Anton Chekhov Prize for Very Short Fiction

Submissions are open from June 15 – November 1st, 2018

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New Flash Fiction Review has chosen to honor master storyteller Anton Chekhov through holding an annual award for excellence in flash fiction— or as they might have said, back in Chekhov’s time, “very short 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. Chekhov’s mastery for saying a lot with a little makes him one of the flash fiction’s spiritual inspirations. Over one-hundred years before the term “flash” was invented, Chekhov himself was writing short stories in under 1,000 words, stories 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.”

We’re thrilled to announce that the judge for our first award is Irish author, Nuala O’Connor. Nuala O’Connor has won numerous awards for flash fiction, including the Dublin Review of Books Flash Fiction Prize. See more about Nuala O’Connor below!

Contest Guidelines:

Entries should be approximately 1000 words or less. Submissions should be unpublished and in .rtf, .doc, or .docx format. Feel free to submit multiple stories, but as a SEPARATE entry (so that you complete an individual submission process for each story). All stories will be read blind. The winner will receive $300, publication in New Flash Fiction Review, and immediate nominations for a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions, 2019. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us if your story has been accepted elsewhere. Submissions close on November 1st, 2018. Entry fee is $7. Winner and 2 finalists will be announced in early December. See our submissions page for guidelines and to enter.

Our Judge:

Nuala O’Connor lives in Galway, Ireland. Her fifth short story collection Joyride to Jupiter was published by New Island in 2017. Her story ‘Gooseen’ recently won the UK’s Short Fiction Prize. She has won numerous awards for flash, including the Dublin Review of Books Flash Fiction Prize. Nuala’s fourth novel, Becoming Belle, will be published in September 2018. www.nualaoconnor.com