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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 2,000 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.

The February Flash Contest is now closed. Come back on March 4th for next month's 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 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!

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 ...
Smile
Our August 2023 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #265 (provided by Stone Soup intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants write a story that ended in someone brushing their teeth. Our submitters certainly got creative, with one story ending in a zookeeper brushing a tiger's teeth, and another ending in a super-powered hamster brushing her teeth after saving a family in Thailand. As always, thank you to all you 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 “Déjà Vu" by Isha Bhadauria, 13 "Brushing Teeth: One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Food" by Jayan Byrapuram, 12 “Pink Magic" by Reese Fujikawa, 12 “Super Peaches: Amini's Rescue" by Greta Garretson, 8 “A Brush with Destiny" by Milly Wang, 10 Honorable Mentions “The House" by Nandan Chazhiyat, 12 “I Broke My Brother" by Kyle Chinchio, 10 "Toothbrush Vs. Candy" by Chloe Lin, 11 “Camping" by Taj Malinis-Jackson, 10 “Click" by Angela Mu, 13 Déjà Vu Isha Bhadauria, 13 Every human knows that at any given day, hour, second, their life could end. However, hardly any human ever really contemplates the prospect of actually dying. Of course, there’s always a few exceptions - a few have scratched the surface of truth; in turn, beginning practices of various religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and many more. However, the brain of a human is simply incompetent to realize the real. To a ...
Untitled
Our July 2023 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #260, which asked that participants write a story (or poem) that ended in fireworks. Participants were free to interpret "fireworks" however they desired, with most opting for the literal meaning, however some particularly creative submissions had their own interpretations; one story ended in the northern lights, and another ended in a magical flower bloom. Other submissions ranged from a story about a stubborn and crafty dog to a melancholic story about a baby shower to a story about a woman's late-life realization. As always, thank you to all you 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 “Glow" by Nova Macknik-Conde, 11 “Reflections" by Zoe Pazner, 12 “Fireworks of the Stars" by Makela S, 13 “The Baby Shower" by Zoey Shield, 13 “A Tail of Fireworks and Wonder: Coco’s Sparkling Adventure" by Milly Wang, 10 Honorable Mentions “It's going to Be Alright" by Kyle Chinchio, 10 “The Deadline" by Mia Goldschmidt, 9 “An Independence Day to Remember" by Isa Hasan, 13 “A Home to Remember" by Madelynn Lee, 12 “Change" by Jeremy Lim, 10 Glow Nova Macknik-Conde, 11 The children dance around the fairy lights Trying to catch them in see-through jars Not sparing a thought that Their gleaming prisoners may die I would not be so unwise To think I could own fireflies That if I captured them As they fled from ...
An acrylic painting of parachutes silhouetted against the sunset, with a city skyline down below.
Our June 2023 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #256 (provided by Stone Soup intern Sage Millen), which asked that participants write an unusually specific story, one in which a parachutist lands next to the protagonist while the protagonist is sitting on the lawn. The rest of the details, however, were left to the brilliant imaginations of our participants, and they did not disappoint. Submissions ranged from a story about a clueless time traveler named Bob to a story about unsuccessfully meeting a Mr. Beast challenge to a story about two boneheaded "heroes" too focused on who saved their town the most. This week, due to a high volume of stories good enough to be selected for Honorable Mentions, we only chose four winners—two of whom are actually twins!—instead of our usual five, because it was too difficult to elevate one of our honorable mentions over the others. As always, thank you to all you 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 Spy from the Sky" by Ariel Makri Levy, 11 “The First Snow" by Evelyn Lien, 12 “The Landing" by Isabelle Lien, 12 “Shoot the Moon" by Maya Ruben, 12 Honorable Mentions “Dandelion" by Han-ya Chen, 11 “One Day, One Short Life" by Sophie Li, 12 “Recruiting Mr. Pineapple" by Chloe Lin, 10 “The Heroes of Graztown" by Meg Schmit, 10 “Bob" by Ariel Zhang, 11 The Spy from ...
SweetNothings
Our May 2023 Flash Contest was based on Prompt #251 (provided by Stone Soup contributor Molly Torinus), which asked that participants write an enemies-to-lovers story. Molly's prompt resulted in some of the most creative work I've seen submitted to the Flash Contest in a long time, with submissions ranging from a poem about the rivalry between pi and pie, an origin story for the pluot, and a mock interview between vanilla cake and chocolate cake. As always, thank you to all you participated, and please keep submitting next month! In particular, we congratulate our Winners and our Honorable Mentions, whose work you can appreciate below. Winners “The Big Red Barn" by Elena Bonnette, 10 “The Girl Across the Bridge" by Aaron Duan, 12 “11:06 PM" by Lauren Kim, 13 “The Butterflyherd" by Mary Lane, 11 “The Captain and the Admiral" by Lui Lung, 13 “The Story of the Pluot" by Ariel Zhang, 11 Honorable Mentions “40-Love" by Yuhan Cai, 12 “Yin and Yang" by Inaya Dar, 13 “Of Nighthawks and Roses" by Owen Duan, 12 “Vanilla Cake vs. Chocolate Cake" by Chloe Lin, 10 “Pie and Pi Share the Spotlight" by Ayaan Pirani, 11 “House Animal" by Melody You, 12 The Big Red Barn Elena Bonnette, 10 Once upon a time, there was a Big Red Barn that walked on big, stumpy chicken legs. And inside that Big Red Barn was a big red robot named Pepperoni. And inside Pepperoni was a big red dog with the name Wild Cherry ...

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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