“We make up horrors to help us cope
with the real ones.”
– Stephen King
It’s beginning to look like that time of year when everything shrivels and dies. Spiders emerge in droves and spin webs in places where your face might go. Shadows grow long, door hinges creak with more purpose and a crow’s caw begins to sound like a dire warning. That means it’s time to turn our attention to all things horror.
With #FlashFear, we aim to do just that. In the past, we’ve focused on monsters for our Halloween contest, and they’re certainly still fair game. But this time we want to open things up to all kinds of horror, from the psychological to the paranormal, Gothic to gore-tastic, monsters to good ole fashioned murderers. You can take a more literary approach and simply be incredibly bleak, or you can go full genre and leave your entry dripping in bright red blood. And there’s certainly room for dark humor.
Now, we don’t want to see dozens of vampire or zombie stories. Although, as the preceding links point out, both types have won previous contests in the past. Get creative with it, turn genre convention on its ear, or go full-on surrealist. We want to see variety, imagination, and pure strangeness.
The top three entries will win cold, hard cash.
$200 for Flash Fear winner
$100 for 2nd place
$50 for 3rd place
(We also give mad props to 4th-10th place, publishing them as Honorable Mentions in our Flash Fear mega-issue and in a future print anthology.)
Follow these guidelines, and you could have some extra coin in your pocket, and some bragging rights as the Flash Fear winner.
– All submissions must absolutely be under 1,000 words, and we tend to look more kindly on 750 or fewer because it’s the 21st century and attention spans are an endangered species.
– All contest submissions will be read blind, so we won’t be playing favorites. Sorry, Mom.
– Please paste your submission into the corresponding field. Do not list your name anywhere in your submission or we’ll assume that you don’t know how to read.
– Costs $7 to enter—because, you know, gotta fund the prize money somehow. (Sorry, no refunds.)
– We reserve the right to extend deadlines if necessary (and you can probably expect our patented Procrastinator’s Special–with corresponding increase in submission fee so it’s still fair and all).
– Submissions must be previously unpublished work, and you will retain copyright (duh).
– No limit on how many entries you can submit, but you must submit them one at a time. Don’t just mash them all in there.
– Submissions accepted until roughly 11:59pm PST on October 15th . Winners announced by October 29th and we’ll unleash the Flash Fear prize-winners mega-issue on Halloween.
– And, most importantly, this is a FLASH FEAR contest, therefore you must include some sort of horror element.
However, that horror can be in any form imaginable.
So that means you can go all…
or even all…
Make us want to sleep with the lights on.