We’re thrilled to once again present you with a Halloween mega-issue. This year’s Flash Fear contest was filled with the ghastly and otherworldy, and the stories you’ll find below are as unsettling as they are addictive. Another great international turnout overall, and our Top 10 features writers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Sweden.
Keep an eye out in the coming week or two for details on our next quarterly contest, and our second annual Prize Winners print anthology will be out at the end of November. But without further ado, let’s turn to these ten tales of the mad and macabre
– The Editor
by Caroline Smith
by S.E. Casey
by Aeryn Rudel
4th – Bless You
by Wiebo Grobler
5th – Passing
by Paddy Kelly
6th – All the Goldfish
by Jennifer Lynn Krohn
7th – The Locus
by Nicholas Siegel
8th – Tingles
by Michael Tanner
9th – In the Grain Bin
by Lindsey Baker
10th – Sixteen Minutes
by Premee Mohamed
That’s a wrap.
Flash Fear results posted
October 29th, 4pm PST.
Late entries accepted until October 22nd
for a couple bucks more.
“We make up horrors to help us cope
with the real ones.”
– Stephen King
Submit to Flash Fear
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.)
Submit to Flash Fear
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.
$7 $9 to enter during our Procrastinators’ Special —because, you know, gotta fund the prize money somehow. (Sorry, no refunds.)
– We reserve the right to extend deadlines if necessary (totally doing it right now during 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 October 22nd . 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.