String-of-10 FIVE Flash Fiction Contest is sponsored by Flash Fiction Chronicles

It begins February 3 at 12:01 PST

For the week of February 3 through February 9, Flash Fiction Chronicles is  having its Fifth String-of-10 Contest—String-of-10 FIVE—for the best 250-word story written from a randomly selected string of ten words.

The guidelines of this year’s contest are listed below.   The contest is open for one week.  All entries must be submitted through our Submission Manager


  1. The prompt for String-of-10 FIVE will be available at 12:01 on Sunday, February 3, 2013 here at FFC.
  2. There is no entry fee.
  3. Submit stories up to 250 words. Title is not counted int the 25o words.
  4. Enter up to two stories per author.
  5. All stories must contain at least four words from the String-of-10.
  6. You can use any tense of the words and any recognizable form.  For example, for the word “jar,” “Jargon” would not qualify while “jar-like” chin would.
  7. You can use a prompt word in the title.
  8. Seamless integration of any four of the prompt words is the goal.
  9. The aphorism is given for thematic inspiration.  Using the theme of ”    ” is not necessary to win.  However, this year we will give out *a special prize for the story that best  incorporates the theme,  The Patricia McFarland Memorial prize. First, second, and third place winners are eligible to also win this prize, but any story that is submitted that best uses this theme may win.
  10. Entries must be received by 11:59 PST Saturday, February 9.
  11. Winners will be notified sometime in March 2013.  Publications will follow in April.
  12. All decisions made by the FFC staff and our guest judge are final.
  13. For String-of-10 Five contest only!


  14. Submit all entries here: SUBMIT TO STRING-OF-10 FIVE


1st Place: Winner will have his or her story published at Every Day Fiction in April, 2013 and be paid the standard payment of

$3.00 per story.  A $50  Cash Prize from Flash Fiction Chronicles will go to the first place winner. A choice from Every Day Publishing Book List along with a copy of Pomegranate Stories by Gay Deganieditor of Flash Fiction Chronicles, will also be awarded as well as an “I Write Every Day” t-shirt. As a special bonus this year, Kathy Fish, our guest judge, is awarding an autographed copy of  her collection Together We Can Bury It.

2nd Place: Winner will have his or her story published at Flash Fiction Chronicles in April. (There is no payment for publication at Flash Fiction Chronicles). A $20.00 cash prize will be awarded as well as a copy of Pomegranate Stories by Gay Degani, the editor of Flash Fiction Chronicles. A special bonus this year, Kathy Fish, our guest judge, is awarding  an autographed copy of her collection Wild Life.

3rd Place: Winner will have his or her story published at Flash Fiction Chronicles in April(There is no payment for publication at Flash Fiction Chronicles). A $20.00 cash prize will be awarded as well as a copy of Pomegranate Stories by Gay Degani, the editor of Flash Fiction Chronicles.

The Patricia McFarland Memorial Prize: Winner will have his or her story published at Flash Fiction Chronicles in April.  (There is no payment for publication at Flash Fiction Chronicles) and a cash prize of $25.00

All four winners will be interviewed at Flash Fiction Chronicles.


I am pleased to announce that this year’s Guest Judge will be Kathy Fish.  Kathy Fish’s short fiction has appeared in Indiana Review, The Denver Quarterly, New South, Quick Fiction, Guernica, Slice and elsewhere. She was the guest editor of Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web 2010. She is the author of three collections of stories: a chapbook of flash fiction in the chapbook collective, A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women, (Rose Metal Press, 2008),  Wild Life (Matter Press, 2011) and Together We Can Bury It, forthcoming from The Lit Pub.



Stories from the fourth String-of-10 Contest

1st Place—When Elliot Let Go by Troy Farah

2nd Place—Dutch Boy by Len Kuntz

3rd Place—Nothing Left to Lose by Andrew Stancek

Stories from the third String-of-10 Contest

1st Place—Pretending by A. S. Andrews

2nd Place—Today She Will Write Cool Things by Romit Berger

3rd Place—Wingless by Karolyn Reddy

 Stories from the second String-of-10 Contest

1st Place—Salvation by Ann Pino

2nd Place—Gypsy Flour by John Towler

3rd Place—Good Morning Susan by Brittany Soder

 Stories from the first String-of-10 Contest

1st Place—The Haircut by Sharon E. Trotter

2nd PlaceThe Forever Summer by Mary J. Daley

3rd Place—Choices Made by Jim O’Loughlin


7 Responses to “ String-of-10 FIVE ”

  1. J.C. Towler says:

    What is kind of sad is that your contest has become a bitter milestone for me, a reminder of how long it has been since I’ve put my imagination to work and tried to write. It’s about the only thing I’ve pulled out the pen and paper for in the last couple of years…

  2. lucinda kempe says:

    What’s the theme?

    • Gay Degani says:

      I want to put a ding in the universe. –Steve Jobs

      The theme could be “Changing the world comes with sacrifice” or “small changes are as good as big changes.”

      Or You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
      Mahatma Gandhi

      Or Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
      William Shakespeare

      or If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.
      Margaret Thatcher

      or I want more out of life than I’ve gotten.
      Loretta Lynn

  3. Tami Absi says:

    I’m confused. Now only the Steve Jobs theme is listed. Is the Loretta Lynn comment no longer a thematic statement?

    • Gay Degani says:

      Tami, The theme ispiration is the Steve Jobs quote. However it can be interpreted in a variety of ways. The other quotations given are just there to explain how one could interpret the Steve Jobs quote. Remember the quote is there to help prompt an idea but interpreting it’s meaning is just a suggestion for the overall first place prize. For first, second, or third, you don’t need to reference the quotation at all. To be considered for the Patricia McFarland Memorial Prize, you MUST reference the quotation. “Reference” means alluding to making an impression in the universe, changing the world, becoming a success, or any other understandable reference to the quotation. No one need to use the quote “verbatim.”

  4. Tamara says:

    Hi. I’m really hoping someone can help me out with this. I have my entry done, but the cover letter in the submission form threw me.

    I’ve written a few queries for full length novels, but never for a flash-fiction piece. It seems like, at 250 words it would be easier to just read the piece than try to describe it. haha

    I can’t find any examples of cover letters on the site. Should I just include a one or two sentence synopsis of the story and whatever writing credits I have? Do I address it to the guest judge?

    I know this is really last minute, but I just found out about this contest last night and I’d really like to enter but I don’t want to do something wrong on the cover letter. Can anyone help me out?

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