Cast of Wonders Flash Fiction Contest 2022

Hey all—it’s time for Cast of Wonders’ Flash Fiction Contest!

The window for submissions opens August 15 at 0:01 am EDT and runs through August 31 at 11:59 pm EDT. When the portal magically disappears, submissions are formally closed and will not reopen.

As always, we’re looking for stories that evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, and have something unreal about them. All submitted stories must be original—that is, they must not have been published elsewhere. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous Escape Artists contest.

The three winning stories will be purchased at our usual payment rate, USD $0.08 per word, and the stories will be run together as an episode of Cast of Wonders. Authors under 18 are welcome. By submitting, any author under 18 asserts they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian with whom Escape Artists, Inc. can enter into a contract, and who will receive payment, on behalf of the author.

Note that for voting purposes, stories will be published on a members-only section of the forums, so first publication rights will not be expended by participating in the contest. And it’s easy to become a member! In fact, you can head on over to the forums and do that right now. All the pertinent details and rules will be posted under “The Arcade” section of the forums.

The rules:

  • Each story may have a maximum of 500 words, not including the title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Google Docs.
  • Each author may submit ONLY ONE STORY. If multiple people will be submitting from the same household/IP address, please let us know by emailing, so your stories don’t get flagged.
  • Stories must comply with CoW’s standard guidelines. You can find them here:
  • The story should be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. Please proofread carefully! We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed. Either British or American spelling/punctuation conventions are welcome, but please be consistent.

After the submission period is over, the CoW staff will take some time to remove the authors’ names, format the stories, and post them in the Forum for voting. Depending on how many stories are submitted, they’ll be posted in groups and rounds (e.g., Groups 1 through 8 first round, Groups 1 through 4 semi-final round, etc.). Forum members will have the chance to discuss and vote on the stories (more on that process when we’re closer to voting).

Authors are allowed to vote in the contest, including for their own stories! However, no one else who knows which story is yours is allowed to vote for it! This includes friends and family members. If you are sharing a computer, living space, or router with someone else who will be voting or creating an account, make sure to message Languorous Lass on the forums, and include who else is voting and if they know anything about your story. Failure to do so may result in your story being disqualified.

Authors of the stories that don’t advance to the next round will be revealed at the end of each round. All author names will be revealed at the end of the contest.

So get writing! You’ll find the Moksha submission portal here:

We’re excited to see what you submit!

Denise Sudell/Languorous Lass and the Cast of Wonders team