Don’t you just love that name? I was introduced to The Molotov Cocktail through my writing group. Let’s take a look!
- In their own words: “The Molotov Cocktail is interested in volatile flash fiction, the kind of prose you cook up in a bathtub and handle with rubber gloves…We want your action, we want your rotten characters, we want viscera…It’s all about language and story.”
- Genres they accept: “While genre pieces are permissible, anything that is reliant on genre convention over story will not be looked kindly upon.” Avoid romance, children’s or young adult, & swords and sorcerers brand of fantasy.
- Word count limit: 1,000 words (Average length 300-600 words.)
- Payment: None, unless it’s a themed contest, in which case: $200 for the winner, $100 for the runner up, $50 for the second runner-up. (Entry fee required.)
- Simultaneous Submissions*: Yes
- Multiple Submissions**: No [EDIT: They *will* take multiple subs for the contests, but you have to pay for each entry.]
- Schedule: Open, with contests periodically. Submissions accepted through Submittable. You can track their progress through that site.
While I’m usually all about payment for accepted works and raise an eyebrow at contest entry fees, I make the exception for these guys. First off, the entry fee is relatively small ($6 or $7 depending on when you enter) and the payout is sweet. Also, they publish the top 10 entries when the contest is over, so you still get bragging rights even if you miss the top slots. (Or, in my case, miss the top 10. I got a Close-but-no-cigar nod for my Flash Phenom piece and yes, I’m annoying enough to brag any time my name makes it onto a site.)
Their next contest is Flash Felon, which has an early-bird cut-off date of April 1st and a final deadline of April 30th, so there’s still plenty of time to submit!
*This means whether they will allow you to submit this story to another publisher at the same time or not.
**This means whether you can send them more than one story at at time.
Reminders when submitting:
Read the publication: Flash is short and their stories are freely accessible on the site. You have no excuse not to do your research and see what kind of style gets their attention. It will also give you an idea of what’s been done before so you don’t end up sending them something too similar to a recently published story.
Read the guidelines: I don’t post everything required for their submissions, just the basics. Furthermore, this is a static post. Publishers change their submission requirements at will so it’s always a good idea to read and re-read them, even if you’ve submitted to them before.
Follow the rules: Do I really need to say this? Don’t send pieces over the word count. Don’t send content they specifically warn against. Don’t send weirdly formatted manuscripts if they give you specific instructions. “But Liz, I–” Nope! No, no, no. If you do not follow the rules you risk being a pariah to that magazine – and worse, editors can exchange notes on who’s being a pain.