top of page

Flash Fiction Competition

Winners have been announced!

flying pigeons illustration

Click here to see all of the finalists: final three, shortlist, and longlist. Or click the tiles below to go directly to each winning story.

first place tile for homepage.png
third place tile for homepage.png

Home is a word that has come to mean more places and things than either of us had imagined. Over the last five years, we moved from our hometown to travel and, eventually, live abroad. The path we have taken has lead us to question what home means to us and, at times, if we have one. Even our idea of a physical home has shifted as, over the years, we have shared four walls and a roof with relatives and strangers alike, who have taken us in as their own. Because of this, we live part-time in our hometown, staying with a smattering of family, and part-time in the small southern Italian town of Padula, in our own apartment.

We have grown to be less American, not engrossed in hometown politics, but unable to be fully Italian or Padulese. The meaning of home, who it has been, and where it will be, lingers in our lives and has become a more present question for us. You, Pigeon Family, have become a part of our evolving home structure so we are eager to read your stories of Home.

Here are all the details... 

Theme: Home | Some words to help get you in touch with our idea: Lost, Forgotten, Travel[ed][ing], Returning, Hometown, Childhood Home, Ancestral Home, Roots, Comfort, Belonging.

Genre: We accept both fiction and creative non-fiction. However, we don't accept personal essays. As it is a fiction competition, we prefer to see some aspects of fictional storytelling within the CNF submissions.

Word count: Up to 1,000 words per story (that's 1-1,000 words, no more). Stories must be written in English. Non-English words allowed as long as the core of the story is understandable by English-readers.

Simultaneous Submissions: We accept simultaneous submissions for the competition, but if it gets accepted elsewhere, we will not be able to publish the story, and we cannot refund the submission cost. Please notify us if the story is accepted elsewhere when you find out.

Previously Published Work: Unlike our normal submission window, we are accepting work that has been previously published in another publication (as well as personal blogs, websites, etc.). We only ask that you have the full rights to your story so that we can publish it, and that you provide us with the original publisher upon submission.

Multiple Submissions: You can submit up to five stories (that's 1-5). Please submit all of them at one time. Submitting them separately will not disqualify you, it just makes it easier for us. Please put all of your stories in the same file and separate them by title.

Entry Fee: $5 for each story. (One story=$5, Two stories=$10, Three stories=$15, etc.) Entry fee must be paid through Ko-fi. If you aren't using the same name on Ko-Fi as you're suing to submit, please include a screenshot of your payment. Pay now via Ko-fi! 

Format: Send the file as an email attachment, Word .doc/.docx (no PDFs), 12 point font, double spaced, easy to read font (ex. Times New Roman, Cambria, Arial, Helvetica). Nathaniel likes serifs, but he won't be offended if you don't. You can title your work however you like, we only ask it doesn't have your whole name.

Addressing the email: To: Subject Line: "COMPETITION SUBMISSION" without the quotation marks. Please do not use your full name when you enter, do use your first initial and last name (ex. J. Doe) and do not include a bio. If your story is chosen for the long list, we will ask for your full name. If your story is chosen as a finalist, we will then ask for your bio. We realize that your email will probably have your name, that is okay. The person who opens your email will not be the judge, but just in case, we are trying to eliminate first names as much as possible.

Judges: Nathaniel Mellor and Darcy Melton


Prizes: First Place - publication + $125 | Second Place - publication + $100 | Third Place - publication + $75

Prizes are paid out via Paypal, bank transfer, or UPI.

1st place Winner receives 125 dollars and publication on our website
2nd place Winner receives 100 dollars and publication on our website
3rd place Winner receives 75 dollars and publication on our website

how to submit ... simplified 

competiton 2023 How to Submi Simplified



Your email here. (It's okay if your name appears here.)






Hi Nathaniel and Darcy,

I have attached my submission below and have included a screenshot of my payment via ko-fi!

Best wishes,

J.Doe *





Remember DOs and DON'Ts 

> Do use the subject "Competition Submission."

> Do use your last name and first initial, DO NOT use your full name or full pen name.

> Do attach your story/stories as .doc/.docx, DO NOT paste your story/stories in the body of the email. Example of Document Title: N. Mellor "My Story Title"

> Do include a screenshot of your payment. If you can't make a screenshot, it is fine to include the first initial and last name you paid with.

> Please pay for your submission in one payment: $5 for each story you submit.


July 1st: Submissions open

July 31st: Submissions close

September 15th: Longlist announced

September 25th: Shortlist announced

September 30th: Winners announced


  • Previously published work is allowed, just let us know where it's been published and that you have the rights to re-submit the story. You can only submit your story if the original publisher has non-exclusive rights to your published story, like Pigeon Review asks for. For more info, click here to see "Step 4: Know Your Rights" in our article "How to Submit to a Literary Magazine." 

  • If work is plagiarized or glorifies racism, misogyny, or any prejudices, you may submit it, but it will not be considered and you will not receive a refund.

  • If your story is written by AI, drafted by AI, or in any way conceived, crafted, executed by AI, we will remove your story from contention and not refund your entry fee.

  • Like our normal publishing window, we don't accept heavily political stories (unless it's clearly fictional). Unlike our normal submission window, we will accept Covid-19 related work.

  • If your piece is accepted, we acquire first-time North American serial/online rights and non-exclusive anthology rights. Upon publication, rights revert to the author. We ask that anyone whose work is published with us allows us to share their work on social media and email posts.

  • All decisions made by the judges regarding the winners are final.

  • By submitting, you are agreeing to all contest rules.

  • Contest rules are subject to change.

  • If you send us the wrong file, please reach out to us and we will work with you to correct the submission.

  • If, for some reason, your full name slips through, or you miss one of the guidelines, that is okay. We understand there's a lot to read here. We will still consider your work.


Because we must pay the transaction cost when we receive the submission fee and the transaction cost when we send a refund, we cannot send a refund if you make a mistake. This includes but is not limited to:

  • You didn't use the Subject "Competition Submission" and the entry wasn't read.

  • Your piece is accepted by another publication during the judging process.

  • Your entry wasn't sent in English or in a readable format.

You will receive a refund if:

  • Pigeon Review made a mistake leading to your story not being seen or judged.

Submit Now button. click to open email to submit to this competition

Ready to submit?


We're excited to read your work! The longlist will be announced September 15th. For more, sign-up for our newsletter or follow us on Instagram.

Copeition 2023 Submit Now

Share your submission status on social media! 


Click an image to download and share.

Don't forget to tag us @pigeonreview on Instagram! 

Downloadable graphic to post on social media. Click to download. It reads "I submitted to
competition 2023 share on socia media


I don't have Word. What can I do? 

If you do not have Word or are unable to save your entry as .doc/.docx you may submit an equivalent file type, but please DO NOT submit a .pdf. If you don't have Word, but use Pages or Open Office, you can save your file as .doc/.docx. 

How do I pay via Ko-fi? Do I need an account? 

You do not need a Ko-fi account to pay your entry fee. When you click on our payment link here, you will be brought to our Ko-fi profile, a box on the right will ask if you want to by a coffee for Pigeon Review, enter the amount required for your entry ($5 for one story, $10 for two, $15 for three, $20 for four, $25 for five), then click "Donate," you can then pay via Credit/Debit card, PayPal, or MyBank. Don't forget to send us a screen shot in your entry email! 

I don't have PayPal. Can I still receive prize money if I win?

Yes! We can also pay out through a bank transfer or UPI (for our contestants based in India).

My entry was accepted for publication elsewhere during the competition, do I need to let you know?

Will I get my entry fee back?

If your entry is a simultaneous submission, please let us know in your entry email. If it is chosen by another publication before we announce finalists/winners, please let us know immediately. You will not be refunded your entry fee if your story is published elsewhere during the competition. A story can not be published simultaneously because only one publisher can hold the North American serial/online rights. 

If my story has been previously published, how do I know if I have the rights? 

The author's rights to their story should revert back to them once the piece has been published. If you're in doubt, please reach out to the original publisher to ensure you have the rights.

I don't want to submit, but I want to support the competition. What can I do? 

If you would like to support Pigeon Review, this competition and it's winners, you can make a donation via Ko-fi. You can also lend your support by following us on Twitter and Instagram! We will post important contest info and the competition winners; following, liking, and sharing helps us and our contributors. 

Have another question? Contact us here!

Our competition adheres to and respects the CLMP's Contest Code of Ethics:

"The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. Intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree

  • to conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;

  • to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and

  • to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.

This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage."

Competiton 2023 FAQs
Proud Member CLMP. Community of Literary Magazines and Presses.
bottom of page