Quarterly Themed Flash Competition

For 2021, we have guest judges for each quarter again who have also chosen their own themes. Plus we have added a new prize! The winner and two runners-up receive cash prizes and have their stories published in the flash fiction journal on our website. Unfortunately due to cost restraints the professional recording of the story is no longer going to be part of the prize after the March 2022 contest.


Winner Prize: £200 cash and story published online

Runner-Up Prize  x 2: £100 cash and story published online

Word limit: 500

Entry Fee

  • £8 for 1 entry
  • £28 for 1 entry plus detailed feedback on the story submitted

September 2022 Competition

Theme: Amok

Deadline: 25th September 2022 – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 02ND OCTOBER 2022

Judge: Michael Conley

Michael Conley is a poet and flash writer from Manchester. His short fiction had been published in magazines such as Lunate, placed third in the Bridport Prize and has been shortlisted for the Manchester Fiction Prize. His debut prose collection ‘Flare and Falter’ was published by Splice in 2019 and longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. His latest collection is a poetry pamphlet, ‘These Are Not My Dreams And Anyway Nothing Here Is Purple’ published by Nine Pens in 2021.

December 2022 Competition

Theme: Open theme

Deadline: 30th December 2022

Judge: Reshma Ruia

Reshma Ruia is an author and poet based in Manchester. She has written two novels, Something Black in the Lentil Soup and A Mouthful of Silence, shortlisted for the SI Leeds literary award, to be published in June 2022 as Still Lives. Her writing has appeared in British and International anthologies and magazines and commissioned for BBC Radio 4. Her debut collection of poetry, A Dinner Party in the Home Counties, won the 2019 Debut Word Masala Award. Her short story collection, Mrs Pinto Drives to Happiness, is out now. She is the co-founder of The Whole Kahani — a writers’ collective of British South Asian writers. Find her on Twitter @RESHMARUIA and on her website: www.reshmaruia.com

Competition Rules

  • Submit stories written in English through Submittable using the button below by 23.59 GMT on the deadline date (sorry late entries will not be included).
  • Please include a word count on the story document
  • Maximum word count is 500 (excluding title) but there is no minimum. Please do not submit stories above this word count as they will be automatically disqualified. Sorry!
  • Do not include your name on the story or the submission title but provide a short bio in the Submittable cover letter section – sorry but stories where we can see the writer’s name will automatically be disqualified as all entries are judged anonymously.
  • Stories must be your own original work and not have been published online or in print.
  • By entering the competition you agree to your story being published on the Retreat West website.
  • If you enter the story elsewhere and it is accepted for publication before judging takes place then you will have to withdraw it and no entry fees will be refundable.
  • Stories can be in any genre apart from children’s fiction.
  • You can enter multiple stories but the £8 entry fee is payable each time and each story must be submitted separately.
  • The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Cash prize payments will be made through PayPal or by BACS.
  • There is no alternative prize.

If you join our friendly and lively Writing Community, you can get entries to this competition included in one of the packages. Get info here.