Love is in the air Sweekers! Now that the dust has settled after the arrival of the new year, we thought it was time for another round of our flash fiction contest. Though February is the shortest month of the year, it paradoxically boasts more dates than any other month – so lets take all those emotional threads and spin them into some fantastic stories, shall we? As you may have guessed, it’s #MicroDate this time around, which you may interpret in any way you wish. The word has more than one meaning, after all.
Keep in mind that this round of the contest will also be shorter than usual – due to it being February – so if you’re the type of writer who thrives under pressure, this might just be your month!
Also, please note that from this round onward, there will no longer be any “Best Feedback” prize. Nevertheless, we encourage you to comment on stories and help the Sweek writing community develop as a whole.
Lastly, the popularity prize will from now on only be awarded once per writer, for all rounds. Hence, winning the popularity prize for one micro round will make you ineligible for winning it again.
SUMMARY OF THE CONTEST:
– Write 250 words (max.) of prose including the word “date” anywhere within the story.
– Add #MicroDate tag either in the main title of the story / its description / tags- section to take part in the challenge.
– You can participate no matter where you are from although entries marked as #MicroDate must be written in English.
– You can take part in this contest even if you’ve already participated/won previously.
– This is your chance to get discovered and published via Sweek self-publishing!
❓ HOW TO PARTICIPATE ❓
Step 1: Download the Sweek app or use our website:
Android app: http://bit.ly/SweekforAndroid
iOS app: http://bit.ly/SweekforiOS
Step 2: Create an account or log in
Step 3: Upload your story by going to ‘My stories’ and ‘Start a new story’
Step 4: Publish your story with the tag #MicroDate either in the title, description or tags section (which is part of Story Details).
That’s it, easy-peasy – you’re published! Don’t forget to share with your friends and family to get more fans!
🗓 DURATION 🗓
Submissions open: 1st of February – 22nd of February (23:59 CET)
Winners announcement: 28th of February
🏆 PRIZES 🏆
The Best Story: $50 cash prize + getting published in the Sweek book + a free copy of the bundle!
The Most Original Story: A special badge on the story + getting featured on Sweek!
The Most Popular Story: will be awarded a special badge
All shortlisted authors will get published in the bundle and featured on Sweek
📜 RULES 📜
Read these guidelines carefully before joining this writing competition!
- You need to be 13 years or older to participate. Younger participants need their parents’ permission.
- This is an international contest open to every country (if you participate in another language than English, make sure that you write a correct, language-specific tag). Entries marked as #MicroDate must be written in English.
- The story cannot exceed 250 words.
- Your story doesn’t have to be exclusive (for instance, it can be from your blog) but needs to be uploaded on Sweek during the submission period.
- The story must be tagged with #MicroDate (in the main title of the story / its description or within the tags section).
- The story must be created by you. You can also write with a friend if you want to, but in case you win, the prize will be shared. Plagiarism is strictly prohibited and actions may be taken against those involved in plagiarism.
- The story must be submitted and finished before the deadline. Don’t edit your story afterwards – it will lead to your disqualification from the contest.
- You can participate with multiple entries.
- You can join any round of the contest at any time.
- The story can be in any genre, as long as it’s prose, not poetry. It can be a combination of e.g. young adult, romance, fantasy, science fiction and crime.
- The most popular story is determined by the number of likes. The deadline for likes is 27th of February, 23:59 CET
Falsification of likes and followers will lead to disqualification. The most popular story needs to meet quality requirements determined by the Sweek team. You can only win one flash fiction popularity prize as a writer!
- Spam comments/messages with promotion of your story (except for a special story dedicated to promotion) will result in disqualification and possible account deletion if the behavior continues.
- If winners do not respond within a timeframe of two weeks, then the prize will be given to the second place.
- By entering in this competition, you give Sweek the right to publish your story in a book. In case the author does not agree, he/she must state in the short description that Sweek cannot publish the story in print.
- The cash prize will be transferred via PayPal (Sweek bears the transfer costs). If the winner is based in Europe, the cash prize will be arranged via a bank transfer. In case there is no option to create a Paypal account, we can arrange the prize via a gift card or a bank transfer for which the costs are split. Sweek is not responsible for currency conversion rate at the time of transferring the cash prize.
- By participating in this contest the user acknowledges that he/she is aware of and accepts the rules of said contest.
🖋 HOW DOES IT WORK? 🖋
- Every round gives you a new word/sentence (this time: “date”) that you must include in your story (open topic) or a specific theme to write about
- Only prose is accepted.
- You can join the contest at any time (even if you didn’t take part in the previous rounds). Also, the winners and shortlisted authors of the earlier editions are welcome to participate in the following editions.
- Every round you must tag your story with a hashtag that includes the word #micro + the word of that round (this time: #microdate).
- You have 3 weeks to write, then the jury members along with the Sweek editorial team will be judging the entries.
- The winners will also be announced via our Social Media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), blog and e-mail on 28/02/2019.
- The Best Story prize will be based on writing style, the plot development of the story, originality, the overall correct use of the English language (including grammar and punctuation) as well as the interpretation of the given prompt.
- The author of The Best Story will receive $50 and will be published in the Sweek Microfiction book with all the shortlisted stories via Sweek self-publishing.
- The Most Original Story must have an unexpected plot twist/ending, present unique insights or be written on a noteworthy topic.
- The Most Popular Story will be determined by the total number of likes and will receive a special badge on Sweek.
- The shortlist (excluding the most popular story) will be featured on Sweek and published in a bundle.
- There will be one winner selected in the The Best Story category, one in the Most Original category, and one story will be designated as The Most Popular Story. The latter prize is awarded per writer, and as such, you cannot win Most Popular Story twice.
- The shortlist will include 10-20 titles (all will be published in the bundle). If there are enough high-quality stories selected by the jury, the longlist will also be announced. However, the titles on the longlist will not get published in the bundle.
- The next round will be announced on 01/03.
🤓 JURY MEMBERS 🤓
Together with the Sweek editorial team, our jury members choose the shortlist and the winners.
K. Banning Kellum is a life-long resident of New Orleans, LA. A documentary actor, article writer and horror author, Kellum is best known for his Hyraaq Tobit series of horror stories. A proud husband and father, Kellum credits his love of family and the haunted history of New Orleans as his source of inspiration.
Melanie loves flash so much that she wrote a craft book about the genre to inspire fellow writers, In a Flash!: Writing & Publishing Dynamic Flash Prose (Vine Leaves Press), and her next craft book, Poetry Power, will be published (Vine Leaves Press) in late October 2018. In her free time, she loves crossword puzzles and shoe shopping, photography, blogging, and visiting her darling nieces.
Melissa Goodrich is the author of the story collection Daughters of Monsters, the poetry chapbook IF YOU WHAT, and a collaborative fiction collection forthcoming from Goldwake Press. She earned her MFA in Fiction from the University of Arizona. Her stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, The Kenyon Review Online, Passages North, PANK, and others.
❓ FAQ ❓
Answers to all the Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE WORD LIMIT?
250 words max.
CAN I PARTICIPATE WITH MORE THAN ONE ENTRY?
Yes, you can.
IS THE CONTEST AVAILABLE IN OTHER LANGUAGES THAN ENGLISH?
Yes, the contest is running in the following languages: English, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.
HOW DO I ADD A TAG AND EDIT MY STORY?
You need to add it to your Story Details (don’t forget to press Enter on the website).
For each contest, you can edit your story as many times as you want before the deadline. To access your story: log in, go to ‘my stories’ and click on your story. If you want to edit your story title/description, go to the 3-dot menu in your Story Dashboard and click Story Basics; to edit your tags/other story details, go to the 3-dot menu in your story dashboard and select Story Details.
HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER MY STORY IS PARTICIPATING IN THE CONTEST OR NOT?
If you see the tag on your story page after you searched for it, it is participating. If you are not sure, contact us via Facebook and we can check it for you.
HOW DO I PROMOTE MY STORY?
The absolute best way is to promote your story via your own social media and network. You can also promote it on the Sweek platform (for the official ‘Promote Your Story’ post, created for each round) or share it in the Sweek group on Facebook: Sweek Fan Group. The link to share your story can be found when you search for your story in the search bar and click on it. Here you’ll find the share button on the story info page!
DO I GET A CONFIRMATION OF PARTICIPATING IMMEDIATELY?
No, but if your story is tagged, you are definitely participating. However, if you’d like to know for sure, please ask us.
HOW CAN I SEARCH FOR MY STORY?
The current search is based on the title, the description and the tag. So you can search for either of those.
WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND MY STORY ON SEARCH RIGHT AWAY?
No worries, sometimes it can take a few minutes after publishing to become visible on all the platforms. If you still can’t find your story the next day, please contact us.
WHERE WILL THE WINNERS BE ANNOUNCED?
We will e-mail all the shortlisted authors within 3 days after the announcement, but you can find them first on our Facebook page!
WHEN CAN I EXPECT THE SWEEK MICROFICTION BOOK?
We will bundle the winners and finalists of each round and publish them via Sweek self-publishing (every 3-4 rounds, depending on the number of shortlisted stories). If you do not wish for Sweek to publish your story participating in this competition, please indicate this in the short description of your story.