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Holiday Hidden Object Writing Contest

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Entries Accepted: 
November 24 - 30th, 2023

Deadline Extended!
New Deadline: December 4, 2023

Judging Begins:
December 5th, 2023

ing Deadline:
December 20th, 2023
Winners announced following close of judging window

Entry Fee:

The holiday season is filled with so many different things that keep us busy, but everyone has time for a quick story. Things get lost and weird, things show up to holiday parties and we want to share in the fun. For this contest we want to see your best winter holiday flash fiction story. The twist? Your story must feature our hidden object: a pool noodle.



The top two winning submissions will receive free entry to the Fantastic First Five Pages Contest January, 2024.



This contest will be subject to peer review. If you are submitting, you are expected to judge at least three other entries. If you do not meet the judging deadlines, your submission will be rejected and you will not be offered a refund.


All entries will be judged on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best score. Judges will also be required to leave feedback on your work, to be shared following the end of the contest.


Entries will be judged on the following: Writing Mechanics, Hook, Plot, Character(s), Creative Use of the Hidden Object, and Overall Impression. 

*Hidden object must play a key role in moving either the plot or character arcs along.


You may also elect to be a judge without submitting a story. There is no fee to judge without submitting.


*As a reminder, all contests are blind judging. Please do not put your name anywhere in the document you submit, or in the file name. Contact info will be collected in your submission form.


Open to all genres (fiction and creative nonfiction) and all categories from children to adult. 1,000 word maximum in double-spaced professional manuscript format with Courier New font. Documents must be in either .doc, .docx, or .pdf


Only one entry per person.


Winter Holidays are defined as anything that fits within the November 1st to January 31st window. New Year celebrations that fall outside this time window can also be included (ie. Chinese New Year, Persian New Year, Jewish New Year, etc.) Valentine's Day will have a separate contest so please save those stories for our February event.


We welcome entries showcasing diverse characters and creators. We are not looking for stories with subjects such as graphic rape and/or sexual assault, ableism, racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia.


AI-Generated or Assisted texts are NOT eligible.


The Holiday Hidden Object Flash Fiction contest is presented by the League of Utah Writers.

How to Peer Review
- a handy video just for you!

How to Peer Review
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Congratulations to our winners! 

Richard Shaw - "Red, White and Wet All Over"

Thais Rodriguez - "Betting on the Boutique"

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