Swinburne Microfiction Challenge

This is the 2017 page. To enter the 2018 Challenge, click here.

From Hemingway’s infamous six-word story, to Lydia Davis’ very short stories and Teju Cole’s small fates, microfiction is both an exercise in precision to inform longer works, as well as an art form in its own right. Sharpen your shorts and hone your storytelling skills by responding to a daily prompt in our Microfiction Challenge.

You can submit once, twice, or every day of the festival – there are up to ten opportunities to win. With 24 hours to draw inspiration for a story of up to 500 words, this challenge will be sure to develop your craft. Plus, if you submit every day, you’ll end up with 5,000 words!

Oh – did we mention we’re awarding $1000 to an overall winner? There will also be a daily favourite chosen for publication by Seizure.


Each day from 24 October – 2 November, we’ll publish a one-word prompt at 9am AEDT. Then it’s over to you to get writing! You’ll have 24 hours to write a short story of up to 500 words responding to that day’s prompt. Entries close at 8.59am AEDT the next day, when we’ll publish a new prompt and the clock starts ticking again.

A team of readers will select a daily favourite to be edited and published by Seizure, an online publication with a focus on microfiction and new Australian writing. At the end of the festival, the judges will select an overall winner from the pieces published on Seizure. That winner will receive $1000 cold hard cash thanks to Swinburne University.

While you can only submit one piece per day, we encourage you to submit entries on as many days of the festival as possible!

Read the full terms and conditions here.


DAY 1: ‘Nex To You’ by Zoe Knowles

DAY 2: ‘My Heart’s Tenant’ by Justine Hyde

DAY 3: ‘The Lone Pandanus’ by Douglas Whyte 

DAY 4: ‘Blackfish’ by Cade Turner-Mann

DAY 5: ‘Floodloss’ by Leith Reid

DAY 6: ‘Brick and Mortar’ by Rosie McCrossin

DAY 7: ‘The Astronauts’ by Alana Bridget Scully

DAY 8: ‘Chains and Links’ by Tom Wade

DAY 9: ‘Broken Boys’ by Niko Campbell-Ellis

DAY 10: ‘Mudflat Summer’ by Rosie McCrossin


Mudflat Summer’ by Rosie McCrossin


Gorkie’s work has been described as ‘like a hug’. As our resident Instagram artist, Gorkie will produce a work each day throughout the festival in response to our daily prompts. A hug for your eyes, for every day of the festival!

Check out our Instagram here.

Presented in partnership with Swinburne University and Seizure

Prompts released daily 9am AEDT

Day 1: NEXT

Day 2: BLOOD

Day 3: HOME

Day 4: POINT

Day 5: DIRT

Day 6: LOST

Day 7: SPACE

Day 8: MEET

Day 9: BREAK

Day 10: PLAY