When we opened submissions for our April Flash 405 round, we didn’t think guest judge Trinie Dalton’s theme, “Shangri-La,” could get any more relevant. And yet, it’s become more necessary than ever to persist against the “grim political carnival” we now face, one that seems to double-down on its absurdity with every passing day.
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For our first Flash 405 contest of 2017, judge and Expo editor Lauren Gorski asked for short form narratives that explored “the abnormal, deviations from the acceptable, the outsiders”—and you delivered, with a “monster” number of submissions! From February 4 to March 5, we broke another Flash 405 record for most entries, receiving almost 100 submissions!
Among these entries were stories that scared us, thrilled us, and softened us to the gentle monster within. Lauren wanted “the emotion of Quasimodo compacted to 405 words. The violence of Grendel in 4-5 lines. The conviction of John Proctor in 4-5 pages.” We think she got it. The winners that emerged were able to deftly weave emotion, ugliness, and horror to create very human, but no less memorable monsters. Read on to discover them for yourself!
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We are so pleased to announce the winners of the last Flash 405 contest of 2016! In early August, our judge and Expo editor Annlee Ellingson posed the theme “Connect,” asking writers to consider and explore this idea in all it’s various iterations (you can read more here!), and the pieces we received did not disappoint.
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From June 4 to July 5, we received an amazing number of entries for our Flash 405 contest (our largest yet!). They spanned every genre: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, stage, and screen. Some stories even blurred the boundaries of genre—fitting, given this month’s theme of “Metamorphosis,” chosen by guest judge and acclaimed novelist, critic, and essayist Judith Freeman.
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Exposition Review had a great #AWP16–we launched Vol I: “IX Lives,” met some amazing writers, and heard some amazing work–and we wanted more. That’s why just a day after the conference ended, we opened submissions for our next round of Flash 405. Our chosen theme for this round was “Fault.” Judge Mellinda Hensley invited writers to think about rifts, blame, and brokenness–those tenuous moments that make us hold our breath.
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We are still pinching ourselves that the amazingly-talented writer Amy Gerstler was the guest judge for our February Flash 405 competition. This award-winning poet offered six mix-and-match themes for our writers: altered states, lost, disorder, feast, fellow creatures, and tattoo. She prompted contestants to pick one, incorporate all six, or take inspiration from a selection.
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On November 4, 2015, we opened submissions for our very first Flash 405 contest. The theme was “Roots,” taking into account the many nomads and transplants that call Southern California home–for now and for good. We invited authors to think about assimilation; origin stories and good riddances; and the meaning of home.
Continue reading “Flash 405, November 2015: “Roots” Winners”