Scroll down to see details of the 60 or 90 min workshops on our three online Great Festival Flash Off Days on Saturday 28th October, Saturday 25th November and Saturday 13th January. By popular demand, some of these workshops are repeats of workshops held at the inperson festival, this July, 2023. £30 per day. Book here. (Some free places available).
Where Are You From? Selfhood, Place and Prose Poetry, with Carrie Etter: Saturday October 28th 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm GMT
How do the places we’ve lived inform our sense of ourselves, our identities? In this workshop we will look at prose poems that explore how different authors relate place to identity and draft our own prose poems investigating that connection.
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. Her fifth poetry collection, Grief’s Alphabet is forthcoming from Seren Books in April, 2024
After teaching at Bath Spa University for many years, she is now a member of the creative writing faculty at the University of Bristol.
How to Haibun: Roberta Beary in conversation with Jude Higgins, Saturday October 28th
Memoir, fairytale, short story, travel journal, and dream sequence are terms that have been used to describe haibun. A prose poem which includes haiku, haibun continues to evolve and can encompass anything within the writer’s experience or imagination. In this hour Roberta Beary, in conversation with Jude Higgins, will answer questions, with exap what makes a good haibun, highlighting how the holy trinity of haibun, title, prose, and haiku, link to form a whole which resonates with the reader.
Roberta Beary identifies as gender fluid, and writes to connect with the silenced, to let them know they are not alone. After 60 rejections, their prose poem ‘After You Self Medicate with Roethke’s The Waking Read by Text to Speech App’ won the Bridport Prize 2022 and in 2023 they were a finalist in the Rattle Poetry prize Their work appears in The New York Times (Modern Love/Tiny Love Stories), Rattle, and 100 Word Story. The longtime haibun editor at Modern Haiku, they divide their time between the USA and Ireland.Jude Higgins creates the programmes for and directs both the online and in person Flash Fiction Festival UK. She founded Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2015, has co-run The Bath Short Story Award since 2013 and directs the short short fiction press, Ad Hoc fiction. Her flash fiction has won or been placed in many awards and she is widely published in magazines and anthologies. Her flash fiction chapbook ‘The Chemist’s House’ was published in 2017 by V. Press and another flashfiction collection is forthcoming in 2024.
Alternative To Prompts – Creating An Ideas Grid: with K M Elkes. 60 min workshop Saturday 28th October
Working from prompts is a great way to stimulate flash stories, but is it the only way? In this workshop we will look at an alternative method of creating ideas for stories that can be used for flash (and longer forms). The Ideas Grid emphasises character, setting, action and complication, while also encouraging story ideas to have those particular and peculiar aspects needed to engage readers.
K.M. Elkes is the author of the short fiction collection All That Is Between Us, which was shortlisted for a Saboteur Award in 2020. His flash fiction has won or been placed in various competitions, including Bath Flash Fiction Award, Reflex Fiction Prize, Fish Publishing Flash Prize and the Bridport Prize. He is a Pushcart Prize and Best Microfictions nominee. He has also been longlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award and individual short stories have been successful in international writing competitions including the Manchester Fiction Prize, Bridport Prize and the Royal Society of Literature VS Pritchett Prize. His work has appeared in numerous literary anthologies and journals, and has featured on school curricula in the USA, India and Hong Kong. He is a short story tutor and runs his own writing workshops and courses online. He has guest-lectured at Bath Spa University and Sheffield Hallam University, where his book has featured on the MA Creative Writing course module. KM Elkes is a writer from a rural working class background, and his work often reflects themes around transience, isolation and family trauma.
Subtraction, Negation, and White Space: The Power of Spare Prose, Saturday November 25th, 90 min workshop with Kathy Fish
In this session, we will explore the power of saying less. What can we cut from our works-in-progress to make them stronger? How does negation serve to heighten a sense of loss? How loud is the unspoken? And what crazy mathematics creates the feeling of more from the act of subtraction? We’ll discuss works that manage to say more with less, then we’ll write to prompts aimed at breathing more space and light and meaning into our writing.
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.
Triggers, Traumas, and HIdden Desires: How to go deep with your characters in flash. 60 min workshop, Saturday November 25th with Finnian Burnett.
The best flash pieces give us characters to whom we can connect. In a short piece, creating a vivid character can be challenging. Uncovering your characters’ internal and external desires, their secrets and shame, and their human flaws can lead to more intimacy with the reader. In this generative writing workshop, we’ll discuss ways to bring characters to life in just a few words.
Burnett holds a doctoral degree in English pedagogy and teaches English online for a U.S. college. Their writing explores intersections of identity — fatness, mental health, disability, queer joy. Finnian’s work has appeared in Blank Spaces Magazine, Ekphrastic Review, Pulp Literature, and more. Their first novella-in-flash, The Clothes Make the Man, shortlisted for a Bath award and a Saboteur. It was published by Ad Hoc Fiction. Finnian’s second novella-in-flash, The Price of Cookies, is forthcoming through Off Topic Publishing. They’re currently working on an epistolary novel about a trans man trying to reconcile a complex relationship with his dead mother. Finnian lives in British Columbia, Canada.
Finessing Fiction: What Prose Writers can Pinch from Poetry. 60 min workshop, Saturday 25th November with Ingrid Jenrzejewski
The focus of fiction might be on the story, but if we don’t pay attention to how we’re using language, we’re missing a trick. In this session, we look at what we can beg, borrow and steal from poets to improve the quality of our prose.
We’ll go through a grab bag of tools that poets use and think about how we can use them to craft sentences and paragraphs with more intentionality and finesse. We’ll look at diction, rhythm, syntax, sound, and structure.
The focus of this session will be a discussion of techniques with examples, with a sprinkling of brief writing exercises.
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 Fictions.
Beyond What the “I” Can See: An Exploration of Point of View in Microfiction: 90 min workshop, Saturday January 13th with Sarah Freligh
“I am large, I contain multitudes,” wrote Walt Whitman, who famously celebrated the “I” throughout “Song of Myself” as a way to connect the self to the universe and the natural world within it. Unlike Walt, most of us don’t contain multitudes. We often default to writing in first person because it feels as natural as speaking only to find ourselves anchored in the cement boots of “what really happened,” preventing us from allowing inspiration to give way to imagination. In this 90-minuteclass, we’ll look at examples of how writers have gotten beyond the “I,” try our hand at prompts designed to allow us to try on a variety of vantage points and explore how a fresh point of view can jumpstart a poem or a piece of prose as well as give new life to a soggy draft.
Sarah Freligh is the author of six books, including Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis, and A Brief Natural History of Women, published in 2023 by Harbor Editions, and Dear You, Alien Buddha, August 2023. Recent work has appeared in the Cincinnati Review miCRo series, SmokeLong Quarterly, Sun Magazine, the Wigleaf 50, and in the anthologies New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (Norton 2018), Best Microfiction (2019-22) and Best Small Fiction 2022.
Among her awards are poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Saltonstall Foundation.
OMG! – Oh my gods and goddesses! with Nora Nadjarian, 60 min workshop, Saturday January 13th
Could you retell the epic tales of the Amazons or the kidnapping of Persephone in the form of a micro or flash? Join me on a creative odyssey exploring some of the famous – and infamous – characters and adventures of the Greek myths and legends.
In this fun and generative workshop we will encounter terrible creatures, people-eating, fire-breathing beasts and the heroes who battled them. We will explore, re-imagine and rewrite battles, homecomings and messy love affairs.
These sweeping tales have transcended generations and continue to fascinate us today. They are full of lessons about life and morality, offering insights into the human condition – and will no doubt inspire you to retell them in unexpected ways. Will you dare to open the Pandora’s Box of your imagination?
Nora Nadjarian is a poet and writer from Cyprus. She has been commended or placed in numerous competitions, including the Reflex Fiction Flash Fiction Competition and the Mslexia Poetry Competition (2021). Her work was included in Europa 28 (Comma Press, 2020) and she represented Cyprus in the Hay Festival’s Europa28: Visions for the Future in 2020. Her short fiction has appeared, among others, in Sand Journal, FRiGG, MoonPark Review, Lunate, Ellipsis Zine, Milk Candy Review and was chosen for Wigleaf‘s Top 50 Very Short Fictions of 2022 (selected by Kathy Fish).
She has led successful creative writing workshops for the Flash Fiction Festival, the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Beyond Form, Flash Cabin, Retreat West, as well as the Bonington Gallery and Nottingham Trent University’s Postcolonial Studies Centre.
Mind the Gap Again — Writing Flash From Liminal Spaces
Liminality is about being between, or belonging to, two different places or states. Limen literally means ‘threshold’. It might be used to describe physical, emotional or metaphorical transitions. Liminal stories explore moments where characters are on the cusp of change – this makes them compelling, and sometimes unsettling for the reader. In this generative workshop, Emily will return to the theme of liminality in short fiction but with all new examples and prompts. She will share stories that deal in gaps and spaces, and encourage writers to create their own liminal stories.
Emily Devane is a writer, editor, bookseller and teacher based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. She has taught workshops and courses for Comma Press, Dahlia Press, London Writers’ Café and Tracks Darlington. 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 Literary, Ambit and others. She is a founding editor at FlashBack Fiction. Last year she was shortlisted for the prestigious Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing, and she also won second place in the Bath Short Story Award. Emily runs regular spoken word nights and teaches at Moor Words.
Yoga for Writers with Sudha Balagopal
We very pleased that Sudha is back again to offer a fifteen minute yoga session for those attending the online days. Mid-afternoon is a good time to learn some yoga stretches and to feel refreshed
Sudha Balagopal’s fiction straddles continents and cultures to explore the human condition. Herhighly commended novella in flash, Things I Can Tell Amma, was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2021. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn, and two short story collections. Her short pieces have appeared in literary journals worldwide. Recently, her short fiction won the CRAFT Amelia Gray 2K contest, and was placed second in the Bath Short Story Award and her work was selected for Best Small Fictions 2023. When she’snot writing, she teaches yoga.