Exploring the art of prose


CRAFT Flash Prose Prize 2023

2023 CRAFT Flash Prose Prize

$3,600 Awarded

September 1 – October 31, 2023

Thank you to all the writers who sent their work to our
2023 Flash Prose Prize, guest judged by Kathy Fish.

We are delighted to publish the winning entries in April 2024.
Congratulations to all the honorees listed below!


Annabel Li: “Analysis of a Fugue”
Heidi Richardson: “Southern Womb”
Rebecca Starks: “The Two Denvers”

Editors’ Choice Selections

Val Bramble: “Don’t Laugh”
Christina Simon: “Forty-Eight Hours in Miami”
MJ Tuttle: “To the Man Watching Porn in the Fort Lauderdale Airport”


Catherine Buck: “How to Become a Lesbian in Your Thirties”
Rosanna Durst: “Calculus”
Krista Hanson: “Elevator Dance”
Marilyn Hope: “Cooper Corentin Dreams in Color”
Grace Morse: “Walking the Iowa River with My Grandmother after the Floods”
Eric Nolan: “Seven Tips for Creating an Optimized Learning Environment”
Pritha RaySircar: “The Last First Time”
Chris Williams: “The Hospital My Daddy Died In”
Thalia Williamson: “Day and Night”

The Rest of the Longlist

Stephanie Thomas Berry: “Conversation Game”
Caroline Bock: “Yellow is disappearing and you are going to Barcelona”
Tara Dugan: “Don’t You Cry Over Spoiled Milk”
Jeniah Johnson: “Two Women Behind a Wall”
Laura Laing: “Smoking Is Cool”
Ying Lee: “Swimming”
Pritha RaySircar: “Sharbat”
Shawn Tenhoff: “Portrait in Negative Space”
Alex Thieme: “What’s Left at the End”
Nicole Zimmerman: “There Was a Man Who”

Honorable Mentions

Fredrick Agaga: “A Dying Physician”
Alex Avgust: “All Mouth”
Amber Fenik: “Canaries”
Caroline Hagood: “When Will the Unicorn Die”
Rochelle Hurt: “On Catherine Opie’s Self-Portrait”
Katherine Laborde: “Drunk”
Ying Lee: “A History of Malaya”
Donna Obeid: “Flashes of You”
Eric Pahre: “A Drive in Such an Hour”
Eileen Tomarchio: “Music Becomes Determined”

2023 CRAFT Flash Prose Prize

Flash prose is a versatile, dynamic form of storytelling with an energy all its own. At CRAFT, we love the way flash prose can entertain and inspire, engage and provoke. For the 2023 Flash Prose Prize, we’re seeking your best flash work, whether fiction or nonfiction. Guest Judge Kathy Fish is known the world over for her incredible facility with flash, and here’s what she’d like to see from you:
I am so excited and honored to judge this contest! My favorite flash are the ones that are emotionally evocative and boldly, interestingly executed. I love a bit of innovation and experimentation if they serve and enhance the storytelling. Is this a story or essay that feels urgent? Does it need telling right now? Does it assert its urgency from the first sentence? Almost always, I will choose a piece that moves me deeply over a clever one that impresses, but lacks a beating heart at its center. Let your work reflect your true and authentic voice. Make me lean in and hang on your every word. There! I don’t ask for much, do I!
Submissions are open September 1 to October 31, 2023. Three winners will receive $1,000 each with publication. Three additional editors’ choices will receive $200 each with publication. Please review our guidelines below—we’re so eager to read your flash prose!


  • Submissions are open to all writers, emerging and experienced.
  • International submissions are allowed.
  • Please submit prose work primarily written in English, but conceptually or stylistically necessary code-switching is warmly welcomed.
  • Please submit flash prose ONLY!
  • Please adhere to the 1,000 word count maximum per piece (up to two prose pieces per submission).
  • We review literary work 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.). Reprints will be automatically disqualified.
  • We allow simultaneous submissions—writers, please notify us immediately and withdraw your entry if your work is accepted to be published elsewhere.
  • The $20 reading fee per entry allows up to two 1,000-word prose pieces—if submitting two works, please send them in a SINGLE document.
  • We allow multiple submissions—please submit each piece (or set of two pieces) as a separate submission accompanied by a separate entry fee.
  • All entries will be considered for publication in CRAFT.
  • Please double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history and any content warnings, if applicable.
  • We do not require anonymous submissions, but Kathy Fish will review the shortlist anonymously.
  • Writers from historically marginalized groups may submit here, for free, until we reach 50 free 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.
  • AI-generated submissions will be automatically disqualified.


The writers of the three winning pieces will each receive:
  • $1,000 award and a bundle of the Rose Metal Press Field Guides.
  • Publication in CRAFT, with an introduction by Kathy Fish as well as an author’s note (short craft essay) to accompany the piece.
Editors’ choices:
  • $200 each and publication to three pieces we just can’t let go.


  • Friends, family, and associates of the judge are not eligible for consideration for the award.
  • Our collaboration with editorial professionals in the judging and awarding of our contests does not imply an endorsement or recognition from their agencies, houses, presses, universities, etc.
  • As we only consider unpublished writing for contests, and will publish the winning pieces in April 2024, anything under contract to publish prior to July 2024, should not be entered.


You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your submission. In the feedback letter, we will provide line-level editorial notes, as well as a two-page global letter discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. While editorial feedback is inherently subjective, our criticism is always actionable and encouraging. We aim to have feedback completed within six weeks after the final status update of the contest entry. Work that we critique is not eligible for future CRAFT contests.


KATHY FISH’s stories have been widely published in journals, anthologies, and textbooks. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Copper Nickel, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, swamp pink, The Norton Reader, and Norton’s Flash Fiction America (2023). Honors include the Copper Nickel Editors’ Prize and a Ragdale Foundation Fellowship. The author of five short fiction collections, Fish teaches a variety of creative writing workshops online. She also publishes a popular monthly craft newsletter, The Art of Flash Fiction. Find her on Twitter @kathyfish.


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.