Exploring the art of prose


CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest

2021 CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest
September 1 to October 31, 2021

Judged by Robert Lopez


Welcome back to our annual flash fiction contest for unpublished stories up to 1,000 words!

Robert Lopez will select three winning stories
Each winning writer will be awarded $1,000
More awards and details below

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  • Open September 1 to October 31, 2021
  • CRAFT submissions are open to all writers
  • International submissions are always welcome
  • Please submit work in English only
  • Flash fiction only! (our creative nonfiction award opens in November)
  • 1,000 word count maximum
  • We review literary fiction but are open to a variety of genres and styles
  • Previously unpublished work only—we do NOT review reprints for contests (previously published includes any form of self-publishing, blogs, personal websites, social media, etc.)
  • We allow simultaneous submissions—writers, please notify us and withdraw your entry if your work is accepted elsewhere
  • $20 reading fee per entry allows up to two stories of 1,000 words or fewer each—if submitting two stories please send them in a SINGLE document
  • We allow multiple submissions—please submit each flash fiction piece or set of two pieces as a separate submission accompanied by an entry fee
  • All entries will be considered for publication in CRAFT
  • All submissions must be made via Submittable
  • Please double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12pt font
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable)
  • We do not require anonymous submissions
  • We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or for any other reason
  • Additionally, we do not tolerate discrimination in the writing we consider for publication: work we find discriminatory on any of the bases stated here will be declined without complete review (you will be refunded, less Submittable’s fee)
  • Check out our 2020 contest winners for examples of work we’ve chosen in the past

Friends, family, and associates of the judge are not eligible for consideration for the award.



The writers of the three winning flash fiction pieces will each receive:

  • $1,000 award and a bundle of the Rose Metal Press Field Guides
  • Publication in CRAFT, with an introduction by Robert Lopez, and an author’s note (craft essay) to accompany the story
  • A micro-interview with our flash fiction section editor, Kristin Tenor


Editors’ choice:

  • $200 each and publication to three stories we just can’t let go


All entrants will receive an exclusive digital compilation next year that will include: the winning pieces with Robert Lopez’s introductions and the winners’ craft essays; excerpts from the editors’ choice and finalist pieces; and more


Robert Lopez is the author of three novels, Part of the World, Kamby Bolongo Mean River—named one of 25 important books of the decade by HTML Giant, All Back Full, and two story collections, Asunder and Good People. A new book, A Better Class Of People, will be published by Dzanc Books in March 2022. He teaches at Pratt Institute and Stony Brook University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Founded in 2006, Rose Metal Press is a not-for-profit publisher specializing in the publication of literary work in hybrid genres, including flash fiction and nonfiction; prose poetry; novels-in-verse or book-length linked narrative poems; novellas-in-flash; lyric essays; text and image works; and other literary works that move beyond the traditional genres of poetry, fiction, and essay to find new forms of expression.