Flash Fiction Rules

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

November 6, 2014

NOTE: These were the original rules. Please see the updated rules.

Rules? Well, lets call them a “frame.” In addition to the constraint and prompt offered, writers who are new might feel more comfortable knowing how to play along.

Everyone is welcome. You don’t have to have a blog or even consider yourself a writer. Pretentiousness doesn’t grow here at Carrot Ranch. We are not running a contest or comparing your words to those of another writer. We are practicing the craft of fiction and building a friendly literary community.

You don’t have to play every week. Everyone has busy seasons or unexpected detours in life. The challenge is offered weekly because regular practice of craft leads to real results. What you write here as a response might be the seed of a story you enlarge for a contest or paid submission. I had a seed grow into a novel idea!

We love comments! Real people are writing at Carrot Ranch and it’s an engaging group. Part of the literary dynamic is discourse, which is the communication of ideas. Personally, I believe in building on strengths so you’ll notice that my comments reflect what I see as a strength of the story or your writing. I also believe in encouragement. No one improves their craft in an environments of getting torn down. There is a place for constructive criticism, but that’s not what we are doing as we practice.

Congress of Rough Writers are the regulars who show up to write the range and wrangle the words. Not everyone shows up weekly  and there are no rules or expectations or blogligations for Rough Writers. If you write, even once, you are our Friend. Write around the ranch with us regularly and we might rope you into the Congress. You’ll see upcoming calls for the Rough Writers to participate in proposed collaborations and if you are interested, well, write with us!

As to “rating” of material, you can do what you’d like as long as you link from Carrot Ranch to your own space. If you leave it in the comments, keep it clean. I’m not squeaky clean; there are no children reading this (unless you are mine and I know those hoodlums aren’t squeaky clean; besides, they are adults). R-rating is fine. It’s the extreme stuff that probably wouldn’t fit the verve of what we are establishing as a friendly literary community.

Rules of Play:

  1. New Flash Fiction challenge issued at Carrot Ranch each Wednesday by noon (PST).
  2. Response is to be 99 words. Exactly. No more. No less.
  3. Response is to include the challenge prompt of the week.
  4. Post your response on your blog before the following Tuesday by noon (PST) and share your link in the comments section of the challenge that you are responding to.
  5. If you don’t have a blog or you don’t want to post your flash fiction response on your blog, you may post your response in the comments of the current challenge post.
  6. Keep it is business-rated if you do post it here, meaning don’t post anything directly on my blog that you wouldn’t want your boss to read.
  7. Create community among writers: read and comment as your time permits, keeping it fun-spirited.
  8. Each Tuesday I will post a compilation of the responses for readers.
  9. You can also follow on Carrot Ranch Communications by “liking” the Facebook page.
  10. First-time comments are filtered by Word Press and not posted immediately. I’ll find it (it goes to my email) and make sure it gets posted! After you have commented once, the filter will recognize you for future commenting. Sorry for that inconvenience, but I do get frequent and strange SPAM comments, thus I filter.


I’m at wordsforpeople@gmail.com and you can find me on Twitter @Charli_Mills or look for Carrot Ranch on Facebook.

You May Also Like…



  1. November 2: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Literary Community - […] by November 7, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published November 8). Rules are here. All writers are…
  2. B’Ranching Out | ShiftnShake - […] or include cake in your flash. Respond by March 22, 2016 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules…

Discover more from Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading