New Flash Fiction Review continues to honor master storyteller Anton Chekhov through holding an annual award for excellence in flash fiction. Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer, who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. Over one-hundred years before the term “flash” was invented, Chekhov was writing very short stories under 1,000 words such as “After the Theatre”, “A Country Cottage”, and “Bliss”.
In1886, Chekhov wrote in a letter to his brother, “… you’ll have a moonlit night if you write that on the mill dam a piece of glass from a broken bottle glittered like a bright little star, and that the black shadow of a dog or a wolf rolled past like a ball.”
As William Boyd writes in his brief history of the short story: “Chekhov saw and understood that life is godless, random and absurd, that all history is the history of unintended consequences. He knew, for instance, that being good will not spare you from awful suffering and injustice, that the slothful can flourish effortlessly and that mediocrity is the one great daemonic force. By abandoning the manipulated beginning-middle-and-end plot, by refusing to judge his characters, by not striving for a climax or seeking neat narrative resolution, Chekhov made his stories appear agonisingly, almost unbearably lifelike.”
This Year’s Guidelines:
Judged by Hugh Behm-Steinberg. Open June 5th, 2020 Entries for the Anton Chekhov Prize for Very Short Fiction should be 800 words or less. Submissions should be unpublished and in .rtf, .doc, or .docx format. Deadline is July 15th, 2020.
The entries will be read blind. All stories must be submitted with no name on the story itself or the stories will be disqualified. Cost: $8 per entry. Maximum of 2 entries per writer.
Authors will retain all rights and copyright to their works. New Flash Fiction Review requests one-time, non-exclusive rights to publish your work. Winner will receive $200 USD and publication in New Flash Fiction Review. Two Honorable Mentions will receive $50 USD Honorarium and have their stories published.
New Flash Fiction Review requests one-time, non-exclusive rights to publish your work. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but you must notify us if your story has been accepted elsewhere. Winners will be announced in late summer of 2020.
Simultaneous submissions welcome, but you must notify us if your story has been accepted elsewhere. Winners will be announced in late summer of 2020.
About our judge
Recipient of a Wallace Stegner and NEA Creative Writing Fellowships, Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books, 2007) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press, 2012; 2nd edition by Doubleback Books, 2020). His fiction can be found in such places as X-Ray, Grimoire, Joyland, Jellyfish Review, Atticus Review and Pank. In 2015 his short story “Taylor Swift” won the Barthelme Prize for short fiction, and was chosen as one of “11 Very Short Stories You Must Read Immediately” by LitHub.com. His most recent book, Animal Children, a collection of prose poems and micro-fiction, was published by Nomadic Press in 2020. He teaches writing and literature at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.