One-Hour Flash Success Stories

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, then you might have seen a series of posts called One-Hour Flash. These are flash fiction stories I’ve written in one hour as part of a writing exercise. The basic gist is that you get a prompt and then try to bang out the best story you can on that prompt in one hour. It’s a great little exercise/contest to do with your (closed) writing group, as it really forces you out of your comfort zone (always good for a writer). The One-Hour Flash series on this blog features stories that weren’t good enough (in my opinion) to submit to publishers. I could call them Flash Failures, but I try not to be too negative. So, have I ever actually published any of these one-hour flash stories? Yes I have.

The latest one-hour flash story to be published went live this morning. It’s called “Simulacra” and you can read it right now over at Ellipsis Zine. 

“Simulacra” is my twenty-third publication (acceptance) of a story that began life as a one-hour flash piece. Here’s the rest, with links to read some if you are so inclined.

Title Publisher Length
A Man of Many Hats The Molotov Cocktail Flash
An Incident on Dover Street The Molotov Cocktail Flash
At the Seams The Molotov Cocktail Flash
Beyond the Block The Molotov Cocktail Flash
Big Problems Havok Magzine Flash
Caroline Red Sun Magazine Short Story
Cowtown The Arcanist Flash
Little Sister The Molotov Cocktail Flash
Luck Be a Bullet* Spinetingler Mag Short Story
Masks The Molotov Cocktail Flash
New Arrivals Havok Magzine Flash
Night Walk The Molotov Cocktail Flash
One Last Spell, My Love Allegory Short Story
Paper Cut Red Sun Magazine Short Story
Reunion The Arcanist Flash
Scare Tactics* Flame Tree Publishing Short Story
Shadow Can The Molotov Cocktail Flash
Side Effects The Molotov Cocktail Flash
Simulacra Ellipsis Zine Flash
The Father of Terror The Molotov Cocktail Flash
The Rarest Cut Evil Girlfriend Media Flash
The Sitting Room The Molotov Cocktail Flash
Where They Belong DarkFuse Magazine Flash


As you can see, The Molotov Cocktail has been very good to me, and many of these stories have placed in their various themed contests. Most of the stories I kept as flash fiction with a little (or a lot) of revision and polish. A few, though, I expanded into longer pieces, and one of them, “Scare Tactics,” is on it’s third publication.

So, what am I trying to say with all this other than showing off a bunch of publications? Basically, when you force yourself to write outside of your comfort zone (by setting a clock), you are likely to write something you normally wouldn’t out of sheer desperation and less likely fall back on concepts and tropes you might overuse. I know that’s the case for me. Of course, you can get out of your comfort zone in a lot of ways. Putting yourself on a clock and writing to a random prompt is just one way to do it. Still, I urge you to give the one-hour flash challenge a try and see where it takes you.

One Comment on “One-Hour Flash Success Stories

  1. I really enjoy writing flash fiction. Haven’t had any published yet, but I would like to one day. I am very pleased though when someone says they like something I wrote. That is my payment. Congrats!

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