With the release of every print issue of Blank Spaces you will find a new challenge posted inside the back cover—an image-based Write Prompt Flash Fiction Contest! We try to choose images that might inspire stories that could go in any number of directions. One of the most exciting things about this challenge is seeing the different ways people interpret the same image—we love diversity!
garth pettersen winner of flash fiction contest

Our December Gold Medal Winner

We are so pleased to announce the winner of our second contest!

Congratulations to Garth Pettersen from The Fraser Valley in British Columbia on his winning story, 'Smoke and Pathos'. Using the provided image of a man sitting in the dark, Garth constructed a powerful tale that impressed our judges. As a reward, Smoke and Pathos will be published in our March issue.

What the judges had to say about Garth's story:

"...relatable tensions." 

"I liked how the story gradually drew in elements of the writing prompt."

" ending I didn't see coming!"



The light of his laptop caught the rising cigarette smoke from his exhalation. The wisps shone white and ethereal against the blackness before they vanished into the night. The computer screen illuminated him, as if he were an actor and the device a lone footlight celebrating his solo performance of despondency and pathos. Isn't that what he was doing here? Playing out the part of a young man wallowing in self-pity? Or was it self-loathing? Was it both?

To catch the rest of this story, order your copy of the March 2017 issue.

OUR CURRENT CONTEST~ deadline April 10, 2017


The rules?

  1. Write a piece of flash fiction (up to 1000 words) using the image above as inspiration. The winner will be published in the next issue of Blank Spaces. Honorable mentions will be showcased on the website. 
  2. Submit to with 'Write Prompt Challenge' in the subject line. (There is no fee for this submission)
  3. Deadline to enter is April 10, 2017.
  4. Open to all Canadians.

The prize?

Publication in the June 2017 issue of our magazine and a complimentary print & digital copy.

The judges?

Judging is done by a panel of (at least) five volunteers, ranging in age from 15 - 65. Names and any other identifying markers will be removed from entries before submission to the judges. Judging is based on a number of different criteria (pacing, use of language, uniqueness, etc.) through which a points system will be applied. Judges act as individuals and make ratings based on their own opinions. Points will be tallied when they submit their results. Highest score wins.

[For a complete look at what judges are basing their scoring on, CLICK HERE]

If you have a print-ready image you'd like to see used as a write prompt for one of our challenges, contact us and send it along — we'd love your input!

If you would like to volunteer as a judge during one of our sessions, drop us a line and let us know, and we'll call on you when we have a space available (obviously, those who enter the contest cannot be judges themselves).

Thank you to everyone who faced our December challenge and sent along your hard work!  

 First Place & publication in our March 2017 issue: Garth Pettersen with Smoke and Pathos.

Second Place & a feature on our blog: Crys Wiltshire with Chain Smoking into the Night Air.

Third Place & a feature on our blog: Vivian Medeiros with Calm Before the Storm.

Our September challenge winners:
First Place & publication in our December 2016 issue: Geraldine Mac Donald with The Clubhouse Blues.

Second Place & a feature on our blog: Amy Pepin with Spark of Life.

Third Place & a feature on our blog: Kevin Jackson with The Pink Potion.