We judges here at Cracked Flash Fiction
believe in writers.
Why don't we have an entry fee?
We believe in offering a unique challenge to every writer, because every writer deserves the chance to test their hand, have an enjoyable time writing, and improve. We know from experience that not every writer can enter a contest with an entry fee. This is why we do not have, and hope to never have, paid entry to our competition.
Why don't we have monetary prizes?
There are a few reasons. We, too, have no money to spare to offer monetary incentive, so, because we have no entry rates, any monetary prizes would have to come from a donation pool. Due to CFFC's young age (it'll only be a year old in June!) and relatively low (but spreading!) recognition amongst the flash fiction community, we do not think it is prudent to promise monetary prizes when we have no revenue to fulfill the promise. (Note to future selves: discuss donation pool.)
What do we have to offer, then?
Every week, we read and discuss each eligible entry (read: entries that followed the rules). After careful deliberation, we choose the piece(s) we thought* demonstrated an understanding of storytelling, flash fiction, cohesiveness, creativity, originality, emotion, imagery, irony, clarity, humor, human nature, and/or a number of other things. Then we individually review/critique the piece, looking for specific things we liked, and things we thought could use improvement.
It is fulfilling to us to help our contestants grow, and we try to encourage that growth in a positive way.
*We are human; our tastes vary. If we do not choose an entry, it does not necessitate that the entry was written poorly, lacked imagination, etc.,. Sometimes we have trouble choosing winners from the contestants because it's so tightly matched.
What makes us happy?
"You guys just made my whole month. Thanks for a great prompt! :)" -- Molly Morrow
"Done! Hope you enjoy it. I had a blast writing it." -- Alana Dill
"Thank you guys so much! I am new to this whole flash fiction writing thing and it has been so fun and supportive! This makes my day! Hopefully next time there will be more fics! I am looking forward to the next prompt! :)" -- Ophelia Leong
"Thank you Si and Mars. One thing I like about this is how you tell us what is great about the story and what are the weaknesses. I love that, makes me think. You give me ideas I didn't have before. It's a great help for beginners like me. Thanx again. :)" -- Firdaus Parvez
"Wowwie! THANK YOU, Si and Rin for your AWESOME and INCREDIBLE comments! Blown away and so very grateful to be First Runner-Up! [...] I'd say in week 13 you make an extremely viable Flash Fiction Competition, and I couldn't be happier or more proud to be a part of your growth! Thanks to ALL admins for running a great site. :D" -- Pattyann McCarthy
"Thank you for picking my story! You did interpret the ending right, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Your questions are inspiring and give me ideas for potentially writing more in the "world" of this piece. Thanks again!" -- Sara Codair
"I appreciate the win this week. At Cracked Flash I have had a few runner ups. I truly do not write to win. Rather I write to improve. Each Flash Fiction site I submit to has so much to offer. They all enhance a writer's skills. At least that is what I tell myself about my writing. Thanks for the opportunities you provide all of us." -- Bill Engleson
"Thanks for the win, Si and Mars! Your contest works for me on so many levels. The prompts, of course, are lovely, and I appreciate your time and word limits. They force me to stop meddling with my work and just put it out there. Finally, most importantly-- your critiques. I love them. The win is secondary to the thoughtful feedback you give. Can't thank you enough. You brightened my day! :)" -- Kelly Griffiths