Every year, Queer Sci Fi runs a one-word theme contest for 300 word flash fiction stories, and the judges choose 120 of them for an annual anthology. I've entered the contest before, and have had my entry included in the anthology, but this year I had the good fortune to win first prize!
From the anthology foreword:
It's hard to tell a story in just 300 words, so it’s only fair that I limit this foreword to exactly 300 words, too.
This year, 312 writers took the challenge, with stories across the queer spectrum. The contest rules are simple. Submit a complete, well-written Clarity-themed 300 word sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror story with LGBTQ+ characters.
For our ninth year and eighth anthology, we chose the theme “Clarity.” The interpretations run from an “Aha!” moment to the bubbling laughter of water to a private, life-changing realization. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications that will make your head spin.
I'm proud that this collection includes many colors of the LGBTQ+ (or QUILTBAG, if you prefer) universe—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and asexual characters populate these pages—our most diverse contest yet. There's a bit of romance, too—and a number of stories solidly on the "mainstream" side. Flash fiction is short, fun, and easy to read. You may not fall in love with every story—in fact, you probably won't. But if you don't like one, just move on to the next, and you're sure to find some bite-sized morsels of flash fiction goodness. There are so many good stories in here—choose your own favorites.
We chose three winning stories, five judges' choice picks, and one director’s pick, all marked in the text. Thanks to our judges—Angel Martinez, B.A. Brock, Ava Kelly, Lexi Ander, and J.M. Dabney—for selflessly giving their time, love, and energy to this project. And to Ryane Chatman too, for editing.
At Queer Sci Fi, we're building a community of writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. Join us and submit a story of your own next time!
You can check out the anthology here: Clarity