Dear John Flash-Fiction Contest

These days, it’s rare that our emails are longer than three lines. Text messages are even shorter. And last year, you didn’t even give your mom a card, only a sad, Facebook, “Happy Bday!”

We still love physical letters. Getting something in the mail — that isn’t junk mail — is a treat. Seeing someone take the time to send hand-written note is special, and it can even be romantic. We love letters like we love books. We just wish we got more of them.

Inspired by our love of letters, we’re challenging you to a flash-fiction contest. No, it doesn’t involve sending physical letters, but maybe it will inspire you to send a few real letters to friends or loved ones.


In 400 words or fewer, write a letter to someone. It can be a fan letter, a love letter, hate mail, a customer complaint. The topic of the letter is up to you.

Tag your entry FigLetter. You have until Monday, September 16 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter the contest. Figment editors will be reading all the entries and choose four winners and one grand-prize winner.


Five winners will be chosen to be featured on the Figment homepage. One grand prize winner will get to choose the homepage feature stories for one day.

How to enter

1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on
3. Start a new writing of 400 words or less.
4. Tag your writing FigLetter on the Details tab.
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.


Please note: The comment box below is only for questions about how to enter this contest or other logistical issues. For comments, thoughts, suggestions, complaints about the contest system, please visit our Contest Input forum. To find someone to read your story, try the Contest Promotion forum.

Contest Entries

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55 thoughts on “Dear John Flash-Fiction Contest

  1. Does the letter have to be nonfiction,or fiction? What I mean is, do we have to seriously write a letter to someone, using ourself as the 1st person?

  2. I made a story for the contest and got the message saying that I had been entered but I don’t see my story in the list of entered story’s.

  3. I’ve written the story and typed ‘figletter’ into the tags. A confirmation popped up saying that I’ve submitted the story to the contest. But when I check to see if it’s there in the morning, I don’t see it. Help?

  4. I entered my story about an hour ago, and didn’t receive a popup confirmation, nor is is showing up in the contest entries. It is tagged correctly (I just double checked). Is there any way to check if it did indeed enter, or should I try deleting it and resubmitting?

    Really glad to see a contest on Figment that isn’t heart-based, and hope to see more in the future.

    • Ignore this. It’s now showing up in the contest entries. I just don’t know why I didn’t get a confirmation (unless it’s maybe something to with having saved it as a draft on Figment while working on it before publishing?)

  5. You said that we have to write a letter to “someone”, but can we write a letter that isn’t to a person? Ex: spring, a place, time. Thank you!

  6. pleaxe ignore this, I thought I submitted it twice but it seems that I didn’t. SOrry for the bother, this is my first time for participating in any contest.

    • The contest just ended yesterday! It takes a while for the Figment editors to read all the entries. Winners should be announced in a week or so.

  7. Is the judging over? Are the people who didn’t win going to be notified that they didn’t win, or do they just not know until the contest is taken down? 🙂 Thank you! <3 Riley.

    • We’re still working on judging. We had over 300 entries in the contest. Hope to announce winners this week. We don’t notify writers who didn’t win. Stay tuned to the contest blog for the announcement.

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