Flash Fiction 400

The TSS International Flash Fiction Competitions, 2018


Every quarter we will be publishing the winning and highly commended Flash Fiction entries on our Short Fiction page. 

This is an international competition.

Please see below for further details on the awards, general criteria, judges, and the submission link.

Status: Accepting entries 

Next Deadline: 15th March 2018 (spring, 2018)

Wordcount: 400

Entry Fee: £5 

Following a conversation with Kit de Waal (interview to follow in due course), we are happy to announce that submission fees to the spring Flash Fiction 400 competition will be waived for any writers from marginalised and disadvantaged communities, or anyone suffering from economic hardship. For further details please click here.

Judges: Christopher Allen and Rupert Dastur

Results: Shortlist announced late March. Winners and Highly Commended in early April.

Prizes: Online Publication plus 1st £400, 2nd £100, 3rd £50 

Highly Commended: Up to five further flash fictions will be highly commended and published online.


  • All 1st place winners will be nominated for the Best Small Fiction Awards.
  • All winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd) will be published in a chapboook within 12 months of the spring competition).   
  • All winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd) will be interviewed, by TSS Publishing, about their flash fiction and their writing more generally.


The Judges

Christopher Allen is the author of the flash fiction collection Other Household Toxins (Matter Press) and Conversations with S. Teri O’Type (a Satire). His short fiction has appeared in Indiana Review, [PANK]. Jellyfish Review, SmokeLong Quarterly: the Best of the First Ten Years 2003-2013, and STRIPPED: A Collection of Anonymous Flash among other fine journals and anthologies. Allen is a multiple nominee for the Pushcart Prize anthology, Best of the Net, storySouth‘s Million Writers Award, and The Best Small Fictions. In 2017 he was both a semifinalist and a finalist (as translator) for The Best Small Fictions. Since 2014 Allen has been the managing editor of the online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly and since 2017 a consulting editor for The Best Small Fictions. Originally from Tennessee, he lives somewhere in Europe. You can read our interview with Christopher here.

Rupert Dastur is a writer, editor, and founding director of TSS Publishing. He studied English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he specialised in Modernism and the Short Story. He is Associate Editor at The Word Factory, a leading short story organisation based in London, and he has supported several short story projects and anthologies. Rupert’s own work has appeared in a number of places online and in print and he is currently working on his first novel.




TSS Flash Fiction Competition (winter, 2017)

Flash Fiction Winners

1st Place

Hot Pink – Ren Watson

2nd Place

What We’re Talking About When We’re Not Talking About the Cake Sale – Victoria Richards

3rd Place

The Things I Learned About Swans – Christina Dalcher


Flash Fiction Shortlist


You Know What Kid – Jason Jackson

The Randall Sundrum Model – Conor Houghton

Blitz – Alison Wassell

Watch Yourself Burn – Annie Syed

Claudine is Drowning – Ana Soria

The Voice Within – Sara Zkara

This Day – Nadia Seaver

No Man’s Land – Mary Bryne

Bruises the Scent – Adam Lock

Widowing – Adam Lock

Lift Shopping – Pam Morrison

I Hate Windows – Hazel Turner

Rocket Science – Sean Crawley

The Willow Pattern Plate – Adam Sear

Eliza Grace – A. M. Shine

Shrink – Julia Paillier

The Flat – Felicity Ward

Upper Her and Lower Him – Grace Keating

The New Wave – Cath Barton

No Lemons – Hedy Howe

Thank you to all those who entered. Winners will be announced within two weeks. 


The Flash Fiction Winners & Shortlist (autumn, 2017)

1st Place: ‘Mayday’ by Helen Kampfner

2nd Place: ‘Parabolas’ by Christopher Stanley

3rd Place: ‘Burnt Toast’ by Julia Hartnett

‘Sex: form Audi to Zephyr’ by Kerry Rawlinson

‘The Man with his Head in his Hands’ by Wiebo Grobler

‘Orange Blossom Summer’ by Wiebo Grobler

‘The Birthday Party’ by Zannah Kearns

‘Pull Me In’ by Melissa Fu

‘Digital Detox’ by Sally Lane

‘Bag of Tricks’ by Yi Ling Huang

‘The Flying Snail’ by Victoria Williams

‘Intimacy as Currency’ by Adam Lock

‘A Lifetime’ by Diane Simmons

‘Eurasion Makes Okonomiyaki’ by Laura Lee

‘Funeral’ by Giselle Leeb

‘Bubbles’ by Aileen O’Farrell

‘Stub’ by Ian Critchley

‘Burnt Toast’ by Julia Hartnett

‘Mayday’ by Helen Kampfner

‘The Woman Who Loved Trees’ by Susan Lowell

‘Catching the Spark’ by Catherine Finch

‘Angel’ by Anita Goodfellow

‘Beneath’ by Steven Holding

‘Parabolas’ by Christopher Stanley


The winning Flash Fictions will be announced within the next seven days.

Thank you to all those who entered.


Previous Winners of the TSS Flash Fiction Competitions

‘Dancing Queen’ by Helen Kampfner

‘If We Could Knock Through’ by Sharon Telfer

‘Silent Sex’ by Christina Dalcher

‘Cut Through’ by Marilyn Messenger

‘Other People’s Ghosts’ by Catherine Cruse

‘The Frogs’ by Claire MacRae

‘Square of Light’ by Catherine Finch

‘The Caesarean’ by Sophie Van Llewyn

‘Loved by Ramos’ by D. R. D. Bruton

‘Each Family Meal an Opera’ by Kim French

‘The Best He Could Do’ by Brindley Hallam Dennis

‘At the Still Point, There the Dance Is’ by Barbara Renel

‘Crossing’ by Linda Grierson-Irish

‘The Lighthouse Keeper’ by Sandra Arnold
‘Unknown’ by Yasmin Keyani
‘Endangered’ by Christopher Stanley

‘Of Bugs and Men’ by Jacqueline Haskell 

‘Snow’ by Jason Jackson  

‘Spines’ by Paula Hunter

‘Seven Stages’ by Jasmin Kirkbride 

‘On Warren Ward’ by Fiona J. Mackintosh 

‘Lambs’ by Alison Wassell 

‘The Things You Said’ by Annelise Altman

‘Blood-ties’ by Marie Gethins


Previous Shortlisted writers for the TSS Flash Fiction Competitions

Tamara Miles

Christopher Stanley

Catherine Finch

Sean Baker

Sophie Van Llewyn

D R D Bruton

Conor Houghton

Paul McDonald

Neil Greybanks

John Holland

Kim French

Geraldine Terry

Alison Wasell

Neil Greybanks

John Holland

Peter Newall

Helen de Baorca

Linda Grierson-Irish

P. W. Jackson

Pia Ghosh-Roy

Sandra Arnold

Michael Thompson

Christopher Stanley

P. J. Stephenson

Sally Lane

Yasmin Keyani

Chris Heywood

Sarah Hitchcock

Chris Hitchcock

Jeanette Sheppard

Jan Kaneen

Sally Lane

Lee Hamblin

Alison Bacon

Jason Jackson

Ceri Lowe-Petraske

Fiona Kyle

Catherine McNamara

Linda Hartley

Alyson Rhodes

Weibo Grobler

Jan Kaneen

Tracy Fells

Colin Watts

Sarah Muldowney