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FlashLIT Student Writing Contest 2020 - WINNERS

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 FlashLIT Contest!

The theme this year was “FEAST OR FAMINE” and our judges noted that students found a variety of unique ways to incorporate this theme into their “flash” fiction, non-fiction, and poetry entries.

Read the anthology in this PDF file.


NOTE: Since the FlashLIT Reception and Reading was canceled due to COVID-19 stipulations, we will be having a "mash-up" reading event with UNCW Sustainability on Thursday, April 23rd at 5:30 on Zoom.  See this website for more information: https://uncw.edu/sustainability/enviromentalpoetry.html


First Place: E.J. Schwartz: “Melon”

Second Place: Erica A. Langston: “Unnatural Disaster”

Third Place: Sam Pesot: “Snap”


The judges also selected 13 pieces to be included alongside the winners in this year's FlashLIT anthology which will be designed and published by the Creative Writing Publishing Lab students, and illustrated by ART 260 graphic design students.


(alphabetical by author's last name)

Honorable Mentions:

Darby Freeman: “Come Up and Get Me”

Sarah George: “Sated by Knowledge”

Sydney Giaquinto: “Daydreaming”

Kayla Greene: “A Temporary Feast”

Hannah Horn: “Breaking Fast”

Mikaela Kesinger: “Trough of Knowledge”

Martina Litty: “”Sweet Tooth”

Fairley Lloyd: “My Mom’s Guide to Alternative Eating”

Bo L. Miller: “Famine BEaten”

Ricki Nelson: “The Green Wind”

Christopher Sturdy: “Homecoming: A Feast of Seahawks”

Hayley Swinson: “Tuesdays at Randall”

Harper Vining: “The Audio Buffet”


FlashLIT is an expansion of our annual Flash Fiction Contest, which is a hallmark of applied learning at UNCW, and the entire student body is invited to participate.  FlashLIT is a writing competition where contestants have one week to write 500 words (or less) in any genre of writing. (Detailed rules and regulations below.) 

Once all the entries are judged, three top winners are chosen along with honorable mentions and those stories are illustrated by UNCW graphic design students and published in an anthology by the UNCW Publishing Laboratory.  The top three winners are also awarded monetary prizes.  First prize - $200.00; Second prize - $150.00; Third prize - $100.00 (applied to student UNCW accounts).  

On Wednesday, April 22nd, students will host a reading reception to celebrate the FlashLIT anthology.  This year's FlashLIT reception and exhibits will be in partnership with Creative Writing, Art & Art History, as well as a celebration of Earth Day.  Randall Library's Sherman Hayes and Sundial galleries will feature student artwork that correspond with this year’s theme.   

And without further ado, this year’s theme:  FEAST OR FAMINE 

Feast or famine is an idiom that means overabundance or shortage. This expression originated as “either feast or fast”, which is how it appeared in Thomas Fuller’s Gnomologia (1732) and still survived in 1912: “Dock labour has been graphically described as ‘either a feast or a fast,’” London Daily Telegraph.  In America, famine was substituted for fast sometime during the twentieth century.  The term is still frequently applied to alternating overabundance and shortages (source).   

Themes of feast or famine can be found in literature, in art and sculptures, in film and television, and throughout history.   

How will you interpret FEAST OR FAMINE into your FlashLIT entry?

FlashLIT Contest Rules
If any of these rules are not followed your submission will be automatically disqualified.

  • Must be a UNCW student, currently enrolled.
  • 500 words or less.
  • Must include theme FEAST OR FAMINE. Must mention Randall Library.
  • Double spaced.
  • 12 pt., Times New Roman.
  • 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Use one tab to indicate every paragraph indent.
  • Submissions due by Wednesday, February 5th at 5:00 p.m.
  • Four (4) hard copies delivered to the Randall Library Circulation Desk.  
  • Note:  The circulation desk is ONLY a drop- off point.  No information about the contest will be available from Circulation Staff.
  • Each copy MUST have a cover sheet with name, UNCW email, and 850 number. DO NOT include name or personal information on actual submission.
  • One entry per student

If your entry is selected, the following regulations must be adhered to:

  • An emailed .docx version of your submission.
  • Section breaks should be notated by (***).
  • Turn off all auto-formatting features (such as automatic paragraph indenting, outlining, bullet points).
  • Enter only one space after terminal punctuation. If you used two spaces, search/replace to update your file.
  • For dashes, use em-dash character with no space on either side, or use two hyphens, and we’ll search and replace the em-dash during typesetting.
  • For any special characters or glyphs, such as trademark symbols, accents, or irregular punctuation, please note them by highlighting them in yellow with MS Word's "text highlight color" feature. 
  • If you'd like to include a special character or a glyph but you don't know how to set it, please submit a hardcopy of your story with specific instructions for the placement and type of special character to be inserted.
  • Files should be saved as follows: lastname_firstname.docx.

      NOTE: Edits and revisions will NOT be allowed after submissions, nor will the publisher have time to check your work. Take care that your piece is fully edited and perfected before submitting.

      NOTE: If your submission is selected for publication, you will be required to sign the following release:FlashLIT Student Release Form

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