‘Random Words’ Flash Fiction: A Competition

What is ‘Flash Fiction’? Well, it’s short and snappy fiction, for a start. Read more about it here.

I promised you I’d run a little Flash Fiction competition and as I’m a fan of ‘random word’ exercises, I’ve picked 4 words completely at random from the dictionary, to be included in your entries.

I’d like you to write a story – maximum 250 words (not including the title) – which must include the words: knit, blunder, perform and tingle. (‘Knit’ was almost ‘Knicker’! Be grateful…!)

You can use the words anywhere in the story (including the title), or in any way – as long as it makes sense and is ‘proper English’! (gerrit?!)

In the interests of creativity, I will allow you to ‘add’ to the ends of the words (eg: ‘ing’, ‘ed’, ‘s’, ‘er). Anything goes, as long as those words appear in that form, as above, somewhere in the story, so that if I ran a ‘search’ for each of them, they would come up.  Eg: Blundering is OK but tingling isn’t  – because the ‘e’ drops off.  (Hmm, hope I’m not making this too complicated!  Leave a comment if you have any questions).


1. Send your entry in the body of the email (not as an attachment), to: flashfiction12@yahoo.co.uk  – please add your name too.

2. It’s FREE to enter but entry is restricted to UK residents.  (sorry but it’s a heavy book!)

3. You can enter as many times as you like.
4. Your entry must be your own original work and must not plagiarize. (of course!)
5. Copyright remains with each writer. (of course-r!!!)
6. Maximum 250 words (so you can submit less).
7. Your story’s title is in addition to the 250 words
8. Your story must not have won or been placed in another competition.
9. Deadline for entries is midnight on 9th May 2012.

The result will be announced on 16th May, which is National Flash Fiction Day.  In addition to the winning entry, the other 4 shortlisted entries will be posted on this site.

The winner will receive a copy of Linda Lewis’ brand new book  ‘The Writer’s Treasury of Ideas’  and an e-book (a pdf file, which will be emailed to you), of  Linda’s ‘Mini Guide To Short Story Competitions’.

Linda’s book is actually being ‘launched’ tomorrow (Sat 21st April)!

I’m a bit late with my ‘plug’ (sorry Linda) BUT if you happen to be in or around Leeds in the morning, I’m sure she’d be very happy to see you at Philip Howard Books, 47 Street Lane, Leeds, LS8 1AP at 11am!

This entry was posted in Books, Competitions, Ideas, random word competition, Short Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to ‘Random Words’ Flash Fiction: A Competition

  1. Tracy Fells says:

    Thanks for running this competition. I’d really spotted Linda’s book and thought ‘hmm I’d like a copy of that!’ so excellent timing and I will definitely have a go. Just need a treasury of ideas to help with creating the story in the first place…

  2. Francis says:

    Looking forward to getting to grips with this one.

  3. You’re so generous Helen with your competition, blog and advice. Off to think up some ideas…

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  6. Debbie W says:

    Thanks for this, Helen.

    I’m always on the lookout for small, free competitions just like this one to share with my U3A writing group.

    Much appreciated.

    Debbie W

  7. Do the words have to be in the order you have placed them? I’m just trying to make it more difficult!

    • No, Jeannie – you can use the words in any order you like and you can ‘add’ to them too – eg: knitting, knitted, knitter (?), blundering, blunders, …etc – are all OK. Hope that helps!

  8. Alan Garth says:

    This looks really interesting – found out about it on the Writers Talkback forum. Can I just check that, in point 1 of the rules, you want entrants to add their name alongside the text. In other words, you won’t be judging anonymously?

    • Alan – good question and sorry, I shouldn’t have made it clearer. I will be judging the stories (not anonymously but impartially!) and then I’ll pass the shortlist of at least 5 stories (more if there are more than 5 that I think are potential ‘winners’), to someone else to decide on the winner. And they will do that anonymously, so no one’s name will appear on the shortlisted stories that I pass over to them. That’s as fair as I can make it, given my limited time and means! But I do hope you will enter a story! Good luck

  9. Jackie Sayle (Brown) says:

    Thanks for running this competition, Helen. It’s the first comp I’ve entered for years and I emailed my entry with seconds to spare, I think! I enjoyed doing it.

    • Jackie, well done for entering (yes, it came in at 11.57pm, which made me laugh – that’s the kind of thing I do!). I’ve had 53 entries which is AMAZING! I will start the judging process later today…!

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