Hint Fiction Contest Reloaded

Last year the term "hint fiction" was born in the essay "Hint Fiction: When Flash Fiction Becomes Just Too Flashy" published at Flash Fiction Chronicles. To commemorate the occasion, a retrospective essay, "Hint Fiction: One Year Later" appears at FFC today. A lot has happened in the past 365 days, and I want to thank each and every person who has supported the concept of Hint Fiction and has helped spread the word. And to celebrate Hint Fiction's birthday, we're having another contest. What is Hint Fiction? Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's infamous six-word story -- "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn" -- Hint Fiction is a story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story. These are complete stories that hint at a larger story, not a first sentence or random sentence plucked from a larger work thinly disguised as a story. To see examples, look at last year's winners and finalists, or check out examples of my own Hint Fiction.

This year's judge:

Last year Stewart O'Nan was kind enough to act as the final judge, and I'm thrilled to announce that this year the final judge will be the one and only James Frey. Author of My Friend Leonard, A Million Little Pieces, and Bright Shiny Morning, James's story "The End or the Beginning" will appear in Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, being released this November (and which, hint hint, is now up for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble at a very affordable price).


  • The first place winner will receive $100; the second place winner will receive $50; the third place winner will receive $25. The first place winner will also receive a slew of  journals and anthologies donated by a handful of publishers:
  • My own publisher has also been kind enough to donate ten copies of Sudden Fiction Latino, edited by Robert Shapard, James Thomas, and Ray Gonzalez. A copy will be awarded to each of the winners and finalists, as well as to some random contestants.


The contest starts now and will take entries until midnight April 30th eastern time. You are allowed to submit up to two stories in the comments section of this post. Any writer who submits more than two stories will be disqualified. If submitting two stories, submit them at the same time. At the end of this contest, all submitted stories will be deleted from the comments section. No reprints. Titles are not required but encouraged, as they can create an extra layer to the story. Winners will be contacted by e-mail and announced here. Have fun!