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Fiction in a Flash

Facilitator:  Erin McKnight

Workshop Syllabus

Are you ready to plunge into the pool of flash fiction? Be prepared to hold your breath! Although the water appears shallow, the emotional impact of this writing form boasts depths rivaling the high seas of longer fiction.

Flash fiction, when crafted with care, works on the periphery of traditional storytelling, yet within the boundaries of the genre. In the world of flash, a compelling story can be told in fewer than a hundred words!

Experienced writers looking to fine-tune their skills in brevity and control, and aspiring writers interested in experimenting with this cutting-edge mode, will have the opportunity to explore this in-demand form of writing during the workshop.

Each work will be critiqued in a supportive environment that is intended to celebrate the writerís voice and vision, and will provide the feedback essential for the reviewing and editing stages of writing.

Week 1Rise of The Form - What is Flash Fiction?
We will familiarize ourselves with the distilled nature of flash fiction, attempting to define this mode of writing and its implications on the greater literary canon. The reasons behind flash fictionís current popularity, as well as the formís various incarnations will be considered in terms of worldwide popularity and particular suitability to the Internet.

Week 2: The Components of Flash
We will review the essential elements of flash fiction writing. We will determine how flash conforms to --a nd works against -- traditional storytelling, taking into account the interplay between elements of setting, plot, climax, character, and dialogue.

Week 3The Use of Active Writing Voice and its Cross-Genre Implications
This week we will focus on the richness of words, and the use of active voice. We will consider the possibilities of the form, to include nonfiction and poetry, and will identify the techniques epitomized in flash fiction writing that may be employed in all of the studentís future writing.

Week 4 From Here . . . to Publication!
As this workshop will culminate in two fully developed and edited stories that exhibit the smooth prose epitomized in flash fiction, possible venues for publication will be identified and tips for publication success in the flash fiction market will be discussed.

By the end of the course, students will have produced two polished pieces of flash fiction and mastered the skill of compact yet evocative writing that will allow for all of their future work to feature a sought-after sense of crispness.

Prerequisite None.

About the Facilitator:

Erin McKnight is a literary writer, editor, and reviewer. Her writing -- including multiple pieces of flash fiction -- has been widely published in print and online, in venues that include: flashquake, PRECIPICe, Ginsoko Literary Journal, Siren: A Literary & Art Journal, Diddledog, CRIT Journal, and The Flask Review. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, The Best of the Web Anthology, and W.W. Norton's The Best of Creative Nonfiction, Volume 3. Erinís short nonfiction is held by the Scottish Mining Museum. She holds a BA in English, an MFA in creative writing with a specialization in fiction, and is currently at work on an MA in literary linguistics. Erin is a reviewer for Bookslut, the fiction editor for Prick of the Spindle: A Quarterly Online Journal of the Literary Arts, and works as a certified tutor for students ranging from the first grade to college level and beyond in English and essay writing.

Registration: Select the payment service you want to use.
Workshop Duration: 4 weeks  

Scheduled Sessions for 2010:

2010 Sessions on Hold until Further Notice

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The following books are not required purchases for this course, but are highly recommended by the facilitator.


Book Title


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