“No One Knows About Us”: A Flash-Fiction Challenge

Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBanA cancelled flight brings Vanessa Sheller into Timothy Macbeth’s life—and their connection is immediate. And electric. They’re both seniors at the prestigious Irving School, but while Tim’s a quiet new kid and an albino (a combination that pretty much guarantees his social obscurity), Vanessa’s beautiful, outgoing, and popular . . . and of course, she has a boyfriend.

But when Tim kisses her in the elevator at the hotel where they’re stranded, the game suddenly changes. Will this relationship continue when they get back to campus? Will Vanessa give up her social status to be with Tim?


Inspired by Tim and Vanessa’s clandestine romance in The Tragedy Paper, by Elizabeth LaBan, we’ve got a five-day flash-fiction contest for you. Every morning at 10:00 a.m. ET between Wednesday, January 30 and Sunday, February 3, we’ll be posting a new prompt related to secret relationships. You have until midnight the following day to respond to the prompt with a story of no more than 150 words. (Deadlines will be posted with the prompts.) You can enter one story per prompt. The stories do not have to be related.


Figment editors will read all the entries. One grand-prize winner will receive The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, and Timekeeper by Alexandra Monir, a $15 Amazon gift card, and the chance to choose the Figment homepage stories for one day.

Figment editors will also choose five daily winners. Daily winners will each receive a copy of The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan.


Bookmark this page and come back to it each day for new prompts!

Wednesday, January 30: “Write a story in 150 words or fewer about the first kiss of a secret relationship.” Tag your story TragedyFlashContest and TragedyFlash1. You have until Thursday, January 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter your story.

Thursday, January 31: “In 150 words or fewer, write an email/text message/IM exchange between two characters in a secret relationship.” Tag your story TragedyFlashContest and TragedyFlash2. You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, February 1 to enter your story.

Friday, February 1: “Imagine two people who are in a relationship that no one else knows about. In 150 words or fewer, describe a special item one of them gives the other.” Tag your story TragedyFlashContest and TragedyFlash3. You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 2 to enter your story.

Saturday, February 2: “In 150 words or fewer, write a story about a secret meeting.” Tag your story TragedyFlashContest and TragedyFlash4. You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 3 to enter your story.

Sunday, February 3: “In 150 words or fewer, write a story about a secret relationship that gets discovered.” Tag your story TragedyFlashContest and TragedyFlash5. You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, February 4 to enter your story.

How to enter

1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on Figment.com.
3. Start a new writing of 150 words or fewer.
4. Tag your writing as described in the prompt on the Details tab. (That’s two tags!)
5. Enter your response by the deadline listed in the prompt.
6. Press “Publish Now.”
7. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.

Contest Entries

Show all entries »

3 thoughts on ““No One Knows About Us”: A Flash-Fiction Challenge

  1. I wrote the story Don’t Tell Mom. Please read and heart. I hope to make into a longer story once the contest ends, due to the limited number, I had to shorten the story. Happy reading! 😀

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