Flash Fiction Submission Guidelines

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Following on from the success of the launch of our new monthly Flash Fiction publishing division at The Broken Spine, we are ready to open our doors again at 12:30 GMT (+1) on July 3 for 1 week, closing at 12:30 on July 10.

We will read submissions for Flash Fiction pieces of up to 500 words. Selected pieces will be published on our website at the end of the month. Please only submit using our Submission Form. The co-editors for this are Elizabeth Kemball and Lucy Aur.  

There is no set theme for these pieces, we want to see a wide breadth of voices, styles and subject matter. We do not want to be prescriptive about the division between flash-fiction and prose poetry (as this differs for each individual) but we’re looking for works written in continuous prose. We ask that you do not submit works that explicitly deal with sexual assault, graphic depictions of sexual acts, violence, suicide and/or self-harm.

To give you more of an idea about what we would like to read, we’ve put together a profile on what each of our co-editors enjoy seeing in flash fiction, and you can see check out previously published winners at the links that follow.

The Golden Bond by David Butler

War Stories by Alex Smith

The Wall by Daniel Hinds

Extreme Sleeping by Edward Buckton

Cocktail by Lesly James

Tuesday Over Albuquerque by Amy Barnes

Call the police. Fruitflies are trespassing in my kitchen by Jennifer Frankum

World Bee Day by Michael Black

Kidnapped by Lesley James


I’d love to see highly imagistic work that has a folk or fairytale feeling to it; that breathes magic (think The Huntress by Sofia Samatar). Pieces with a heightened sense of unreality. I enjoy reading flash fiction that gives us a small glimpse into a character’s life, a moment of significance (think Miracles by Lucy Corin), the tiny little butterfly effects in our day to day, or home in on small things we overlook (think Mice by Lydia Davis). Most of all I love work that is playful, and revels in using language in unexpected ways.


I would love to read work that makes me stop and think, makes me wonder if I have come to the right conclusion (A telephonic conversation by Mark Twain). Or whether there is a conclusion at all. Pieces that make me feel like I recognise the scene but then snatch away the expected ending, leaving me with a tangle of emotions (think The Last Leaf by O. Henry). Shock us and surprise us, tricks us into following you down one path before changing the destination all together.

 We’re so excited to read your flash fiction, and hope you consider submitting!

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