Owl Canyon Press Short Story Hackathon #4 (AKA Flashathon)

Order your copy of 27 Stories, the collection of winning stories in the Winter 2018 Hackathon.

Order your copy of No Bars and a Dead Battery, the collection of winning stories in the Summer 2018 Hackathon.

Order your copy of When the Ride Ends, the collection of winning stories in the Autumn 2019 Hackathon.

 To enter, please visit Submittable for the official entry form, rules and regulations.

The Submittable link will be active beginning on August1st, 2020.

Hackathon Contest Rules and Regulations


First prize is $1000, 2nd prize is $750, and 3rd prize is $500 with the winning short short stories published in a short story anthology, as well as an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO.  Twenty-four (24) Finalists will also have their short short stories included in this anthology. The is no entry fee for submissions received during the first month (August 1 - August 31, 2020). To submit an entry during the second month (September 2020) will require a $25 entry fee.


Writers are invited to create and submit a short story consisting of 20 paragraphs.  The contest provides the first and last paragraph and the short short story writer crafts the rest.


  • There’s no cost to enter for the first month of the contest

  • Anyone can submit, including outside the USA, but the stories must be in English

  • 20 Paragraphs total – including the 1st and 20th provided in the submission form

  • No maximum word count, but each paragraph needs to be at least 50 words – this isn’t flash fiction so feel free to use as many words as you need to tell the story

  • Dialog is fine as long as it’s in a paragraph of at least 50 words

  • Authors retain all rights to their short stories

  • Winning authors and finalists agree to permit Owl Canyon Press to publish their stories in an Anthology

  • Winners receive up to $1000 in cash awards, publication in a short story anthology, and an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, Colorado

  • Winners will be notified in December 2020

  • Failure to comply with any contest guidelines may result in disqualification 

  •  For additional information check the Owl Canyon Press Hackathon FAQ 




Desirae Matherly

Desirae Matherly is the nonfiction editor for The Tusculum Review and the Chair of English & Fine Arts at Tusculum University. In Echo’s Fugue, Matherly explores Bach’s Art of Fugue through eighteen essays on music, myth, and games. Her essays appear in Assay, Hotel Amerika, and Fourth Genre. Desirae earned a Ph.D. in nonfiction from Ohio University and is a former Harper Fellow at The University of Chicago.

Steven Dandaneau

Steven Dandaneau lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. His first novel, Say Hey Little Prince, will be released by Owl Canyon Press in November, 2020.

Emily Polk


Emily Polk lives and writes on a small island east of San Francisco, and she teaches writing at Stanford University. Her writing and radio documentaries have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, National Geographic Traveler, the Boston Globe, NPR, National Radio Project, AlterNet, Central America Weekly, and Whole Earth Magazine, among others. Her first book, Communicating Global to Local Resiliency: A Case Study of the Transition Movement, was published in 2015. For more please go to empolk.com

Tom Strelich

Winner of the first Owl Canyon Press Short Story Challenge, Tom Strelich was born into a family of professional wrestlers and raised in Bakersfield, California. His  plays include BAFO (Best and Final Offer) which was commissioned by and had its world premiere at South Coast Repertory and its New York premiere at the American Place Theatre (APT); Dog Logic, which also had its world premiere at South Coast Repertory and went on to win a Kennedy Center Fund For New American Plays award for its New York premiere at the APT; and Neon Psalms, which won the Dramatists Guild/CBS New Play Award for its world premiere at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco and its New York premiere at the APT.  Tom's honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant for playwrights, the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Playwright Award, and commissions from South Coast Repertory and the Actors Theatre of Louisville.  Tom has one screen credit, Out There (Showtime).  For more information about Tom and his work, please visit his website at: https://www.tomstrelich.com

Michelle Denham

Michelle Denham is Korean American and lives and writes in the desert. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature, and her fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, and A Future Fire.

Owl Canyon Press

Publishing Fine Books in Boulder, CO since 2011