The Arcade > Flash Fiction Contest VI - PseudoPod

PseudoPod Flash Fiction Contest VI Rules, Schedule, and FAQ

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ATTENTION: The forums are currently undergoing maintenance. As such, new members may experience issues registering accounts. If you are experiencing issues, please email me at and I can try to help you sort things out. At the very least, I'll have your email on a shortlist to notify you when the forums are operational again. The goal is to have the forums fully updated and operational by the time the flash fiction contest begins!

The PseudoPod Flash Fiction Contest VI will begin on October 1, 2019!!!

We have received a total of 170 stories. They will be divided into 16 groups! 11 of them will have 11 stories, and 5 of them will have 10 stories!

First Round
Groups will be posted every TWO days which translates to....

October 1: Group 1 posted
October 3: Group 2 posted
October 5: Group 3 posted
October 7: Group 4 posted

October 8: Bdoomed's birthday, a day of rest

October 9: Group 5 posted
October 11: Group 6 posted
October 13: Group 7 posted
October 15: Group 8 posted

October 17: Group 9 posted
October 19: Group 10 posted
October 21: Group 11 posted
October 23: Group 12 posted

October 25: Group 13 posted
October 27: Group 14 posted
October 29: Group 15 posted
October 31: Group 16 posted

YOU (yes, you) get to decide which stories in each group are the best! Each community member can vote on up to three stories (but you don't HAVE to vote for three! If you only like one, vote for one!) to move on to the next round. These polls will be open for 1 week for each group. (That's 7 whole days to have an opinion!)

Quarter Finals
Quarter finals will consist of four groups of 12 stories that make it past the first round.

Quarter final polls will be up for 1 week each. That's another 7 whole days to have an opinion!

Quarter finals will start once the four first-round groups finish, which means...

October 16: Quarterfinal 1 posted
October 23: Quarterfinal 2 posted
October 31: Quarterfinal 3 posted
November 8: Quarterfinal 4 posted

Semifinals will consist of two groups of six stories each that make it past the quarterfinals. Semifinal rounds will start once the requisite quarterfinal rounds have completed. This means...

October 29: Semifinal 1 posted
November 14: Semifinal 2 posted

The final round will consist of the three winning stories from each semifinal group, which means six stories each battling for the crown! Only the top 3 will be named PseudoPod Flash Fiction Contest VI Winners, but as in years before, if our illustrious editorial staff enjoy a story enough, they may pick a runner up at their discretion as well.

November 22: Final Round posted

May the best stories win, and I hope everyone has as much fun reading as I do running this lovely contest!


A special Flash Fiction contest portal is open on Submittable and will close at midnight as August 31 changes over to 9/1. If the portal disappears, submissions are formally closed and will not reopen.

1. The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Google Docs.   

2. The story must adhere to the general Pseudopod submission guidelines. Most importantly, it needs to be a horror story; other genres, including science fiction and fantasy, are discouraged. As a general rule, we will take a very liberal view of what constitutes horror, but authors should note that past experience shows that stories which attempt to skirt the genre restriction tend to fare badly in the voting.

3. The story must be original and previously unpublished. Stories will be posted on a members-only portion of the forum, so first publication rights will not be spent if your story does not win.

The person submitting the story must be the story's author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story. A story that is derived from a previous published work in another format (i.e. not a short story) is fine (assuming doing so isn't in violation of copyright, obviously).

If you are not sure whether your story counts as published or not (for example, if an earlier version has appeared on your blog but nowhere else), please write (PM or send a query to with the subject line "QUERY") and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous Escape Artists contest.

4. The story should be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.

5. Each author may submit only one story.

Included the body of the submission should be the title and the text of your story. Any byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when either the story fails to advance, or ultimately wins. Feel free to request a pseudonym for the byline, but we will need a legal name if you win for prize purposes.

Winners will be paid $40, making this a pro sale of at least eight cents a word.

Please blog, tweet, email, send postcards, telephone, summon demons, and otherwise get the word out.

EDIT [Fenrix]: Clarified portal closing - look at the Submittable portal to confirm when it is closing in your time zone.

Hey, sorry, I've been gone a while and I was wondering if this was similar to previous FF contests - are the entries submitted here, as you say, in the members-only forum? On the Submittable it looks all very private.  I really enjoyed looking at everyone else's work and discussing it here. Is that not a part of this?

How is The Grinder a part of this, I've never used it before?


Hey MonsieurMoustache, the stories are submitted to Submittable and are posted here for discussion and voting. Stories in the contest will be made available once the submissions period is over and all submissions have been processed.

The submission grinder isn't really a part of this, that's just a boilerplate response you get from Submittable, as it's the same system we use to receive and process normal submissions to the magazine.

I have a question: After I submitted my contest entry I realized I was supposed to include a short author bio in the cover letter. Should I resubmit with that information, or should I wait till after the contest is over to include that info?

Go ahead and resubmit it, include a note in the re-submission so I can remember this thread :)


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