What makes fiction flash fiction? Is it just a matter of length, or is it a matter of urgency, whimsy, deadliness? How do you innovate with a limited word count, and how do you make every word count? Is there enough space to care about things like character and plot, or are we already out of time? Brevity isn't just the soul of wit, it has its own soul, its own mysterious properties and elisions. In an age when facts are trampled and language obliterated, there's a sacred place for the precision, clarity, and elegance of an idea that comes across in the kind of stories that we call flash.
This two-day workshop is open to writers with all levels of experience, from beginners to workshop veterans. Perhaps you've always wanted to try shorter forms, or maybe you're a seasoned poet looking to dip your toe in prose.
Saturday April 27: A crash-course in flash fiction. We will look at a brief history of the style, reviewing its origins and examining work by the writers Diane Williams, Etgar Keret, Vi Khi Nao, Russell Edson, and more, including prose poetry by Morgan Parker and Matthea Harvey. We'll diagram stories, do exercises in class together, generate material, and interrogate the form.
Saturday May 11: A workshop of the students' original flash fiction pieces.
- 1-3 finished flash pieces
- Ideas for publications where students can submit their work
- Generative techniques for facing the blank page
- A flash fiction primer full of ideas, texts, and a trove of prompts to help build a sustainable writing practice
- Detailed feedback from the instructor
- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes