What is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction has nothing to do with cameras or DC superheroes.

Flash fiction is a style of fiction writing generally noted for its brevity.  Most flash fiction stories are short and are often used as writing exercises to stretch a writer’s skills and imagination.

Here on FlashWriters.com, we turn flash fiction into fun and competitive writing exercises.  When a flash fiction challenge is issued, writers converge on the challenge and submit their stories.  Readers vote on their favorite.

It’s as simple as that.  There are no winners or losers, but it’s a lot of fun.  The structure of a challenge means all stories have the same basic parameters, but individual author creativity makes all the difference.

Structure of FlashWriters.com Flash Fiction Challenges

Each Flash Fiction challenge will have a defined set of requirements that each writer must adhere to:

Word Count

This is the maximum number of words the story may contain.  Be careful; this is the quickest way to get disqualified!


This can be anywhere in the universe!  Depending on the challenge it might be completely generic, like “On Earth,” or it may be very specific, like “In the bedroom of a medieval castle deep within an old German forest.”

The setting can be one of the most important aspects of your flash story; be sure and incorporate it into the story!

Time Period

Some stories take place in the past, the present, or the future.  If the time period is specified, you must make your story take place in that time period and it must be obvious that it is set then.  Time periods can be very generic, or very specific, ranging from “the past” to “August 6, 1945.”


If a genre is specified, you must write within that genre.  It can be any genre, so be ready!  Science fiction, fantasy, romance, and more.

Required Phrase

Some flash stories require all writers to insert a required phrase into the story.  They can be completely random, but you must find a way to insert this phrase into your story.  You may find a challenge with a required phrase of “my pantaloons itch.”  Good luck fitting that into the story!