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$12.00 USD

RWC’s tagline is “we believe in the power of words.” We’re promoting this concept further by making “power of words” the theme of our first flash fiction contest. In 1000 words or less, write a story that showcases how words make a difference. Think about how words heal, save, or defend, but also how words can sabotage, belittle, or ruin. Words between lovers. Words between friends. Words between strangers. Words between family members. Words your character speaks to him/herself. Write about communication and miscommunication, about late-night secrets, and early morning arguments. Write about outrage or sorrow or joy or excitement and the words that make those emotions matter. Besides the easy-to-follow guidelines listed below, there’s one big rule for this contest that matters most of all: the “powerful words,” the “words that change everything” must be spoken or thought by a character. That’s right, “using quotation marks.” Or, if your character is thinking these powerful words, they can be italicized.


  • Word count: 1000 words
  • Spacing: Double Spaced
  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Accepted file type: doc, docx, or pdf
  • Submissions are read blind. Do not put any identifying information in your upload file or in the file name. 
  • Publication: On the RWC website
  • Submissions are accepted only through Submittable. Flash Fiction pieces must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are accepted but please withdraw your piece using a note in Submittable if accepted by a journal. Only one flash fiction piece per submission is accepted. You may submit more than once but it must be a separate submission and a separate fee must be paid. The submission fee is $12.00.
  • Other Thoughts: We do not enjoy stories that contain an overabundance of explicit language, or that are overtly political, sexual, violent, or discriminatory. Please do not send these types of stories. 

The winner receives a free one-week stay at Rockvale Writers’ Colony. Please note travel and food expenses are not included. The stay must adhere to the usual policies for Week-long Residencies. Stay must begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday. The RWC writer's contract must be read and signed. The one-week residency must be scheduled before December 31, 2020.

1 to 3 Finalists will receive $100 off any stay of 2 nights or more at Rockvale Writers’ Colony.

Contest begins on November 1st and ends on December 15th. Winner and finalists announced on January 6, 2020.