Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog

Earth Day
Flash Fiction Contest

In celebration of Earth Day 2014, we are sponsoring a flash fiction contest to inspire thought and creativity relating to native plants and ecosystems. Literature plays a significant role in cultural genesis; we hope that more accessible creative writing about the natural world will increase awareness of its importance. 

Flash fiction is very short fiction. Some Flash Fiction just a few words long. It is a challenging modern literature genre. It both suits and reflects the fragmentation of our cultural experience and natural environment. Our contest demands that works do not exceed 365 words.




All entries must be received by 11:59pm Pacific Standard time on Monday, March 31, 2014.

Judging & Rules

Jeff Dorchen, Master of The Universe
Jeffery Dorchen

We are thrilled to announce that judging will be led by Writer/Actor Jeffrey Dorchen. Jeffrey Dorchen is a playwright, screenwriter, broadcast and print essayist, poet, fiction writer, singer/songwriter and actor, co-founder of Chicago fringe troupe Theater Oobleck, a weekly contributor to the current affairs radio program“This Is Hell” on WNUR FM 89.3 in Evanston, IL, and co-writer of the feature film Basmati Blues, a romantic musical comedy set in India about the dangers of genetically modified rice, which is currently in post-production and will come out this year. He currently lives in Los Angeles. 

Judging will be anonymous, entries will be identified by their titles and a random code.

Stories will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Mention or clear inference to a native plant or ecosystem
  • No more than 365 words excluding the title.
  • Creativity and originality
  • Literary merit

Authors must be willing to have the story permanently published (accompanied by © Current Year, Author or Pen Name) on 

Original and unpublished work only. 

Entrants under 18 years old

A parent or guardian of participants under the age of 18 on April 22, 2014 must also submit the following paper form by US Mail.
It is MUST BE RECEIVED BY April 3, 2014

Finer Points

  • Submissions must be made through the form, below. Contact if there is a technical issue. 
  • Submissions must be plain text. No special characters, no images, etc. If you have a question about whether your submission will be accepted, contact 
  • Hyphenated words count as a single word. Numbers and abbreviations count as individual words. 
  • One entry per person.

Printable Announcement

Feel free to post this around town:
Contest Flier


Winners will be announced online at on Earth Day, April 22, 2014.


All winners and honorable mention honorees will have their stories published on our website. Winners will also receive authors’ choice seed balls from our collection. 

Grand prize: 365 seed balls 
18+: 50 seed balls, online publication 
14-17: 50 seed balls, online publication 
10-13: 50 seed balls, online publication 
9 and under: 50 seed balls, online publication 
Honorable mentions: online publication 


Entries must be in English. Unfortunately, the seed ball prizes can only be mailed to the Continental US, but people outside the Continental US can still enter for publication and receive top awards.


If you have questions, contact



If under 18, your parent or guardian must make the submission using their email address. Make certain to ALSO fill out and mail the YOUNGER ENTRANT PERMISSION FORM.