Flash fiction is a sexy, versatile form. It can lead the reader somewhere unexpected and leave her there to ponder the unknown. It can crack open a moment to reveal the magnificent eternal. From a writer’s point of view, flash fiction provides an opportunity to distill the elements of craft and focus on them as if under a microscope, without the distractions of a longer, more complicated story or novel.
In this class we will read and discuss several published short-shorts, flash fictions, and/or microfictions, each week. The first week will be dedicated to brainstorming thirty story ideas (per student!), to be used as inspiration for the two short-short stories each will write weekly over the next eight weeks in response to lessons on specific elements of craft: structure, setting, character, conflict, dialogue, and endings. The final class will function as a rapid-fire writing workshop: we will critique and celebrate one story by each student. Revised short-shorts will be collected and “published” in a mini-chapbook manuscript, which will be sent out to each student at the conclusion of the course.
Rachel Lyon is the author of the novel SELF-PORTRAIT WITH BOY (Scribner 2018). Her shorter work has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, Iowa Review, Electric Literature, and other publications. She sends out a weekly writing/thinking prompts newsletter at tinyletter.com/rachellyon, and is a cofounder of the reading series Ditmas Lit, in her native Brooklyn NY. Visit her there, or online at www.rachellyon.work.