Flash Fiction Short Story Competition

Great expectations to be a writer?

Enter our Flash Fiction Competition 2020

and win a great prize!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ death.

For our Festival this year we’ve decided on the theme of Expectations for a Flash Fiction Competition.

Your Flash Fiction challenge: to write a very short fiction story, in any genre you like, in no more than 500 words without compromising either a compelling story or engaging characters – a real creative challenge. (For the Twitterati amongst you this should be a doddle!).

The winning prize: £100 plus the chance for your story to be part of a podcast and be featured on the TAL Festival website.  The two runners-up will receive book prizes.

Our Flash Fiction Competition will be judged by well-known Freelance Writer and Mentor, Sandra Smith, (www.TheCurrentMrsSmith.co.uk) whose articles, interviews and reviews have appeared in numerous national and regional publications. 

For a small extra fee you can receive a personal critique of your story from Sandra, who has run many successful creative writing workshops at TAL Festival.

If you’ve never written flash fiction before, a tip is to write long and then go short, making your last line ring like a bell. Good luck!

Entry fee is £5 per Flash Fiction story with the option, for an extra £5, to get a personal critique from Sandra Smith.

Please pay by internet banking to TAL Festival 60-21-21 Account No : 53587561

Entries must be received by midnight Saturday, 26th September 2020.

Thame Arts and Literature Festival Flash Fiction Competition 2020


Three prizes will be awarded: 1st Prize (£100), 2nd Prize (£30 book voucher) and 3rd Prize (£20 book voucher).

The winners’ names will be announced on the TAL website (talfestival.org) on Sunday, 18 October. 


  1. The competition is open to anyone.
  2. Entrants may submit as many entries as they wish (£5 per entry).
  3. Entries must be the original and previously unpublished work of the entrant and must not currently be submitted to any other competition or for publication.
  4. The Flash Fiction must not exceed the maximum 500 words (excluding title).
  5. Entrants will retain full copyright in their entry.
  6. Entries must be typed in double line spacing in Microsoft Word.
  7. Please pay the Entry Fee direct to the Bank Account above with the reference : Flash Fiction : [Your Name]
  8. The Flash Fiction’s title and word count should appear on the entry itself. The author’s name (and other identifying details) should ONLY be in the submission email and NOT on the (Word file) entry itself.
  9. Entries should be emailed to info@talfestival.org and titled ‘Flash Fiction + [your story title]’ to be received before midnight, Saturday 26 September 2020. Entries received after the closing date will not be considered. 
  10. To ensure fairness to other contestants, failure to comply with any of the rules will result in disqualification.
  11. The judge’s decision is final.
  12. A critique service is also available at a further £5 per entry (please indicate in the submission email). Critiques will be forwarded to the entrant the week beginning 19 October 2020.