Exploring the art of prose


CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest 2020


2020 CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest

Guest Judge: Leesa Cross-Smith


Thank you to all the writers who sent stories to the contest! We are delighted to publish the winning pieces and the editors’ choice selections in April 2021. Congratulations to the winners, finalists, longlisters, and honorable mentions!


In the Winter” Puloma Ghosh
It Will Be All of These Things” Ruth LeFaive
Everything Is Haram and So Are You; or, What to Do with a Birthday Card” Arshia Simkin

Editors’ Choice Round Selections

un/synced” Lisa Bass
Adapted from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Definitions of ‘Rock’” Audrey Bauman
We’re All Just Trying to Keep Our Shit Together at the DMV” L Mari Harris
Let’s Say, Triptych” Steven Sherrill


“A Season for Wheat” Gail Anderson
“The High Blue Sky” Tomiko Breland
“The City” Spencer Thomas Campbell
“Contained / Not Contained” Jennifer Fliss
“Emergency Gardens of the Rich and Famous” Amanda Haag
“Although Dave has the back of a camel, Diane carries a retractable pitchfork” Marissa Hoffmann
“Grass So Green” Kira Homsher
“Entry Application w/Supplement” Haley Hulan
Babushka” Kristen Loesch
“The Trade” Erin MacNair
“Curses” Sena Moon
“Drain” K. W. Oxnard
“Tending the Elephant” Cheryl Pappas
“A Distant Town” Jill Talbot
“The Not So Very Hungry Caterpillar” Jeremy White

The Rest of the Longlist

“Los monos cubanos cantan Guantanamera” Celine Aenlle-Rocha
“Downer” JD Blair
“Night Prayer” Mike Bonifas
“It’s important to clarify that the G spot isn’t actually a distinct part of your anatomy” Kara Gall
“Shadows of a Former Self” Sean Gill
“Wolf” Eli Hastings
“You Never Knew You Didn’t Know” Anastasia Holland
“Fables” Ophelia Hu Kinney
“Animals” Elissa Hutson
“Almost Like a Heart” Jason Jackson
“On the House” Emily Kiernan
“100 Million, Oblivion” Aaron Leikauf
“Channel Five” Nathan Alling Long
“Deflate” Kirsten Madsen
“This Is How I Remember You” Lauri Maerov
“Deep Canyon” Denise Osso
“Kiln” Lee Thomas
“The Maestro” Pamela Watts 

 Honorable Mention

“The Last” J Brooke
“The Girls Shop at Hot Topic” Frederica Morgan Davis
“Blur” Natasha De Silva
“Red” Kim Freeman
“Extraction” Beth Gilstrap
“Golem” A. Mana Nava
“Carbon, Stranded, Makes A Stone” Mandira Pattnaik
“Shelter” Ronit Plank
“Before and after that” Laura Pritchett
“To Shrink from Water” Rafael Queypo
“The Bee’s (Sticky, Certain) Knees” Anna Schachner
“Saint” Aurelie Sheehan
“Danielle’s Balloons” Dutch Simmons
“Maho Bay” Sharon Wahl
“The Museum of Arrivals” Alexander Weinstein

We’ll be back in the fall for the 2021 CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest!


Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of So We Can Glow (Grand Central Publishing, 2020), Whiskey & Ribbons (Hub City Press, 2018), Every Kiss a War (Mojave River Press, 2014), and the forthcoming This Close to Okay (Grand Central Publishing, 2021). Every Kiss a War was a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (2012) and the Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012). Her short story “Whiskey & Ribbons” won Editor’s Choice in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest (2011) and was listed as a notable story for storySouth’s Million Writers Award. The novel Whiskey & Ribbons was longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and listed among Oprah Magazine’s “Top Books of Summer.” She was a consulting editor for Best Small Fictions 2017. Her work has appeared in Oxford AmericanBest Small Fictions 2015, NYLON, Alaska Quarterly Review, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, and many others. Find more at LeesaCrossSmith.com.


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.