Scroll down to see details of all the workshops taking place on our online festival days in October, November 2022 and January 2023.
Haunt or Be Haunted: Ghost Stories in Flash! 90 min workshop with Kathy Fish, Sat.October 8th
American writer Barry Hannah said, “All stories are ghost stories.” Ghost stories provide us a fictional landing place for our dread, our existential horrors, and our deepest fears. They are also weirdly comforting to read and fun to write! In this session, we’ll read some examples of chilling flash fiction, then take to the page with generative prompts. Expect to leave with the bones of ghost story that’s subtly unnerving or downright terrifying.
Kathy Fish has published five collections of short fiction, most recently Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Copper Nickel, Washington Square Review, and numerous other journals, textbooks, and anthologies. Fish’s “Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild,” was selected for Best American Non-required Reading 2018 and the current edition of The Norton Reader. Her newsletter, The Art of Flash Fiction, provides monthly craft articles and writing prompts and is free to all. Subscribe here: https://artofflashfiction.substack.com.
A Trio of Writing Challenges with Jude Higgins, Oct, Nov, Jan
Inspired by the baking challenges in the reality TV show, The Great British Bake-Off, Jude is setting and judging three flash fiction challenges. A Signature, a Technical and a Showstopper, one a month. There will be prizes of books published by Ad Hoc Fiction and free entries for the winner and runners up. Plus publication in the next Flash Fiction Festival Anthology.
Jude Higgins is a writer and writing tutor and has stories published or forthcoming in the New Flash Fiction Review, Flash Frontier, FlashBack Fiction, The Blue Fifth Review, The Nottingham Review, Pidgeon Holes, Storgy, Inktears,The MoonPark Review, Fictive Dream, the Fish Prize Anthology, National Flash Fiction Day anthologies and Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine among other places. She has won or been placed in many flash fiction contests and was shortlisted in the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize in 2017 and 2018. Her debut flash fiction pamphlet The Chemist’s House was published by V.Press in 2017. Her micro fictions have been included in the 2019 and 2020 list of Best Flash Fictions of UK and Ireland she has been nominated for Best Small Fictions 2020 and for the 2020 Pushcart Prize. Her story ‘Codes To Live By’ was selected for BestMicroFictions in 20222 and longlisted for the Wigleaf top 50 stories in 2022. She founded Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2015, co-runs The Bath Short Story Award, directs the short short fiction press, Ad Hoc Fiction and is Festival Director, responsible for devising the programme for Flash Fiction Festivals, UK online and in-person events.
Writing Words of Wild Wonder:with Electra Rhodes. October 8th
A thrilling hour of writing and creating based on a unique approach to generating, revising, and editing a piece of nature inspired work (either fiction or cnf). Come with a blank page, leave with a piece with promise!
El Rhodes is an archaeologist who lives in Wales and Wiltshire. She writes a mix of short and long-form fiction and creative non fiction. Her work has appeared in forty anthologies and dozens of journals and regularly places in competitions. She reads CNF for Variant Lit and is the prose editor at Twin Pies Literary.
What’s the Story?: with Alison Woodhouse, November 19th.
Do you usually start your flash from a prompt, a quote (song or a poem), an overheard conversation, a photograph, picture, image? All of these are great ways to write first drafts but what next? Whether you’re writing micro or up to the 1000 word max, you need to know your story, understand what’s happening off the page, so you can create the resonance and depth great flash is capable of. It can take many rewrites to work out exactly what the real story is, but one of the reasons flash is such a brilliant form is that you’re forced to work it out! Without knowing the story, your brilliant piece of writing remains a scene, an excerpt, rather than a dive into a rich, complex world. This is an hour long version of the workshop I was going to be doing at the in-person festival. We will do close reading on one or two flash fictions, followed by writing exercises to investigate our own work. If you have draft stories currently lingering in bottom drawers, bring them along to work on in the session.
Alison Woodhouse is a writer and teacher currently running course for City Lit and elsewhere. Her flash fiction and short stories have been widely published and anthologised, including In the Kitchen (Dahlia Press), With One Eye on the Cows (Ad Hoc Fiction), Leicester Writes 2018 & 2020 (Dahlia Press), The Real Jazz Baby (Reflex Press), A Girl’s Guide to Fishing (Reflex Press), National Flash Fiction Day Anthologies and Life on the Margins (Scottish Arts Trust Story Awards). She has won a number of story competitions including Flash 500, Hastings, HISSAC (flash & short story), NFFD micro, Biffy50, Farnham, Ad Hoc Fiction and Limnisa and been placed in many others. In 2019 she was awarded an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. Her debut novella-in-flash The House on the Corner was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in October, 2020. Her flash fiction collection, Family Frames was published by V.Press in September, 2021. Twitter: @AJWoodhouse
Writing the Prose Poetry Series or Sequence.With Carrie Etter. January 7th
How can a sequence of prose poems explore aspects of a single situation or create a richly lyric narrative? Drawing on her experience of composing Imagined Sons and looking at sequences by Claudia Rankine, Rosmarie Waldrop, and Allison Benis White, Carrie Etter will lead a discussion about the prose poetry sequence’s possibilities and get you thinking about and writing toward creating an effective sequence of your own.
Carrie Etter is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently The Weather in Normal (UK: Seren; US: Station Hill, 2018), and a chapbook of flash fictions, Hometown (V. Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in Iowa Review, The Guardian, The New Republic, The New Statesman, The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, The Times Literary Supplement, Westerly, and many other journals and anthologies internationally. Originally from Normal, Illinois, she was Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University for many years and is now teaching and supervising Ph.D students in creative writing, at Bristol University.
What’s the Worst That Can Happen? – Humour Writing: With Karen Jones, Saturday,January 7th
Many writers think they can’t write humour, especially flash writers, because flash is so often seen as dark, sad, bleak, but I believe everyone can write humour if they find a way to get into it. In this workshop, we won’t be analysing what’s funny or studying funny stories – what people find funny is too diverse to be sorted into boxes that way. This is intended to be a fun, generative workshop full of prompts and exercises to get you creating characters to people funny flashes and situations that can easily lead to humour. What’s the worst that could happen? Usually something hilarious.
Karen Jones is a prose writer from Glasgow with a preference for flash and short fiction.She has been listed and placed numerous times in short fiction awards including the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, Bath Flash Fiction, Bath Short Story, To Hull and Back, TSS 400, HISSAC. She recently won the Cambridge Flash Fiction Prize and the Flash 500 contest and has previously reached the prize-winning stage with Mslexia, Flash 500, Words With Jam, Ink Tears and Ad Hoc Fiction. Her work is widely published in magazines and anthologies. Her story ‘Small Mercies’ was nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize and is included in Best Small Fictions 2019 and the BIFFY50 2019. She is a special features editor for New Flash Fiction Review and her novella-in-flash When It’s Not Called Making Love was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2020 and shortlisted in the Saboteur Awards in 2021.
Working Titles, Or Making That First Impression Count, Saturday November 19th
Crafting a perfect title is an art unto itself. As an editor and judge, I often see writers short-change a really great piece of writing by not taking enough care over what they call it. With flash especially, this can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection.
In this workshop, we interrogate what makes a good title and discuss common mistakes writers make when naming their pieces. We’ll work through sixteen different strategies (at least!) for generating titles, and also look at how a good title can be your secret weapon in the editing process.
Whilst it’s not necessary for attendees to have written anything before, I encourage writers to bring at least one short piece of work with them to this workshop – draft or complete – to think about; we’ll be putting ideas into practice as we go along.
Ingrid Jendrzejewski is a co-director of National Flash Fiction Day. She currently serves as the Editor in Chief of FlashBack Fiction, and a flash editor at JMWW, and has served as both non-fiction editor and editor-in-chief of the Evansville Review. She has published over 100 shortform pieces and has won multiple flash fiction competitions, including the Bath Flash Fiction Award and the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize for Flash Fiction. Her short collection Things I Dream About When I’m Not Sleeping was a runner up for BFFA’s first Novella-in-Flash competition. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Vestal Review’s VERA Award, and multiple times for Best Small Fiction.
Flash Surgery: Make Your Story Shine, with Emily Devane, October 8th
In this practical craft workshop, Emily Devane will demonstrate how to turn a rough story draft into a submission worthy of a competition shortlist. She will take a piece of writing and show you the difference a few tweaks can make. Using examples, she will explore the value of choosing the right title, harnessing the power of significant details, ironing out the bits that trip (while leaving in the bits that make your story unique to you), developing a satisfying story arc and getting that ending right. You will leave with lots of ideas for tackling those final drafts.
Emily Devane is a writer, editor and teacher based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. She has taught workshops and courses for Comma Press, Dahlia Press, London Writers’ Café and Northern Writers’ Studio. She has won the Bath Flash Fiction Award, a Northern Writers’ Award and a Word Factory Apprenticeship. Emily’s work has been published in SmokeLong Quarterly (third place, Grand Micro Contest 2021), Best Microfictions Anthology (2021), New Flash Fiction Review, Lost Balloon, Ellipsis, New Flash Fiction Review, Janus, Ambit and others. She was a BIFFY50 editor in 2020 and is a founding editor at FlashBack Fiction. Emily co-hosts Word Factory’s Strike! Short Story Club. Earlier this year she was shortlisted for the prestigious Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing, and she recently won second place in the Bath Short Story Award. She is judging the current round of the Bath Flash Fiction Award.
Time, space and action in flash fiction with Shelley Roche-Jaqcues, Saturday,January 7th
Action is vital to flash fiction – it is, perhaps, what distinguishes it from prose poetry. But when and where does the action unfold? The artful manipulation of ‘time and space’ is essential for the creation of a compelling, dynamic and fully-realised story world.
In this session, Shelley will introduce you to specialist concepts and terminology that she has found useful in her own creative work. We’ll look at a few example stories, and then put the ideas into practice via a short writing exercise.
Shelley Roche-Jacques is a poet and flash fiction writer. Her poetry collections are Ripening Dark (2015) and Risk the Pier (2017), but she has since defected to flash fiction and has stories in journals such as Flash (the international short-short story magazine), Ellipsis Zine, Reflex Fiction, Lunate and The Bridport Prize Anthology 2021. She teaches Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, where she is Course Leader for the BA and MA Creative Writing programmes.
Make Your Stories Sing with Farhana Khalique, Saturday November 19th
Finding your voice as a writer can take years, but it doesn’t have to! Arguably, it’s easier to recognise a particular voice or style in others’ work. In this session, we will look at examples of writing that showcase different voices and styles, unpick what makes these stories successful, and apply similar techniques to our own writing. We will also share tips on how to read your work out loud, so that your readings don’t ‘flatline’ and have more emotional depth and resonance.
Farhana Khalique is a writer, voice over artist and teacher from south-west London. Her writing has appeared in Best Small Fictions 2022, 100 Voices, This is Our Place and more. She has been shortlisted for The Asian Writer Short Story Prize and she is a former Word Factory Apprentice. Farhana is also a submissions editor at SmokeLong Quarterly and at Litro, and she is the editor of Desi Reads. She has also performed her work at venues around the UK, such Waterstone’s Piccadilly and London’s Tara Theatre, and she has trained with various dramaturgs and with Channel 4 Television. Find Farhana @HanaKhalique and www.farhanakhalique.com
Yoga Stretches for Writers: with Sudha Balagopal
We are delighted that writer and yoga teacher Sudha Balagopal is again running 15 minute Yoga Streches for writers. She offered this great resource to writers on nine of the eleven online days we ran from March 2021 to March 2022. Essential for those sitting at desks writing for hours.
Sudha Balagopal is honored to have her fiction in many fine literary journals including SmokeLong Quarterly, Split Lip and CRAFT. Her highly commended novella in flash, Things I Can’t Tell Amma, was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2021. Her work is forthcoming in both Best Microfiction and Best Small Fictions, 2022. .