The Princesses of Iowa Flash Contest

Paige Sheridan had her life on track. She had the clothes. She had the boyfriend. She had the homecoming court nomination in the bag. Then she was involved in a drunk-driving accident that tore her friends apart.

After a summer spent nannying in Paris, Paige is back in Iowa, and that homecoming nomination isn’t such a sure thing. But Paige has been living her whole life in preparation for this moment. Her mother was a member of the court in her day. The clothes Paige wears, the clubs she joins–she’s done everything she can to make herself into the perfect homecoming candidate. If she doesn’t have that nomination, what does she have?

In M. Molly Backes’s The Princesses of Iowa, Paige suddenly starts doubting the hierarchy around which she’s structured her life. Your challenge, inspired by Paige’s conflict, is to write a scene in 200 words or fewer in which a character feels a threat to something very important to him or her.

How to enter:

1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on
3. Start a new writing of 200 words or fewer.
4. Tag your writing with PrincessesofIowa on the Details tab.
5. Press “Publish Now.”
6. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.

You’ve got until 11:59 p.m. ET on May 20 to publish and tag your entry. The 10 finalists will be chosen by the Figment Editorial Team. Winners will be chosen by M. Molly Backes, author of The Princesses of Iowa. First place will receive a copy of The Princesses of Iowa, an audio copy of The Princesses of Iowa, a copy of See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles, and a copy of Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald.

Second place will receive a copy of The Princesses of Iowa, a copy of Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott, and a copy of The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina.

Third place will receive a copy of The Princesses of Iowa.

Note: Due to a discrepancy in the original announcement, entries tagged either “PrincessesOfIowa” or “PrincessOfIowa” will be accepted.

Contest Entries

  • Locked-heart
    • 1
    • 1

    My Heart

    Falling in love the hard way.

    View Entry »
  • 1a
    • 1
    • 0

    The Fallen Ones

    When you know things, things that no one should be able to know, it's natural to be a little paranoid. But where do you draw the line …

    View Entry »
  • Walking_alone_by_mashat-d21exu4
    • 43
    • 3

    Stay Strong, Maddie

    This is the Molly Backes contest. Maddie's mother is mentally handicap and the kids at school always joke about it. Maddie's has final…

    View Entry »
  • Theteddybear
    • 3
    • 0

    The Teddy Bear

    For the Princesses of Iowa Flash Contest. ~ Cassie's teddy bear is important to her. But why?

    View Entry »
  • Princess of iowa contest entry
    • 3
    • 0

    Would It Be So Bad?

    She is a threat, but we’re boyfriend and girlfriend; he is mine and I am his. She’s no one; just a best friend. She doesn’t fit in. *…

    View Entry »
  • Live
    • 4
    • 0


    For the Princesses of Iowa Flash Contest. Depression will not threaten her anymore.

    View Entry »
  • Realhand-1
    • 6
    • 0

    Hand in Hand

    For the Princesses of Iowa contest! A little girl can't "bear" to part with her dearest friend. I had to cut down on a LOT of it becau…

    View Entry »
  • Cover-normal
    • 0
    • 0

    Cold Eyes


    View Entry »
  • 03966432_large
    • 14
    • 0


    This is for the princesses of Iowa contest! This is a part of a scene and is much, much longer! I had to shorten it to 200 words which…

    View Entry »
  • Leaving
    • 3
    • 0

    Leaving Simon Isn't an Option

    Nineteen-year-old Samantha is leaving her fiance, but he won't let her go without a fight.

    View Entry »
  • Wreckagecover[1]
    • 4
    • 2


    He was dead, he was dying and I was deteriorating. I couldn't lose him after I'd already lost so much. I ... couldln't. Because I woul…

    View Entry »
  • Cover-normal
    • 0
    • 0

    Science Notebook

    For the Princesses Of Iowa flash contest. Based on a true story

    View Entry »
Show all entries »

57 thoughts on “The Princesses of Iowa Flash Contest

  1. the other question confuses me. can it be a story? or does it have to be a poem. Sorry, I got a little confused. Thanks!

  2. I can’t seem to enter mine- it doesn’t give me a pop-up message of ‘You’ve been entered…’ when I put the tag on. The tag is ‘PrincessofIowa’, correct?

    • Hey M-

      There was a mistype in the original post- please include the tag as listed in the official rules: “PrincessesofIowa”

  3. The tag that you list it under is wrong. Up above it says Princessofiowa but the only entries that have worked and are submitted are the ones that say Princessesofiowa.

    • Hey Rain-

      The official rules list the tag as PrincessesofIowa, and the post above has been updated. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

    • Hey Ashley-

      Make sure to include the tag “PrincessesofIowa” as listed in the official rules. There was a mistype in the original post. Thanks!

    • Hey Ally-

      As long as you created the story after the announcement of the contest and used the correct tag, you’re all set!

  4. I recently posted my story “Paper Airplanes” into the Princesses of Iowa contest, two days ago and it still hasn’t shown up along with the other entries!! I entered it with the tag “PrincessesOfIowa” and it’s still not showing up.

    • Hey Brighton-

      As long as you created it after the announcement of the contest and tagged it “PrincessesofIowa” you’re all set.

  5. I didn’t receive a pop-up confirmation when I published my story. How do I know if I was entered? I tagged it ‘princessesofiowa’ so it should have worked, correct?

    • Hey Abby-

      As long as you created it after the announcement of the contest and as long as you tagged it “PrincessesOfIowa” you’re all set!

  6. I accidently asked a person to read my story twice. I had asked them before then forgot. Is that considered spamming. I apologized after I realized it.

    • Hey Dylan-

      We ask that you only edit before the end of the entry period. Of course, after the contest ends, go crazy!

  7. I filled in the correct tag but my thing’s not showing up in the contest entries….what should I do? I submitted it yesterday!

    • Hey Katherine-

      If you created the story after the announcement of the contest and tagged it “PrincessesOfIowa” you’re all set!

  8. I’d love to enter this, but I’m from the U.K which means I’m not eligible, it’s the same for all the other contests 🙁 Wish I could!:)

  9. I forgot to mention that I have waited over two hours. I’ll feel really stupid if it shows up soon, but like I said earlier, I’d appreciate it if whatever I was doing wrong could be corrected.
    Thanks again!

    • Oh my gosh, I just realized I tried to enter this too late… I’m so sorry! I thought it said by May 30…….. Um nevermind, sorry for blowing up with comments….. :/

  10. Does it matter if we’ll be away from the computer for three weeks? Like, what if I won and I didn’t know for that whole time. Would I still get the prize?

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