judged by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

May 11 to July 14, 2024

This contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted and trusted us with your writing!

Since this was one of our favorite contests last year, we had to bring it back! From May 11 to July 14, 2024, we welcome writers to submit to the Fractured Lit Flash Fiction OPEN.


We want your most creative and resonant flash and microfictions. No themes. Send us those pieces that hum with life, velocity, and intimacy. Write that story you’ve been thinking about for months, the one that needs to exist, the one that caught you in its glare of white-hot inspiration. Please don’t forget that we love stories that involve actions, reactions, and reckonings. Write and submit the stories only you can tell!


Fractured Lit publishes flash fiction with emotional resonance, with characters who come to life through their actions and responses to the world around them. We’re searching for flash that investigates the mysteries of being human, the sorrow, and the joy of connecting to a diverse population.


We're thrilled to partner with Guest Judge Maurice Carlos Ruffin, who will choose one grand-prize winner and 15 finalists from a shortlist. The first-place winner will receive $2,000 and publication, while the 15 finalists will receive $100 and publication. All entries will be considered for general publication.


Good luck and happy writing!


Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of the new historical novel The American Daughters, published in February 2024 by One World Random House. He is the recipient of the 2023 Louisiana Writer Award and the Black Rock Senegal Residency. He also wrote The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You, which was published by One World Random House in August 2021. The collection was the 2023 One Book One New Orleans Selection, a New York Times Editors' Choice, a finalist for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and longlisted for the Story Prize. The Ones was also selected to represent Louisiana at the 2023 National Book Festival. His first book, We Cast a Shadow, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the PEN America Open Book Prize. It was longlisted for the 2021 Dublin Literary Award, the Center for Fiction Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editors' Choice. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, The Kenyon Review, and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of creative writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Find him on Twitter @MauriceRuffin.


  • Your $20 reading fee allows up to two stories of 1,000 words or fewer each per entry—if submitting two stories, please put them both in a SINGLE document.
  • Writers from historically marginalized groups may submit for free until we reach a cap of 25 submissions in this category. No additional fee waivers will be granted for this contest.
  • We allow multiple submissions—each set of two flash/micro stories requires a separate submission accompanied by a reading fee.
  • Please send flash and microfiction only—1,000 word count maximum per story.
  • We only consider unpublished work for contests—we do not review reprints, including self-published work (even on blogs and social media). Reprints will be automatically disqualified.
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay—please notify us and withdraw your entry if you find another home for your writing.
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in Fractured Lit.
  • Double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 (or larger if needed).
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable). In the cover letter, please include content warnings as well, to safeguard our reading staff.
  • We only read work in English, though some code-switching/meshing is warmly welcomed.
  • We do not read anonymous submissions. However, shortlisted stories are sent anonymously to the judge.
  • Unless specifically requested, we do not accept AI-generated work. For this contest, AI-generated work will be automatically disqualified.

The deadline for entry is July 14, 2024. We will announce the shortlist within ten to twelve weeks of the contest's close. All writers will be notified when the results are final.

Some Submittable Hot Tips:

  • Please be sure to whitelist/add this email address to your contacts, so notifications do not get filtered as spam/junk: notifications@email.submittable.com.
  • If you realize you sent the wrong version of your piece: It happens. Please DO NOT withdraw the piece and resubmit. Submittable collects a nonrefundable fee each time. Please DO message us from within the submission to request that we open the entry for editing, which will allow you to fix everything from typos in your cover letter to uploading a new draft. The only time we will not allow a change is if the piece is already under review by a reader.


You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your piece. We will provide a global letter discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. Our aim is to make our comments actionable and encouraging. These letters are written by editors and staff readers of Fractured Lit. Should your story win, no feedback will be offered, and your fee will be refunded.