Volume 9, Issue 9

12 Oct

Issue 9.9 comes crawling out of the woodwork. 

This issue brings you an eloquent thief, a robotic”fucked-up anteater” and some missing chompers. 

Flash Monster 2018 soft deadline hits October 21st, so get those monster-themed entries turned in. Top 10 will be published on Halloween. 

A Mugging 

by William Hawkins


by Ama Kirchner

Tell-tale Teeth

by Ben Whitnall


Volume 9, Issue 8

18 Sep

You never know what you might find in Issue 9.8.

This time around we’ve got fiercely carnivorous spouses, soggy houses, and physically caustic mothers.

Our Flash Monster 2018 contest is now if full swing, so send us your abominable literary creations for our Halloween mega-issue. 

The Voids Underneath

by Maura Yzmore

Out of Gin

by Kevin White


by J. Bradley

Flash Beast

27 Aug




by Julia Pike


Riding Deep Night

by Alpheus Williams



by Barlow Adams



Bear Necessity

by Aeryn Rudel



by Elinam Agbo


The Lions

by Alexandra O’Neil


They Who Keep the Sky

by Travis Chambray


Fish Brain Therapy

by Neil Clark


The Boy with Birds in His Heart

by Quentin Norris


The Spoils

by John Skewes

Flash Beast results

21 Aug

Who will emerge?

Without hyperbole, this was by far the most challenging contest we’ve ever judged here at Molotov HQ. The quality of submissions has never been higher, making even the Close-But-No-Cigar shortlist a challenge to crack with such fierce competition. 

We saw U.S. entries roll in primarily from the East and West Coasts, with some Midwest thrown for good measure (and a smattering of the landlocked West), and we were thrilled to also read submissions from writers stationed in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.  

The following writers had stories that made it through several rounds of cuts, but didn’t quite squeak into the Top 10.

Close-but-no-cigar shortlist shout-outs go to:

Dmitri Akers
Kristopher Armstrong
Beth Bauman
Brook Bhagat
Mason Binkley
Andrew Bourelle
Andy Brown
Michael Carter
Travis Chambray
Christina Dalcher
Phillip Dixon
Mitchell Duran
Robert Fael
Justin Florey
Kate Garklavs
Jenna Gersie
Candace Hartsuyker
Nikki HoSang
Ama Kirchner

Levi Krain
Jennifer Lynn Krohn
Emily Laubham
Veronica Lavia
Rebecca Matteson
Emma Miller (2)
Emma Neale
David Northedge
Alexandra O’Neil
Alyn Spector
Christopher Stanley
Ernest Gordon Taulbee
Ingrid Taylor
Liza Taylor
Deanie Vallone
Alpheus Williams
Michael Worthington
Maura Yzmore
Angel Zapata

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Flash Beast mega-issue, which will drop on Monday, August 27th. They will also be included in our fourth-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue, to be published in Fall 2018. 

“And now, here’s something we hope you’ll really like.”

10th Place – “The Spoils” by John Skewes
9th Place – “The Boy with Birds in His Heart” by Quentin Norris
8th Place – “Fish Brain Therapy” by Neil Clark
7th Place – “They Who Keep the Sky” by Travis Chambray
6th Place – “The Lions” by Alexandra O’Neil
5th Place – “Hunger” by Elinam Agbo
4th Place – “Bear Necessity” by Aeryn Rudel


And now on to those three stories that really separated themselves from the pack.



3rd Place ($50)

by Barlow Adams


2nd Place ($100)

“Riding Deep Night”
by Alpheus Williams


1st Place ($200)

by Julia Pike


Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in our Flash Beast contest! Always a pleasure to read your work, and we couldn’t host these contests without you.

Check back on Monday for the Flash Beast mega-issue.

Volume 9, Issue 6

8 Aug

Wait until you see what we’ve got cracking in Issue 9.6.

This issue features lung deactivation, freewheeling amputees, and caged love.

Time’s running out on our Flash Beast contest. The soft deadline strikes within hours, though you slackers can always count on a Procrastinator’s Special. 

A Fair Share

by Ashley Naftule

Hot Metal

by Brad Rose

The One that Got Away

by Brianna Johnson

Shadow Award 2018

16 Jul

“I thought the most beautiful thing
in the world must be shadow.”

– Sylvia Plath


Lake Wife

by Mary Haidri


The Madwoman Who Called on My Wedding Day

by Con Chapman


Immersion Learning at the Museum

by Laura J. Bobrow




The Face in the Sea

by Liz Nakazawa



by December Lace



by Jennifer Wilson


Crow Girl

by Erinn Batykefer


All These Little Remonstrations

by Aurore Sibley



by Alexander Dove Lempke


Instructions for Finding a Lover

by David Gustavsen

Shadow Award 2018 Results

14 Jul

Time to see who made the cut.

After an arduous judging process, we’ve got out Top 10 locked in. A very special thanks to the brilliant Mary Lenoir Bond who served as primary judge and made the tough calls. With such an impressive crop of dark and offbeat poetry, selecting winners is never easy. You took us to strange and surreal places with these poems, and we hope that the entries that didn’t make it into the Top 10 will find good homes. 

But you didn’t come here for me to go on and on. Let’s get to the goods.

Below you’ll find our short list. The following poets submitted entries that made it through several rounds of cuts, but didn’t quite squeak into the Top 10. 

Close-but-no-cigar short list shout-outs go to:

Stuart Airey
Kyrie Amos
Jonathan Bennett

Henri Bensussen
Zoe Canner
Alan Catlin

Jacob Chapman
F.E. Clark

John Cornelius
Rachel Creager Ireland
Mary D’Alleva
Dan Diehn
Ann DeVilbiss
Stephanie Ellis
Chris Fox
Susan Adler George

Erich Gerner
Christopher Goldsmith
Donna Greenwood
Anastasia Hinojosa
Russell Jackson
Shawn Klimek
J. J. Krill
Egon Lass

Gayle Lauradunn
Laura Lucas
Jen OConnor

Ken Poyner
Brett Roth
Allen Shadow (2)
Roni Slye
Dana Stamps, II

Corinne Stanley
Andrew Sutherland

Lazar Trubman
Kaleb Tutt
Lisa Werhan

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Shadow Award 2018 poetry mega-issue, which will run within the next couple of days. They will also be included in this fall’s fourth-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue, which will feature the Top 10 finishers from our quarterly flash fiction contests as well. You can check out last year’s Prize Winners Anthology here.

10th Place – “Instructions for Finding a Lover” by David Gustavsen
9th Place – “Pond” by Alexander Lempke
8th Place – “All These Little Remonstrations” by Aurore Sibley
7th Place – “Crow Girl” by Erinn Batykefer
6th Place – “Necromancy” by Jennifer Wilson
5th Place – “Scarecrow” by December Lace
4th Place – “The Face in the Sea” by Liz Nakazawa


And now for those poems that really made us happy.


3rd Place

“Immersion Learning at the Museum”
by Laura J. Bobrow


2nd Place ($100)

“The Madwoman Who Called on My Wedding Day”

by Con Chapman


1st Place ($200)

“Lake Wife”

by Mary Haidri

Congrats to the winners, and a huge thanks to everyone who participated!
Check back soon for the Shadow Award 2018 mega-issue.