Flash Monster 2017 Results

30 Oct

October is the most glorious month of the year—it’s not even that close. And the best day of the best month is Halloween, the most revered holiday at Molotov HQ. Three years ago, we started our quarterly flash fiction contest series with Flash Monster, and we’re thrilled to return to that theme again as you’ve unleashed some of the most sinister stories we’ve ever had the pleasure to read. 

We read a large number of stories that were worthy of being featured, but the competition was stiff this time around. 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 shout-outs go to:

Ashely Adams
Seth Augenstein
Kerry B. Black
Christina Dalcher
Lazarus Gray
Donna Greenwood
Wiebo Grobler (2)
Sarah Haasl
Kelly McClure
Evan Nicholls
David Nilsen
Bayveen O’Connell
R.A. Roth
Aeryn Rudel
Cameron Snyder
Paul Sohar
Matt St. Hilaire
Christopher Stanley
Sarah Starr Murphy

Alyssa Striplin
Kaleb Tutt


The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Flash Monster 2017 mega-issue, which will drop at the stroke of midnight (PST) on Halloween. They will also be included in a future Prize Winners Anthology print issue, to be published in 2018. 


Enough  blathering. Here are the goods. 

10th Place – “Cut Carve Slice” by Andrew Bourelle 
9th Place – “Comeviatorum” by Emily Livingstone 
8th Place – “The Arms” by Jennifer Lynn Krohn
7th Place – “A Warning from the Wood” by Madeleine Ebacher
6th Place – “I Had a Boneyard in the Dakotas” by Michael Carter 
5th Place – “This Thing of Darkness, I” by Philip Webb Gregg
4th Place – “Yetimaker” by Michael Carter


And now on to those stories that really made us smile.


3rd Place ($50)

by Chris Milam


2nd Place ($100)

“Full Custody”
by Latifa Ayad


1st Place ($200)

by Erin O’Shea


Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Flash Monster 2017 contest. You cooked up some truly monstrous flash fiction, and we couldn’t host these contests without you. Check back tomorrow for the Flash Monster mega-issue! 

Volume 8, Issue 10

10 Oct

October is here, and we’re burning the candle at both ends at Molotov HQ. Issue 8.10 is packed with dark and offbeat goodness, our Flash Monster 2017 contest is creeping up towards its deadline, we’ve got our third-annual print anthology in the works, and we’re watching 31 horror films in 31 days. 

The flash fiction you’ll find below offers insomniac alligators, larvae leaking from boy-band member’s eyes, and grim meatloaf dinners. Dig in.

I never drink wine.” 

– The Editor

Family Night 

by Kyle Decker

People That Sing

by Okala Elesia

Bank Job

by Brad Rose

Volume 8, Issue 9

17 Sep

Fun fact: Issue 8.9 can lift up to 5,000 times its own body weight.

This issue we’ve got ravenous sugar ants, fingers gnarled and twisted, and a bodies stacked like firewood in a gravel pit. Our Flash Monster 2017 contest is in full swing, so send over those monstrous entries. Looking forward to publishing them on Halloween. And our third-annual print anthology is on the way this fall as well. Stay tuned for release date details.

“Just trying to kill some bugs, sir.”

– The Editor


by Omer Friedlander


by Alice Benson

All the Kids Go

by Cathy Ulrich

Flash Worlds

16 Aug

At times like these, a little transcendence is in order. We asked you to take us to strange new worlds, and you didn’t disappoint. The ten stories you’ll find below are bleak and beautiful, grotesque and glistening. They transport us to other dimensions, drag us into the sea, push us to the brink of extinction, and discover strange new realms within the familiar walls of home. 

These ten stories will appear in our 2017 Prize Winners Anthology print issue, which is due out in the fall. And details for our next quarterly contest (horror-themed as always in the fall) will be released within a few days.

Until then, lose yourself in Flash Worlds.

Where we’re going we don’t need roads.

– The Editor

1st Place

Listening to the Animals

by Emily Livingstone

2nd Place

Come Away to the Water

by Celia Daniels

3rd Place

Dog Eat Dog

by Christina Dalcher



 Stuck in the Bathroom

by John Barrale



by Nikolaj Volgushev


The Deceased of 120 Primorsky Street

by Michael Carter


Auroras of Arverne

by Voima Oy



by Gregory Ariail


This Ape’s on Fire

by Lazarus Gray


A Visitation

by Chloe Seim

Flash Worlds Results

14 Aug

The world is a pretty scary place these days, but that didn’t stop your imaginations from taking you to some even darker, stranger realms. This latest contest produced some of the most bizarre and intriguing flash fiction we’ve seen to date, and that’s saying something. Fittingly, our Flash Worlds contest drew in submissions from all around the globe. We saw entries from the USA, U.K., Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, Israel, Singapore and Croatia. 

Once the results were decided, we were happy to reveal a good number of familiar names and also so many new ones. We feel fortunate to serve as hub for so much talent and weirdness.

But you didn’t come here for the preamble.

Now on to the short list. 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 short list shout-outs go to:

Laila Amado
Nidhi Arora
Ava Bergen
John Barrale
Michael Carter
Michael Croban
Wiebo Grobler
Christine Hanolsy
Gene Hart
David Hartley
James Huff
Sierra Louie
Evan Nicholls
Rocket Outlaw
Aeryn Rudel
Allison Spector
Christopher Stanley (2)
James Turner
Giovanni Zuniga


The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Flash Worlds mega-issue, which will run later this week. They will also be included in our third-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue, which is now only a few short months away. You can check out our Prize Winners Anthology Vol. 2 here.


Okay, okay. Here’s the good stuff. 

10th Place – “A Visitation” by Chloe Seim 
9th Place – “This Ape’s on Fire” by Lazarus Gray 
8th Place – “Libation” by Gregory Ariail 
7th Place – “Auroras of Arverne” by Voima Oy 
6th Place – “The Deceased of 120 Primorsky Street” by Michael Carter 
5th Place – “Tribe” by Nikolaj Volgushev 
4th Place – “Stuck in the Bathroom” by John Barrale 


And now on to those stories that were a little slice of Valhalla.

3rd Place ($50)

“Dog Eat Dog”
by Christina Dalcher 


2nd Place ($100)

“Come Away to the Water”
by Celia Daniels


1st Place ($200)

“Listening to the Animals”
by Emily Livingstone 


Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Flash Worlds contest. You transported us to new realms that can serve as oases in these troubled times. We couldn’t do these contests without you. Check back in a few days for the Flash Worlds mega-issue! 

Volume 8, Issue 7

7 Aug

Animals have taken over Issue 8.7. We’ve got pet birds flying into walls, death from above pig farms, and mutant-ladybug-afflicted dogs. 

With our #FlashWorlds contest just wrapping up (results August 14th and mega-issue shortly thereafter), keep your eyes peeled for our horror-themed fall contest to coincide with Halloween, a holiday we perhaps enjoy too much around Molotov HQ. And our third annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue is just around the corner, too. 

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

– The Editor


by J. Bradley

The Height

by William Stoddart


by Erick Mancilla


Shadow Award 2017

17 Jul

Our second annual Shadow Award mega-issue is brimming with dark and offbeat poetry. We may not publish poetry often, but we don’t mess around when we do. Below you’ll find the 10 poems that rose to the top of a record-setting turnout, and primary judge Mary Lenoir Bond toiled long and hard to make sure we published the very best.

The poems you find here will also appear in our third-annual Prize Winners Anthology, due out this fall. Take a look at the results page to check out those poets who made it to the short list, but didn’t quite rise into the Top 10. And don’t forget that our Flash Worlds flash fiction is in full swing, with soft deadline fast approaching (July 31st). 

But enough yammering. Let’s get to the poems…

Shadow Award 2017 Winner

Ten Years Later

by Erin Kirsh

2nd Place

Elegy for Nuestra Señora la Reina

by Matilda Berke

3rd Place

Elements Lost and Found

by Mori Glaser


4th – The Message

by Susan Adler George

5th – Soft and Supple Flesh

by Nicholas De Genova

6th – Fingers for the Ferryman

by Dan Diehn

7th – Kitchen, Sinister

by Laura Potts

8th – Why the Coyote Doesn’t Just Order Chinese

by Phill Provance

9th – Disco Vertigo

by Sam Morris

10th – Unsacred Cow

by Christopher P. Mooney