Only free contests and challenges are included here. If you know of any not listed, please contact me with the link. Thanks!
- Daily Post‘s weekly writing challenge posts Mondays. Post your story on your own blog and pingback.
- Finish That Thought (#FinishThatThought, hosted by Alissa Leonard). Write up to a 500-word story using the provided opening sentence (includes an optional challenge). Runs from 10pm Monday to midnight Tuesday, ET. Entries judged by previous week’s winner.
- Mid-Week Blues Buster (#MWBB, hosted by Jeff Tsuruoka). Song/video prompt posts on Tuesdays. Loose 500 word story target; Friday midnight PT deadline. Judges vary.
- Warmup Wednesday. (Right here at Flash! Friday!) No judges — just a photo prompt & fun challenge.
- Thursday Threads (hosted by Siobhan Muir). Prompt (a line from the previous week’s winning tale) posts at 7am PT; contest closes at 7pm PT. Stories must be between 100-250 words. Prize is an e-badge. Judges vary.
- #3LineThursday (hosted by Grace Black). Photo prompt runs Wednesday midnight to Thursday midnight. (New York time). Poetry/verse in three lines, no titles.
- MicroBookends (hosted by David B0rrowdale). Runs 24h on Thursdays from 5am UK time. 100-word story using provided first and last words.
- Flash! Friday (hosted here. By me, Rebekah Postupak). Runs 12:01am – 11:59pm ET; judged by a rotating panel of judges; prompt varies. Prize is e-badge, personalized winner’s page, and feature in “Sixty Seconds” post the following Thursday. SMOKIN’ HOT awesome contest! Come play!
- Friday Fictioneers (hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields). 100 words stories based on photo prompt; write story on your own blog and post link. NOTE: prompt posts Wednesday morning.
- Chuck Wendig‘s Flash Challenge posts Fridays. He gives a prompt; post your story on your own blog and link in the comments.
- Flash Frenzy (hosted by Rebecca Allred). 36 hours to create your best work of 360 words or less. Photo prompt. Contest runs from Saturday 6:00am to Sunday 6:00pm MST. Judges are recruited from the prior month’s winners.
- Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. Prompt posts each Saturday. Stories must be no more than 250 words and based on photo & text prompt. Contest closes Tuesday 5pm PT. Winner chosen by public poll; winning entries included in annual anthology.
- Time for a little dragon nap. But don’t get too comfy–Monday’s comin’ round again!
- Janet Reid, celebrated/feared “shark” lit agent hosts occasional free contests at her blog. Post your story in the comments; prize is usually a free book. Btw, a totally kickback-free plug for her Query Shark, one of the best query letter resources anywhere.
On hiatus (waaah!):
- Christian Flash Weekly (hosted by Charles W. Short). Bible verse prompt posts Friday mornings; deadline is Monday 5pm Arizona time. Word length and judges vary.
- #RacetheDate. Theme/idea-based prompt posts at 5am ET Monday and closes 7am ET Tuesday. Hosted by Cara Michaels; judges vary. Story must be between 100-300 words.
- Trifecta Writing Challenge. Prompt posts at 10am ET Mondays; story must fall between 33 and 333 words and incorporate the third definition of the chosen word. Post on your own blog and link back. Contest closes Thursdays 8pm. Judged by Trifecta, except every third contest which is community judged
- #WIPFlash (hosted by Cara Michaels). Designed to help writers working on longer projects; anyone can play. Generally hosted every other Friday. Multi-layered prompt and judge vary.
- #BCFiction Business Card Fiction. Tournament-style contest; details here. Last activity 1/19/13.
- Motivation Monday (hosted by Wakefield Mahon). Word limit between 100-500; story must begin with provided text prompt. Judges vary. Contest runs noon Monday to noon Tuesday ET.
- Monday Mixer (hosted by Jeffrey Hollar). 150 words exactly; must incorporate prompts from location, thing, and adjective categories. Post entry on your own blog & link. Contest runs 00:01 until midnight ET. Judged by host Jeffrey Hollar.
- Sat/Sun Tails (hosted by Rebecca Clare Smith). Stories must be 150 words (5 word margin); photo and phrase prompt. Contest closes Monday 11am GMT.
- NPR’s Three-Minute Fiction. Round 11 closed May 12, 2013. Discontinued.