Anton Chekhov Prize for Very Short Fiction

2020 Anton Chekhov Prize for Very Short Fiction

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.”

Contest Guidelines:

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 Submissions should be unpublished and in .rtf, .doc, or .docx format.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. Feel free to submit multiple stories, but as SEPARATE entries. All stories must be submitted with no name on the story itself.

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 and two Honorable Mentions will receive $100 and publication in New Flash Fiction Review. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but you must notify us if your story has been accepted elsewhere. Entry fee: $8. Winners will be announced in late summer of 2020.