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Announcing the Winners of the 2021 University of Iowa Flash Writing Contest

Thank you to the more than 540 UI alumni and friends from around the world who submitted short stories during January's contest.

We asked participants to create a story of 1,000 words or less using one of two sets of prompts: a story incorporating a musician and a dove, or a story incorporating an arborist and a lighthouse.

Our judges have been working diligently these past few weeks to read submissions that poured in from 31 states and as far away as Tanzania and Japan. The participant names for all submissions were removed before three rounds of anonymous judging. After the winning submissions were chosen, those participant names were revealed.

Without further ado, here are our winning stories. Winners in each of the grade categories will receive an Iowa-themed writing prize pack and a $20 Amazon gift card. The winner of the adult category will receive an Iowa-themed writing prize pack, one book of their choice written by an author from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a handcrafted wooden pen made from a tree that was located on the UI campus.

2021 Write Now Flash Writing Contest Winning Stories

Grades 3 & 4

Grades 5 & 6

Grades 7 & 8

Grades 9-12


Thank you to all who participated—and mark your calendar for next year's event, January 14-16, 2022. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy reading these amazing tales from your fellow Hawkeyes as much as we did! You can also read stories from our past winners.

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