Hermit Crab Prize

shallow focus photography of hermit crab on top of wood
Photo by Ahmed Sobah on Unsplash

One of the best things about flash fiction, is the innovation inherent in these tiny stories. The advent of the hermit crab story has been a wonderful thing to behold. So we want to celebrate this innovative approach to storytelling with a new prize.

Deadline: 29th February 2024

Words: Up to 650 (excluding the title)

Entry fee: £6 submission only / £23 with feedback

Enter your story here

What is a hermit crab flash?

If you’ve not come across a hermit crab flash before, it’s a story told in the form of something else that’s written — a menu, a list, a quiz, a review, for example.

Here are some of our favourites:

The Only Way I Can Make Sense Of The Word ‘Recovery’ Is To Smash It Into Pieces

by James Montgomery

Read it here

Hello, My Name Is Marley

by K.B. Carle

Read it here


by Cheryl Pappas

Read it here


The winning and shortlisted stories will share 61% of the entry fees (after Submittable fees are deducted) .

  • 1st: 35%

  • 2nd: £30%

  • 3rd: £25%

  • 7 shortlisted stories: 3% each

All winning and shortlisted stories will be published in WestWord in May 2024.


  • Submit stories written in English through Submittable using the button above by 23.59 GMT on the deadline date (sorry late entries will not be included). Please use a clear font of at least size 12 so that we can read it easily!

  • Please use the name of your story as your Submission title and the document you upload.

  • Do not include your name on the story document or submission title but provide a short bio as requested in the submission form. All stories are read anonymously so any showing the author’s name will be disqualified.

  • Please include the word count at the start or end of the story document.

  • Stories must be your own original work and not have been published online or in print, or have won any other competitions (longlisted and shortlisted in other competitions is fine if the story remains unpublished).

  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed but if your story wins a prize or is published prior to the winner’s announcement your entry will become ineligible. No refunds of entry fees will be paid.

  • By entering the competition you agree to your story being published in the winners’ online anthology.

  • Stories can be in any genre apart from children’s fiction.

  • You can enter as many times as you like but all entries must be made separately and the entry fee paid each time.

  • The judge’s decision is final.

  • Cash prize payments will be made through PayPal or via BACS.

  • There are no alternative prizes.

Enter your story here

If you know of any other writers who would be interested in this contest, please share this page with them! - thank you!