Rules and prizes 2017

Can you commit a crime story in just 150 words?

‘A shot rang out’ is four words, but it packs a hell of a punch. Flash fiction is the art of surprise, illumination, punch.

Think short fuse, short-arm, Get Shorty. Did you know ‘flash in the pan’ originated with the priming of guns? And flashnotes are counterfeit notes… We could go on, but we won’t, because we’re big on brevity. Surprise us. Burn us. Write us. Whatever you do, do it in a flash.

Bang bang, you’re read.

NB: Flashbang17 is now closed. Winners are listed here.


1st prize is two weekend passes to CrimeFest 2018 (access to all interviews, panels and receptions, exc. accommodation, dinner, travel)

2nd prize is one weekend pass to CrimeFest 2018

3rd prize A special CrimeFest delegate bag with books and other goodies

In addition to the above, all those on the shortlist will be invited to attend the Crime Writing Day on Friday 19 May 2017, when the winners will be announced.


Max 150 words. No minimum. Title not included in word count. One entry per person. £2 entry fee to cover our admin, to be paid via PayPal. No entries from established crime authors, please. No other restrictions apply, but you’ll want to be able to attend CrimeFest in Bristol in the UK in May 2018 if you win (NB: travel and acommodation are not included in the prize).

Entries by midnight BST on 3 March 2017.

How to Enter

When you’re ready to submit your 150 words to our judges, first pay your £2 entry fee via PayPal. You’ll receive a confirmation from PayPal with a transaction ID. Copy and paste your transaction ID into the body of an email, together with your 150 words.

In the subject line, write Flashbang. In the body of the email, put your name, address and email. Stories will be cut and pasted into a document for blind reading by the judges so don’t repeat your name under your story title. Send the email to this address, replacing the bits in brackets as appropriate: flashbangcontest (at) gmail (dot) com.

You’ll receive an automated email confirming its safe receipt. If you don’t receive the confirmation email, please leave a comment here and we’ll investigate and/or contact you as necessary.

Copyright remains with the author at all times. We reserve the non-exclusive right to publish winning and commended stories here and on the CrimeFest site, for a period of up to 12 months.

Longlist will be published here April 7. Shortlist will be published here April 21. Winners will be announced at CrimeFest 2017, May 18-21 2017. Judges’ decisions are final. Good luck, and get flashbanging.

35 thoughts on “Rules and prizes 2017

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    • Yes, but if you win you have to be able to fund your trip over here in 2018 to take advantage of your prize which is a weekend pass to CrimeFest in Bristol, UK, in May 2018.

    • By ‘established’ we would mean your name is well-known in the crime publishing world; you will have published at least one novel. In which case, congratulations! But we want Flashbang to uncover and reward exciting new talent. We wouldn’t count having your short stories published online or in anthologies, however. Not that those things don’t count, but because we recognise the road to success have many steps.

  15. I emailed an entry yesterday to However no automated confirmation email has arrived from you ??? Can you confirm it is with you. Thanks.

  16. Hi Sarah, I emailed an entry over 24 hours ago but haven’t received an automated confirmation email. Please advise. Thanks, Anne Lipton

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