fractured lit micro fiction prize 2021

judged by Matthew Salesses

CLOSES September 19, 2021

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We invite writers to submit to the Fractured Lit Micro Fiction Prize from August 1 to September 27, 2020. Guest judge Matthew Salesses will choose three prize winning stories from a shortlist. We're excited to offer the winner of this prize $2500 and publication, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive publication and $600 and $400, respectively.


MATTHEW SALESSES is the author of the bestsellers The Hundred-Year Flood, an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015 and a Best Book of the season at Buzzfeed, Refinery29, and Gawker, among others, and Craft in the Real World, an Esquire Best Book of the 2021, which explores alternative models of craft and the writing workshop, especially for marginalized writers. His latest novel is the PEN/Faulkner Finalist Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, a Best Book of 2020. Previous books include I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying; Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity; and The Last Repatriate.

Matthew was adopted from Korea. In 2015 Buzzfeed named him one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers. His essays can be found in Best American Essays 2020, NPR Code Switch, The New York Times Motherlode, The Guardian, and other venues. His short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, PEN/Guernica, and Witness, among others. He has received awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Glimmer Train, Mid-American Review, [PANK], HTMLGIANT, IMPAC, Inprint, and elsewhere.

Matthew is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in the MFA/PhD program at Oklahoma State University. He earned a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Emerson College. He serves on the editorial boards of Green Mountains Review and Machete (an imprint of The Ohio State University Press), and has held editorial positions at Pleiades, The Good Men Project, Gulf Coast, and Redivider. He has read and lectured widely at conferences and universities and on TV and radio, including PBS, NPR, Al Jazeera America, various MFA programs, and the Tin House, Kundiman, and One Story writing conferences.


Fractured Lit is looking for flash fiction that lingers long past the first reading. We're searching for flash that investigates the mysteries of being human, the sorrow, and the joy of connecting to the diverse population around us. We want the stories that explode vertically, the flash that leaves the conventional and the clichéd far behind. Fractured Lit is a flash fiction–centered place for all writers of any background and experience.

Good luck and happy writing!



  • Your $20 reading fee allows up to 5 stories of 400 words or fewer each per entry. If submitting more than 1 story, please put them both in a SINGLE document.
  • We allow multiple submissions. Each set of 1-5 micro stories should have a separate submission accompanied by a reading fee.
  • Micro Fiction only. 400 word count per individual story is the maximum amount of words.
  • We only consider unpublished work for contests. We do not review reprints, including self-published work.
  • 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 pt font.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable).
  • International submissions are welcome, but we only read work in English.
  • We do not read blind. Shortlisted micros will be given to the judge anonymously.
  • Friends, family, and associates including current students of the judge are not eligible for consideration for the award.

The deadline for entry is September 19, 2021. We will announce the shortlist within 8-10 weeks of the contest's close. All writers will be notified when results are in.

Some Submittable hot tips: - Please be sure to whitelist/add to contacts so notifications do not get filtered as spam/junk: If you realize you sent the wrong version of your piece: it happens. Please DO NOT withdraw the piece and resubmit. Submittable collects a non-refundable 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.


Alternating Current Press is offering a discount for all submitters! Use this link and save 30% on your order.
Good luck and happy writing!

2020 Winners:

1st Place: The Taxidermist and the Baker by Molly Reid

2nd Place: With a Glistening Rush by Ruth LeFaive

3rd Place: Gavin and Merle Are Engaged in a Turf War by Tucker Leighty-Phillips


Honorable Mentions:

Fire by Thaisa Frank  

The Eighth Silo by Kathryn Phelan  

Bird Resuscitation by Jamie Cooper  

In Which Sophie and I Clear a Forest by Anita Lo  

And This Is How It Ended by Yasmina Din Madden

Editors' Choice:

Origami by Jo Withers  
Numbers by Noreen Hyde  
The I.C.'s by Clare Tascio