Greetings, flash fictioneering friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 201!

This week, we are pleased to continue with “The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction”, brought to you by Alert Terminal Warehouse.


Be sure to check out MC 100micro1 – our first ever quarterly contest! Submissions are open through 30 September 2023.

MC 201 Winners!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner(s) of MC 201!

Community Picks

It was a super tight race this week, but we have a double dipper!

Judge’s Pick

And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:

Drumroll, please!

Congrats, Laura! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 204!

Here’s what judge Dennis Conrad had to say:

These stories and poems were all a joy to read. It was a TOUGH choice, but I ended up giving it to “SNIPPETS”. A winning combination of strong rhythmic construction, very effective satire and an ambiguously-sinister hairstylist made this one my favorite. I’m not convinced it’s hair that Samantha’s snipping in those last two lines, so full of suggestion as they are.

The other stories had quite a bit to offer as well, with two in particular that came reeeeally close for me. “Left on the Cutting Room Floor” was a very strong entry. I loved the babble of financial terms compressed into single overwhelming one-word lines – basically what l hear whenever my acquaintances who are into finance talk shop. I also quite enjoyed “Elvis Left The Building And Was Reincarnated As A Member Of A Boy Band” – a story constructed entirely of dialogue needs strong dialogue, and this dialogue was particularly witty, clever, and showed a lot of character while also painting a scene.


HUGE thanks to Dennis for judging this week!

Judge’s Pick Entry

As a reminder, here is the story that won over both our community and our judge!


200 words
Wall Street/ Hairdresser/ Poem
By Laura Cooney
Twitter: @lozzawriting
Derivative works: Yes please, especially if it involves a trip to New York as part of the contract.


It doesn’t take much to cut this hair.
But it is a real annoyance to listen to the chatter,


If you’re not part of the ‘world,’
Half of it goes,
Pun intended,
Right over your head,


Self aggrandising, unrealistic, chauvanistic,
They ooze money.

It’s all they can think about and they can’t look up long enough,


Let you finish the job.

Its all phones, phones, phones.
Buy, sell, buy.

Words like:

Dead Cat Bounce,
Bear Market,
Diamond Hands,


Nonsense really.

One of them with real diamonds for hands and a mouth full of pearls,
Misjudges the situation,
In which he finds himself,

So when you’re in court and the judge asks about:

Penny Stocks, manuipulation, pyramids that aren’t in Egypt…

Suddenly you understand it all,
The same as someone who learned Esperanto, or Dutch.

The snippets fall into place,
Like shorn hairs on the floor.


And they don’t look at you as you are, a hairdresser from Queens.

They look at you and they see you properly for the first time.


Samantha… who holds the ticker tape in her hand and knows how to use a pair of scissors.

Snip, snip, snip.

Please help us congratulate our winners, especially in comments and on Twitter!
See you for MC 203, coming right up!

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