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #286 (provided by Stone Soup contributor Molly Torinus), which asked that participants write a story based on the classic game: Would You Rather. There were many incredibly creative takes on this prompt, and characters had tough decisions to make. They debated between super speed and super strength, a girl left her hometown--never to return, and a boy chose to change career paths after accidentally destroying cheese shop property with his pet rat. In one submission a Would You Rather spirit even forced a girl to decide between two delectable concoctions: pickle-filled oreos or a poppyseed cake doused in gravy. As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “I'd Rather Not” by Alia Ashworth, 12 “Thankfulness” by Rayansh Bhargava, 10 “Would You Rather?” by Meghan Li, 13 “The Boy with the Rat” by Alborz Yousefi Nooraie, 12 “Two Years Ago” by Vanaja Raju, 12 Honorable Mentions “Balance Has Been Achieved” by Jayan Byrapuram, 12 “Would You Rather” by Angelina Chen, 13 “The Word” by Yuna Jung, 10 “The Spirit of Rather” by Kate Le, 11 “Would You Rather” by Josi Prins, 12 I'd Rather Not ALIA ASHWORTH, 12 “It’s just a game,” I whisper to myself, taking a deep, calming breath. I know it isn’t true, but it helps steady my resolve, imagining that it isn’t the ...
All You Need Is Love receiving the inheritance
Our December 2023 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #278 (provided by Stone Soup intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants craft a story around a family heirloom. Our submitters wrote about a variety of items passed down between generations including rings, a bracelet, a deer figurine, necklaces, a wooden fox, and a piano that unleashed a demon. Some of these heirlooms were desirable--giving their original owners' descendants special powers--while others were cursed. As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “The Box" by Nandan Chazhiyat, 12 “A Music Memory” by Chrysanthi Constantinou, 13 “The Holgate Gauntlet” by Yuna Jung, 10 “The Path to Atlantis” by Ethan Lee, 9 “Twain's Pencil” by Gargi Mondal, 11 Honorable Mentions “The Chandler's Revenge" by Matilda Carliner, 10 “The Locket" by Angelina Chen, 13 “The Wooden Fox" by Wilson Chen, 11 “Santanic Symphonies" by Andrew Khawam, 13 “Cursed Earrings" by Taeeon Alya Kim, 12 The Box NANDAN CHAZHIYAT, 12 Fear was clouding my mind. My parents had just told me that they wanted to talk to me, and every bad thing I had ever done was in the forefront of my mind. As I walked into the office room, an unusually weighty silence filled the room. I looked inside and...I was in the wrong room. I slowly walked over and opened the door. “Hey, we have something for you.” ...
Lightning Rod using the computer
Our November 2023 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #278 (provided by Stone Soup contributor Molly Torinus), which asked that participants use ChatGPT to generate a story and then write their own sequel. Submissions this month were set in fascinating worlds. Some were desirable with mountains of candy and lush gardens and others were terrifying with swarms of rats and evil villains. Explorers traveled back in time, a girl breathed life into a snowman, and two friends became K-pop stars. As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “Detective Henri Leclerc” by Rayansh Bhargava, 10 “The Dark in the Light” by Courtney Fong, 12 “The Sequel to The Elf with Royal Blood” by Chaesung Kwon, 10 “The Rise of Rob” by Taj Malinis-Jackson, 10 “Crime of the Future” by Emma Zhou, 10 Honorable Mentions “A Strange Encounter” by Angelina Chen, 13 “The Avalanche” by Vihaan D, 6 “The Resurrection Stone” by Mia Goldschmidt, 10 “Time Travelers” by Dara Jin, 10 “Reverse Evolution” by Luke Tang, 13 Detective Henry Leclerc RAYANSH BHARGAVA, 10 The Incredible Detective Amidst the turmoil of World War II, in the heart of occupied Paris, there was a detective whose intelligence shone like a beacon of hope. Detective Henri Leclerc was renowned for his sharp mind and keen observation skills. Despite the dangers that lurked around every corner, Henri was determined to ...
Our October 2023 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #273 (provided by Stone Soup contributor Molly Torinus), which asked that participants get into the mind of an imaginary celebrity. We received 60 submissions this month, and they were certainly creative. There were musicians, fashionistas, astronomers, and basketball stars. Even a pirate was dropped into the mix! These celebrities definitely did not disappoint with their antics and reflections on the difficulties (and benefits) of being famous. As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “Caught in the Spotlight” by Nikita Fishman, 12 “Behind Closed Doors” by Mia Goldschmidt, 10 “A Gloomy Winter's Night” by Kellyn Hu, 13 “The Star of the Show(?)” by Mary G. Lane, 12 “Fake” by Kelly Shi, 13 Honorable Mentions “Desiderium” by Erin Bai, 11 “The Dopamine Rush” by Sophie Li, 11 “Stupid Fame” by Serena Liu, 10 “Jewel” by Emma Luo, 10 “Virulencer” by Luke Tang, 13 Caught in the Spotlight NIKITA FISHMAN, 12 ~Belle’s Perspective~ My heart raced like a stallion on the brink of a thunderous gallop. I stood backstage, just minutes away from performing, the air electric with anticipation. Mentally, I rehearsed my choreography one last time, each step etched in my mind like a vivid painting. I wiped my hands, now glistening with a sheen of sweat and took a deep, steadying breath. "이제 갈 수 있어요!" ...
A Christmas Wish a white dog
Our September 2023 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #269 (provided by Stone Soup contributor Molly Torinus), which asked that participants write a story from the perspective of a pet. Our submitters wrote about their furry friends' crazy and (often hilarious) adventures. There were plenty of escapes, an ant left behind, a search for tuna, and trips into alternate dimensions. As always, thank you to all who participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Honorable Mentions, listed below, and our Winners, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “From ForeverPet to Forever Home" by Nikita Fishman, 12 "Mian Mian's Untimely Adventure" by Courtney Fong, 12 “I'll Keep Waiting" by Abigail Lee, 12 “The Life of a Guinea Pig" by Nova Macknik-Conde, 11 “Sticky and the Power of Friendship in Warfare" by Aleena Shaik, 13 Honorable Mentions “Forgotten" by Kyle Chinchio, 10 “The Ocean's Presents" by Olivia Hsu, 11 "The (Mis)adventures of Butters the Cat" by Dylan Suggs, 11 “The Dogs Who Hated Their Owners" by Helena Xue, 10 “Visit to the Vet" by Eric Yang, 13 From ForeverPet to Forever Home NIKITA FISHMAN, 12 Monday, May 25 was a special date; I knew from the minute I woke up. Sunlight beamed through the windows, casting a gentle glow that danced on the gleaming, polished floors. Nestled snugly within my sleeping chamber, I found myself sound asleep, oblivious to the world around me. A silly smile adorned my face as I drooled. Suddenly, a jarring phone ...

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 🙂

    • Hi Ryan,

      The contest is now up on this page. In the future if you do not yet see the prompt listed on this page you can find it as its own post on the blog.

  5. Hello,

    It’s Wednesday, August third, and the flash contest still isn’t up. I’m wondering – is something wrong on my end or has it not been posted?

    Thanks,
    Caroline

  6. Hello,
    It’s August ninth and it says to come back in September, but there was no prompt. Did I miss it or was there an issue?

    Thanks,
    Wenjing

    • Hi Eiaa,

      Apologies that it took so long for them to go up this week! The winners and their work have just been published.

  7. Is the next contest 5th 2022, because I have been looking through the comments and have seen that they we’re sent in 2021

  8. I don’t believe that the atlas of emotions has a list of emotions. Once I tried to click on the bubbles, there were only a couple listed. Can I use a different emotion that I have never heard of, even if it’s not listed on the atlas?

    • Hi Elise,

      I didn’t realize! Yes, you can absolutely use a different emotion you haven’t heard of. I’m sure you can just look up a list of emotions on other sites.

  9. Hi! I wondered when the April Flash Contest prompt would be posted since it was supposed to be posted yesterday. Thanks!

    • Hi Alia,

      It was posted yesterday, just hadn’t yet updated this page. Are you subscribed to receive the prompts via email? If so, I can sign you up for that.

  10. Hi — When are the monthly contest submissions due?

    Is it possible to get them via email as well?

    • Hi Nalini,

      Yes, I’ll sign you up to receive the prompts via email. And submissions are always due the following Sunday after they’re posted. So the next Flash Contest will go up on Monday May 1st and all submissions will be due by 1159 PM on Sunday May 7th.

  11. Oh how I wish you would post the prompt earlier so that my Monday classes could work on them together. Ah me.

  12. Hello,

    For “The May Flash Contest is now open! Write an enemies-to-lovers story”, what is the deadline: midnight of Sunday, 6/4 or 6/11?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Andrew,

      Apologies, but we just hadn’t updated the page to say that the May Flash Contest was closed. Each Flash Contest runs for one week, starting on the first Monday of the month. The next one opens June Fifth, and will close at midnight June 12.

    • Hi,

      No, the flash contest closes after one week. It just hadn’t yet been updated since it has to be changed manually.

  13. Hi, I have a question. Can only subscribers join the monthly flash contest? Also it said come back August 7th, to get the next prompt, but I am not able to see it. Thank you.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Apologies that it wasn’t ready early this month. They should usually go out, at least via email, at 2 AM. It is now up.

  14. Thank you so much for posting the October prompt early in the day. It makes a huge difference and allows me to work with the prompt in my Monday classes. Grateful!

  15. For this month’s flash contest (Nov 2023), should we include the AI-generated short story along with our sequel submission?

  16. Hi, this is not regarding the flash contest, but I would like to know if we can submit existing plays which we had edited and made better?
    For my school project I had to do just that with a Bengali play called Rats on a Train. I edited the translated version, and made it longer and better. I would like to submit it to StoneSoup, however I need to know if that is allowed.

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