2021 Flash Fiction Contest by Erika Raskin

Photo of Venn diagram with winners' names

Once again we have had the good fortune to be invited into other worlds, each unfurled in just 500 words. The skill involved in presenting backstory and insight—with minimal description—is great.

And, as always, trying to rank submissions to Streetlight‘s Flash Fiction contest was very difficult.

In terms of the mechanics, Suzanne Freeman and I present each other with our subjective responses to the narratives. We then take a Venn Diagram approach, winnowing down the entries by those that overlap in our respective hierarchies. It’s interesting (and difficult!) to see how many stories fall by the wayside that way. As such, we hope to be able to run the work of many other contestants in coming issues.

All that said . . . the 1st place entry is Free Swim by Marjory Ruderman, a contagious anxiety dream. The 2nd, Places to Go, Things to See by Richard D. Key, is a sly travelogue. Susceptible to Scratches by Nancy Ludmerer explores history held in a desk.

Join us in congratulating the authors — and look for their wonderful work in this winter’s issue!

Erika Raskin


Author of Best Intentions and Close, Erika Raskin is Streetlight‘s fiction editor. She lives in Charlottesville. More of her words can be found at erikaraskin.com and @erikaraskin on Twitter.

Suzanne Freeman
Former editor of Streetlight‘s fiction section, Suzanne Freeman is an author, editor and book reviewer. She lives in Charlottesville, Va.

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