Force Majeure Flash Contest

Force Majeure: a great and unexpected power. We’re looking for the best small things, any form, any content, any fine and wonderful creation.

ENTER between Jan. 1st and Apr. 30th.


Top prize for a single flash $300; two runners-up $100 each.

DEADLINE: 11:59 p.m. CST, 30 April 2021.

Two ways to enter:

  1. Upload 1 flash (you’ll receive an ebook of the prize issue) – $5
  2. Upload 1–3 flashes in a single file (receive a print copy and an ebook) – $12

Enter as many times as you wish. Simultaneous submissions are fine; if a flash is accepted elsewhere, please notify us via a note on the submission within Submittable. Winning flash must not be (scheduled to be) published in print, ebook, or internet before August 2020.

All entries considered for publication in Storm Cellar. Entries in any number do not count toward our general-submissions one-at-a-time policy.

What is a flash?

  • Shorter than 1000 words
  • Not more than 5 pages
  • May contain fiction, nonfiction, marks, or images, in any combination*
  • May bend genre, form, brains

We encourage entries by BIPOC, trans* and intersex, women and gender nonbinary, LGBQA+, disabled, neurodivergent, border-straddling, and poor authors, as well as members of other under-represented groups. Authors who cannot pay the entry fee, because of financial hardship or lack of online payment in their country, should email the editors with the brief statement that they have need (why not required) so we can arrange an entry; they should send that email from the email address associated with their Submittable account and attach their entry as a .docx or .pdf file. Incarcerated authors only may mail an entry and short author bio, postmarked by the deadline, to Contest Entry c/o Storm Cellar, 1901 St. Anthony Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104; no entry fee required (SASE/postcard for reply, include someone’s email address if you desire ebook delivery).

Contest will be decided by the editors. Close friends, family, employers, and students within the last four years of the editors may not enter. While not a member of the CLMP, we strive to achieve a similar level of transparency and virtue.

All prizes will be awarded. Contest fees go to prizes and production costs. No fees may be refunded. “Extra” flashes within entries will not be read. We may disqualify entrants for any reason. Entrants will be notified of their contest outcome by email, on or before June 30 in the contest year.

Handy link to examples of flash we’ve printed. Surprise us!

* (The magazine prints at journal size in black and white.)