Pre-festival workshops with Kathy Fish and Nuala O’Connor

As an added bonus we have two three-hour pre-festival workshops with Nuala O’Connor and Kathy Fish. They are taking place in parallel from 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm on Friday 19th June at Trinity College. Open to those not able to attend the whole festival as well as those who’ve booked for the week end. Kathy’s workshop is now sold out but there are currently spaces on Nuala’s workshop. Book soon!

Nuala O’Connor

Historical Flash Fiction with Nuala O’Connor
Taking our cue from historical people, places and/or events, this workshop will guide participants through practical theory on how to write effective flash and, using various prompts, we will write our own historic flashes in-class. We will also look at sample historical flashes from accomplished writers. Handouts will be provided.
Nuala says, ‘Historical fiction gets a bad rap; on the one hand authors like Hilary Mantel and Sarah Waters are much-garlanded, and rightly so, and on the other, the very term ‘historical fiction’ puts some people off. But in a world where it’s difficult to escape geographically anymore – everywhere seems to have been infiltrated – escapism into the past via historical narratives can feel like exploring untouched territory. And, anyway, what is contemporary historical fiction only a view of the past, with twenty-first century biases, limitations and necessarily particular knowledge? In historical flash we can make something new of the past by answering the needs and preoccupations of today in narratives set in former times.’

Nuala O’Connor is an Irish historical novelist, flash fiction and story writer. She lives in Co. Galway, Ireland. In 2019 she won the James Joyce Quarterly competition to write the missing story from Dubliners, ‘Ulysses’. Her fourth novel, Becoming Belle, was published to critical acclaim in 2018 in Ireland, the UK, the USA and Canada. Her next book is a bio-fictional novel about Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce. Nuala is editor at flash e-zine Splonk. She has won many flash and short fiction awards including the Dublin Review of Books Flash Fiction Prize, The Gladstone Flash Prize, RTÉ radio’s Francis MacManus Award, the Cúirt New Writing Prize, the inaugural Jonathan Swift Award and the Cecil Day Lewis Award. She was shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature.

Kathy Fish

A Brain, a Heart, and a Home (with a Dash of Courage): Writing Flash Fiction that Soars with Kathy Fish
Do you have a cool idea for a flash, but it falls flat? Or a flash that’s rich in emotion but you can’t quite figure out what it’s about? Maybe your flash “works” on a superficial level, but you sense there’s a deeper story to be told.
Any or all of the above are what prevent good flash fiction from becoming GREAT flash fiction. 
In this three-hour class, we’ll look at how to write flash that transcends the ordinary. We’ll write to fun, inspiring prompts and we’ll also do a revision exercise aimed at deepening the work. Students can expect to come away from this session with at least one new story and lots of new tools for crafting and revision. Feel free to bring an existing draft to work on as well!

Kathy’s workshop is now sold out.

Kathy has authored five collections of short fiction, most recently Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018, from Matter Press. Her award-winning short stories, prose poems, and flash fictions have been widely published and anthologized. Fish’s ‘Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild’. which addresses the scourge of America’s gun violence and mass shootings, was selected for Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018, edited by Sheila Heti. The piece was also chosen by Aimee Bender for Best Small Fictions 2018. Additionally, two of Fish’s stories are featured in the W.W. Norton anthology, New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction. She is a core faculty member in fiction for the Mile High MFA at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She also teaches her own intensive online flash workshop, Fast Flash.

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