Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 200!
This week, we are pleased to continue with “The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction”, brought to you by Alert Terminal Warehouse.
***As you might have guessed, it’s a special microcosmsversary! Things are going to be a little different this week to celebrate, so be sure to check out the details below.***
Time Left to Submit
Quick Access Links
- Info Tabs
- Add Recurring Weekly Calendar Reminder
- ***This Week Only***
- This Week’s Prompts
- MC 198 Winners!
- Follow Us
- Get Notified of Future Contests
Start here if you’re new or haven’t been here in a while. Click each tab to learn more.
To qualify for the cash prize, must MUST:
- ***Submit your story as a comment below.***
Story must fit within the contest criteria, including word count guidelines, and be on time. (A few minutes is okay; contact us if there are technical issues preventing you from submitting more than 5 minutes past midnight, PT.)
- Include the prompts used. (You can use the ones we spun for or spin your own from the current or default spinner, but it must be clear what you used.)
- Vote AND leave a comment on at least one other story for the week that is not your own (doesn’t have to be the same story).
- Share a link to the contest on social media, if you have one. (I.e., if you include a social media handle in your submission to promote yourself, please extend the same courtesy in return.)
- Acknowledge that the decision of the judge(s) is/are final.
Please kindly use this format, then copy/paste your response as a comment on this post.
(Feel free to copy/paste and edit or save a copy of the Google Doc linked below.)
My Amazing Story Title XXX words Element / Element / Element My Preferred Name (how you'd like to be credited as if your story is selected) (Optional) website or social media link 1 (please include full URL) (Optional) website or social media link 2 (please include full URL) (Optional) Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information. /// OR /// No, I am not open to derivative works at this time, thank you. *** My amazing story content goes here. You can use HTML to add a link. Example: <a href="https://twitter.com/MicrocosmsFic">https://twitter.com/MicrocosmsFic</a> You can also use it to do italics or bold text. Examples: <i>text you want to be italicized goes here</i> <b>text you want to be bolded goes here</b>
It’s totally fine to be creative with the “words” part, like “253 ripe bananas”, as we’ve seen some people do in the past.) Not using this format with NOT disqualify you. But it will help us out if you do use it.
We have prepared a free and easy-to-use, pre-formatted document in Google Docs to help simplify things. Just save your own copy and then replace the content with your own. (Sometimes, adding links will get your comment flagged by the spam filter. If you think that happened, please contact us for assistance.)
- You have ONE WEEK (Sunday – Saturday, midnight – midnight) Los Angeles Time (PST/PDT) to submit your masterpiece.
- All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title and other header info).
- We enjoy fan fiction! Just not for this contest. NO FAN-FICTION, please, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS for this contest.
- Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry (see entry format tab).
- If you are new to Microcosms, please check out the full submissions guidelines on our FAQs page.
- I feel like this should go without saying, but just in case – absolutely no AI submissions.
- Constructive feedback is fine, but all comments should be made in the spirit of kindness. Determination of what that means and if there are any consequences (such as warning or banning) is at my sole discretion. This is a safe space. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, or anti-Semitism, etc. (including “dog whistles”), will not be tolerated. This has never really been an issue, and we generally have a very nice community here – let’s keep it that way.
- You retain all rights to your story, except otherwise noted and unless otherwise agreed upon in advance (e.g., if selected for inclusion in an anthology, a contract will be sent with details). By submitting your story to this contest, you are granting us worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free rights to display it on our website (and store it, as needed).
Here’s a brief rundown of changes we have made (details can be found on our FAQs page):
- Weekly contest runs Sunday – Saturday.
- New! Judge’s pick winner gets a $25 USD prize. (Default is by PayPal; other options available.) Contest is still free to enter!
- Community pick winner(s) for fun and bragging rights!
- We have a default spinner you can use now if you don’t like the prompt(s) offered. Enter as many times as you like!
- We’re using the Pacific Time (PDT/PST, as applicable – Los Angeles time).
Add Recurring Weekly Calendar Reminder
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Add a recurring reminder for Thursdays
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***This Week Only***
In celebration of our 200th(!) weekly contest, we have made the following changes to the contest rules:
- Word Count: 180-220 (a 200-word contest to celebrate 200 contests!)
- All of our prompts have been inspired by pairs/twos/couples, so be sure your story includes at least two characters. (Optional: for an extra challenge, try incorporating both sets of prompts!)
- An optional photo prompt
This Week’s Prompts
Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location/setting, and genre/style.
We spun, and our three elements are:
Frenemies / Heaven/Hell (or similar) / Romance
Hero/Villain / Hostage Situation / Steampunk
Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button below, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – character, location and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you. (Don’t like any of these? Try our default spinner.)
Optional Photo Prompt
- Married Couple
- Trauma Bond
- Epic Showdown
- Therapist Office
- High School
- Heaven/Hell (or similar)
- Love Across Time
- Hostage Situation
NEW! We have yet another exciting announcement. We’re partnering with a podcaster who reads flash fiction and would like to invite you to submit for inclusion. Please contact us or leave a statement below your name on your submission if you are interested!
We have some exciting projects in the works. Please register with the site here: https://microcosmsfic.com/register/
As a new bonus for entering, we’d love to help promote your work – for free! Promo page forthcoming. 🙂 Anyone who has ever entered one of our contests is eligible to apply! Submit your book here for consideration: https://microcosmsfic.com/book-submissions/
Helping judge this week is MC 197 winner Eden Solera! Please be sure to thank them on Twitter!
Don’t forget to vote for your favorites from last week and this week, too. All being well, MC 199 Community Pick(s) will be announced at the end of the week, along with the Judge’s Pick, who will win $50 (a one-time increase, thanks to judge Sophie H. Sigrafys, who requested to pay forward their prize to double the award for this round)!
We are always and forever in need of assistance. If you have any spare time to help, we will happily accept. Even something as little as 5-10 minutes a week would be amazing. (You have no idea.) To find out how you can help, please visit our volunteers page. If you have an idea for a future contest and/or would like to be a guest judge, please contact us.
MC 198 Winners!
We’ve moved our Winners Announcements to their own posts! You can find the winners of MC 198 here: https://microcosmsfic.com/2023/07/15/results-mc-198/