Workshops July 2024

Scroll down to see details of the workshops and panels for the festival weekend, 12th-14th July. BOOKING OPEN NOW Lots of fantastic workshops to choose from! You can also look at the timetable to see when they are scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.
Please note: There are no online workshops. All the workshops are in- person, part of the festival package and not booked separately. Apart from the pre- festival workshop with Kathy Fish, which you can book separately. See below.

Follow Us

Kathy Fish

Three Hour Pre Festival workshop 2.00-5.00 pm Friday 12th July: “How Did They Do It? Master Moves in Flash Fiction” with Kathy Fish

(Note:This workshop is separate from the main weekend package. Book here (£50)

“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write.” –William Faulkner

I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of reading an exquisite flash story, one that leaves us deeply moved and in awe of its craftsmanship and artistry, only to ask ourselves, “how on earth did they do it?” This highly interactive and generative three-hour session is aimed at discussing and dissecting some of the very best flash fiction published in the past fifty years. We’ll look especially at style, emotional resonance, subtext, language, character development, voice, and innovation. In the spirit of growing our own art, we’ll tease apart and identify the craft moves of the masters. Then, inspired and energized, we will write to prompts designed to unlock our own unique genius. Expect to come away with newfound appreciation and understanding of what flash fiction can do, along with two fresh drafts you’ll feel good about.

“We Real Cool: Storytelling in the Collective Voice”: with Kathy Fish

“We real cool. We / Left school. We / Lurk late. We / Strike straight. We / Sing sin. We / Thin gin. We / Jazz June. We / Die soon.” ~Gwendolyn Brooks

This 90-minute session (which Kathy will run on both Saturday and Sunday) is devoted to the increasingly popular narrative point of view of the first person plural. What can this point of view especially “do” for our storytelling? It is a means of giving voice to shared experiences, common struggles and pains. It’s an opportunity to explore group dynamics, to view life through the lens of a group that is inherently compelling. Consider what behavior “groupthink” gives rise to. What happens when no individual can take blame or credit? We can explore what happens when individuality is erased. We can address Big Issues. We’ll discuss some great published examples of flash that employs this point of view, then write to prompts aimed at drafting real cool stories of unique voice and resonance.

a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>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. Subscribe here:

Nancy Stohlman

Psychedelic Flash Writing the Altered State: with Nancy Stohlman

We’ve all had peak experiences–those altered, time-out-of-time states such as falling in love, making art, giving birth, playing music, silent meditation, or witnessing something so beautiful or mysterious or poignant that it cracks you open. Unfortunately, these transcendent moments often leave us without words (or leaning on cliches). How can we do justice to the sound of a symphony reaching crescendo? Recognizing your soul mate’s face? Ecstatic dance? A near-death experience? Fasting? Drug-induced hallucinations? In this workshop we will discuss, experiment, and study art from other genres and mediums in an attempt to harness even a sliver of the wordless back to the page.

We will not take drugs in this class! But come prepared to open your mind nonetheless…

Christopher & Nancy, Karaoke

From Page to (Karaoke!) Stage: Reading Your Work in Front of an Audience

Just because you wrote that gorgeous sentence doesn’t mean you know how to read it to an audience. But if you want to get your work out there, chances are you’ll eventually need to get on stage and read it. So how do you do that with confidence? I created the Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series 12 years ago to give writers a chance to practice their reading skills–and it makes a big difference! As an audience member, you know a great piece of writing can become underwhelming with a mediocre reading. On the other hand, have you ever seen a piece of work come so alive on the stage it took your breath away? Back by popular demand, we will “workshop” volunteers in real time, and you will learn how to do justice to the words you worked so hard to create. We’ll discuss page-to-stage strategies, including best practices, microphone anatomy (!) and tips for both in-person and virtual readings. Bring a short piece of work and your courageous hearts. We’ll be using the karaoke stage, so you’ll also have no excuse to sing later!

Nancy Stohlman is the author of six books including After the Rapture (2023), Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities (2018), The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories (2014), The Monster Opera (2013), Searching for Suzi: a flash novel (2009), and Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction (2020), winner of the 2021 Reader Views Gold Award and re-released in 2022 as an audiobook. Her work has been anthologized widely, appearing in the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction and The Best Small Fictions 2019, as well as adapted for both stage and screen. She teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder and holds workshops and retreats around the world. Find out more at

Jude Higgins

Bad Writing Makes Good: with Jude Higgins

Yes, you will aim to write far less than your best in this fun warm-up-your-writing-brain workshop. Why? Because it means your inner-critic(s) can have a break (send them on holiday somewhere) You’ll begin by writing about something unimportant and unexciting and we’ll carry on from there not making any effort. Interesitng things will happen!

Jude Higgins creates the programmes for, and directs both the online and in person Flash Fiction Festivals 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 this summer.

Carrie Etter

Sexing It Up in the Prose Poem: With Carrie Etter

The immersive nature of the prose poem makes it an ideal vehicle for exploring erotic experience. Looking at prose poems by Margaret Atwood, Cassandra Atherton, and possibly even Carrie herself, this seminar will look at what qualities help convey such experience, including diction, imagery, sentence structure, and musicality, and guide participants through writing at least one poem employing these techniques.

American expatriate Carrie Etter has published four collections of poetry, including The Tethers (Seren, 2009), winner of the London New Poetry Prize, and Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014), shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Grief’s Alphabet, her new collection was published by Seren in April 2024. She also edited Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010), a TLS Book of the Year, and Linda Lamus’s posthumous collection, A Crater the Size of Calcutta (Mulfran, 2015). Individual poems have appeared in The Guardian, The New Republic, The New Statesman, The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, Poetry Review, and The Times Literary Supplement. She also writes short stories, essays, and reviews, and has received grants from Arts Council England and The Society of Authors. After many years teaching at Bath Spa University, in 2022 Etter joined the creative writing faculty at the University of Bristol.

Christopher Allen and Helen Rye

A Smokelong Special with Christopher Allen and Helen Rye

What is SmokeLong? In this 90-minute session we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about the journal and the workshop community. We’ll also talk about the history of flash, SmokeLong’s place in this history, and how we can all influence the future of the form through our unique voices. We’ll also do couple of generative writing tasks focused on what it means to write with and from emotion.

Christopher Allen is the author of the flash fiction collection Other Household Toxins (Matter Press, 2018). His work has appeared in Flash Fiction America (Norton, 2023), The Best Small Fictions 2019 and 2022, Split Lip, Booth, PANK, and Indiana Review, among other very nice places. Allen has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of SmokeLong Quarterly since January 2020 and was the 2023 judge of the Bridport Prize for flash fiction. He and his husband are nomads.

Helen Rye lives and writes in Norwich. She has won the Bath Flash Award, the Reflex Fiction Prize and third place in the Bristol Short Story Prize. She is a senior submissions editor at SmokeLong Quarterly, a prose editor for Lighthouse Literary Journal,. She completed MA in Prose with distinction at UEA, She really, really likes karaoke.

Laurie Marshall

Creating Collage: with Laurie Marshall

You may have heard of ekphrastic writing – the act of creating a poem or flash story (or, as in the case of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sundays in the Park with George” an entire musical!) inspired by a piece of art. Artists who illustrate book covers and individual stories in journals like Flash Frog, F(r)iction, and Fictive Dream do the same thing, but backward, creating art inspired by the pieces they are asked to illustrate. In this workshop, Laurie Marshall, a flash fiction writer and collage artist, will lead the group through the process of investigating a piece of flash fiction for moments that might inspire art. After the group activity, you will be able to create a unique piece of art inspired by your own words (or the words of others, if you prefer.)

Laurie Marshall is an award-winning writer and collage artist from Northwest Arkansas, USA. Her stories have been longlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and included in Best Small Fictions 2022. Her debut flash fiction collection, Proof of Life, was a best-selling title released by ELJ Editions in April 2023 and nominated for a 2024 Firecracker Award. she’s working toward an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas. @LaurieMMarshall on X and

K.M. Elkes

Risk and Reward. Breaking Free of the Comfort Zone

For many writers there is a levy to pay for staying in their Comfort Zone – you don’t push to learn new things. Entering the Discomfort Zone challenges us to look at how we might do things differently, and how we might reap rewards in our writing through risk and experimentation.
This workshop is a supportive way of using taboo to explore your writing. It demonstrates that discomfort is a muscle we need to exercise to help build our resilience and enhance our writing ability. And it suggests ways we can experiment with our writing without slipping into the Anxiety Zone and the negative thinking that comes with it.
The workshop will feature playful exercises around taboo and the forbidden, putting you in a place of boundary-pushing and get you to dig around in ambiguity and complexity.

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.


Discovering Dialect – Using Dialect to Create Authentic voice: with Kathy Hoyle

This workshop explores how we might create stories that celebrate our own rich culture and heritage. We will look at how to weave colloquial dialect and cultural references and into your work to create a sense of place, person and story.
How can our personal vernacular add authenticity and originality to our stories? How does dialect look on the page? How can we engage the reader with linguistic puzzles without overwhelming the work? How do we avoid stereotypes when writing dialect and what connections and reconnections can we make when writing about ‘home’?

Kathy Hoyle will help you draft tiny stories with big hearts in this immersive and engaging session – come and find YOUR Viva Voce!

Kathy Hoyle’s work is published in literary magazines such as The Forge, Lunate, Emerge Literary Journal, South Florida Poetry Journal, Ellipsis Zine, Northern Gravy and Fictive Dream. She has won The Bath Flash Fiction Award, the Retreat West Flash Fiction Award and the Hammond House Publishing Origins Award. Other stories have placed in competitions such as The Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award, the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize and The Cambridge Flash Fiction Prize.

Anika Carpenter

Art & Flash: with Anika Carpenter

Time spent pondering contemporary art can inspire all kinds of wonderful and unexpected story ideas. In this ekphrastic workshop, you’ll be introduced to the life and work of one contemporary artist and three of their artworks. Each work will be accompanied by optional prompts inspired by the piece.

Anika Carpenter is a flash fiction author and artist based in Brighton, UK. You can find her stories in Ellipsis Zine, Fictive Dream, Gone Lawn, Janus Literary and others.
When she’s not writing, she’s running The Flash Cabin. Where you’ll find monthly online Art & Flash sessions, and more! When she’s not doing that, she hosts the Writer’s HQ Brighton Writing Retreats.
Website: Twitter: @StillSquirrel

Shakespeare and Flash: with Jo Gatford

What do Shakespeare and flash fiction have in common?

A love of linguistics and a bold disregard for the literary ‘rules’!

In this workshop we’ll use inspiration from Shakespeare along with techniques from poetry, playwriting and flash to explore language, play with rhythm, and experiment with form. We’ll look at how flash fiction employs rhetoric and repetition, and why flash is often so effective read aloud — just like a Shakespearean speech… No previous Shakespeare knowledge or literary snobbery required — just a passion for words, words, words.

Jo Gatford is the author of The Woman’s Part, a hybrid collection inspired by Shakespeare’s women, and holds an MA in Shakespeare & Theatre from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. She is also an award-winning novelist, poet, flash fiction writer and scriptwriter, with over 50 publications, including the Bath Flash Award, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Forge, trampset and Stylist. She has been an editor and mentor for 15 years, and has been teaching creative writing and narrative theory for over a decade. Find out more at

Finnian Burnett

‘Physicality in Flash: Writing the Body: with Finnian Burnett

Flash fiction is most compelling when it’s alive. Writing about the human body, bringing in the visceral experience of our scars, pain and joy can heighten the tension in our flash stories. In this generative workshop, we’ll be reading some flash pieces based on physicality, writing our own physical flashes, and discovering what it is that makes a reader curl their toes when they read a story.

Finnian 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.

Ingrid Jendrzejewski

When Science Meets Storytelling: with Ingrid Jendrzejewski

CP Snow once claimed there was a gulf of mutual incomprehension between literary intellectuals and scientists. In this friendly, playful session, we’ll challenge this notion of ‘two cultures’ by looking at ways we can bridge this science/art divide when we write flash. Through discussion and writing exercises, we’ll investigate questions like:

* What are some ways we can weave scientific themes into our flash (regardless of technical background)?
* How can thinking like a scientist help us hone our prose?
* How have science and technology opened up new modes of storytelling, and how can we take advantage of this as flash writers?

I’ll also share some editing and idea generating tricks that I picked up when studying physics, information theory, and machine learning — techniques anyone can apply to their own writing.

No specialist knowledge or background is required or assumed, and you don’t even need an interest in science to join in the fun. Scientists and non-scientists alike are warmly welcome!

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.

Ingrid, along with co director of National flash Fiction Day, Diane Simmons and NFFD anthology editor, Karen Jones is also facilitating a discussion and story reading session of themed stories from the 2024 NFFD anthology.

Diane Simmons

AIR, EARTH, WATER AND FIRE: A Celebration of the 2024 National Flash Fiction Day Antholog

A Chat with NFFD Anthology Editors & Readings from our 2024 anthology 

Grab a drink and join us in the bar for a celebration of our latest anthology. NFFD’s own Diane Simmons will host a brief chat with NFFD anthology editor Karen Jones and previous anthology editor and Co-Director Ingrid Jendrzejewski. We’ll also hear some of this year’s authors read their anthology flashes and micros, and Ingrid will also be on hand to run a mini-competition for those who want a shot at some mildly fabulous prizes…
Diane Simmons is Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day, UK. She has been widely published in magazines such as New Flash Fiction Review, Mslexia, Splonk and FlashBack Fiction and placed in numerous writing competitions. Finding a Way, her flash collection on the theme of grief, was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019 and shortlisted in the Saboteur Awards in the Best Short Story Collection category. Her historical novella-in-flash An Inheritance was published by V. Press in 2020 and shortlisted in the Saboteur Awards Best Novella category. Her new novella-in-flash, set in 1970s Scotland, A Tricky Dance was published by Alien Buddha Press in January 2024. You can read more about Diane on her website and connect with her on X @scooterwriter

Karen Jones

Karen Jones is a flash and short fiction writer from Glasgow, Scotland. Her flashes have been nominated for Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize, and her story ‘Small Mercies’ was included in Best Small Fictions 2019. She has won first prize in the Cambridge Flash Prize, Flash 500 and Reflex Fiction and second prize in Fractured Lit’s Micro Fiction Competition. Her work has been Highly Commended/shortlisted for To Hull and Back, Bath Flash Fiction and Bath Short Story Award and many more. Her novella-in-flash When It’s Not Called Making Love is published by Ad Hoc Fiction. She is an editor for National Flash Fiction Day anthology.

Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

How to Run Writing for Wellbeing workshops: an introduction,with Kathryn Aldridge Morris

“This is the first time I’ve been able to express myself without being belittled or ridiculed.” “I love the camaraderie.” “This is the only time of the week I have a space to just be.”
This is an introductory session for flash writers interested in running writing for wellbeing workshops in community settings. We’ll discuss the main differences between teaching creative writing and facilitating writing for wellbeing, look at guidelines for running workshops safely and consider the therapeutic potential of different writing prompts and flash fiction in these settings. Finally, we’ll think about what feedback might look like in a writing for wellbeing workshop.

Kathryn Aldridge-Morris is a writer from Bristol, UK. She has won The Forge prize for Nonfiction and the QuietManDave prize, and is published in a variety of journals and anthologies including the Bath Flash Fiction Anthology, Fuel Anthology and the Wigleaf Top 50. She has a postgraduate certificate in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes and runs creative writing and writing for wellbeing courses in the community.

Kathryn is also taking part in the panel described below.

Panel on Writing a Winning story chaired by Audrey Niven, with Sara Hills, Marie Gethins and Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

Audrey Niven

Audrey Niven is a Scottish writer and creative coach based in London. Her stories have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards, and are published in multiple anthologies including Oxford, Bath, Reflex and NFFD. She established the Propelling Pencil Charity Flash Competition and Journal where she is Editor in Charge. She reads for various competitions and in 2022 judged the Mslexia Flash Competition. She should be working on her novel. @NivenAudrey

Sara Hills

Sara Hills

Sara Hills is the author of The Evolution of Birds (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2021), winner of the 2022 Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection. She has won or placed in the Smokelong Mikey, 2023, QuietManDave Prize for flash nonfiction, the Retreat West quarterly prize, National Flash Fiction Day’s micro competition, Bath Flash Fiction Award, and The Welkin Prize. Sara’s work has been selected for the Wigleaf Top 50, The Best Small Fictions, and the BIFFY 50, as well as nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best Microfictions, and Best of the Net.

Marie Gethins

Marie Gethins

Marie Geth­ins featured in Winter Papers, Bristol Short Story Award, Australian Book Review, NFFD Anthologies, Banshee, Fictive Dream, Pure Slush, Bath Flash Fiction Anthologies, and others. Selected for Best Microfictions, BIFFY50, Best Small Fictions, she edits for flash ezine Splonk, critiques for Oxford Flash Fiction Prize. She has won or been placed in many Awards including Reflex Fiction, TSS, The Bristol Short Story Prize, Flash Fiction Festival Online. She lives in Cork, Ireland.

Fiona J Mackintosh

Writing Beyond the Self: Empathy versus Appropriation in Fiction: With Fiona J Mackintosh

While some fiction writers draw from their own lives almost exclusively, most of us tend to invent characters whose circumstances differ from ours. This requires an act of empathy and imagination, but it also requires sensitivity as it can leave us open to criticism for “appropriating” a different gender, race, nationality, orientation, or experience that is not our own.Therefore, it behooves all of us to ask ourselves the following questions:
Are we qualified to write about characters from other circumstances and with different perspectives? Are we prepared to do the work to equip ourselves to do so? And are we capable of doing full justice to the complexity of that experience?

In this workshop, we will explore ways to write fully formed and sympathetic characters and still be respectful of other cultures and outlooks. We will discuss examples from literature (including flash) where this has been done well and others where it might not have been done well enough. And I will also draw upon my own experience of writing historical fiction and non-fiction about real life characters from the history of Tahiti.

Fiona J. Mackintosh
(@fionajanemack) is a Scottish-American writer whose fiction has been published on both sides of the Atlantic. She is the author of a flash fiction collection, The Yet Unknowing World from Ad Hoc Fiction ( A past winner of the Fish, Bath, Reflex, and Flash 500 prizes, her flash fictions have been selected for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2019, Best Small Fictions 2019 and 2023, and the 2018-19 BIFFY50. Her short stories have been finalists for the Cairde Word, Colm Toíbín, Bristol, Galley Beggar, Exeter, and Fish Short Story Prizes. In 2016, she was honoured to receive an Individual Artist’s Award in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council. Fiona lives near Washington D.C. with her husband.

Sarah Freligh

Herding Cats: Building and Ordering a Collection of Short Fiction

Even for seasoned writers, the process of ordering a pile of stories into a collective whole can seem daunting and often feel as frustrating as herding cats. In this class, we’ll work to de-mystify the process by identifying the connections between character, setting, and theme; and the importance of “gesture” in opening and closing a collection; and how order can curate a specific, narrative journey for the reader.
Bring your pile of stories to the class and be ready to rock and roll!

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 the recently-released A Brief Natural History of Women, from Harbor Editions. Her novella-in-flash Hereafter was the winner of the 2024 Bath Novella in Flash Contest and is forthcoming in 2024 from Ad Hoc Fiction. Among her awards are poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Saltonstall Foundation.

Sarah is also participating in a panel on Novellas in Flash, chaired by John Brantingham, who was a judge for the BFFA Novella in Flash Award, 2023 and 2024 and who selected her NIF, Hereafter as the winner.

John Brantingham

Style and Structure — A Panel on the Novella in flash chaired by John Brantingham with Sarah Freligh (details above Jupiter Jones and Michael Loveday (details further down)

Jupiter Jones

livesin Wales and writes short and flash fictions. She is the author of three novellas-in-flash, The Death and Life of Mrs Parker, Lovelace Flats, and Gull Shit Alley and Other Roads to Hell. Her novella in flash Nine Inches of Rain was Highly Commended by John Brantingham in the 2023 BFFA Novella in Flash Award. Being a proper nerd with very little social life, she is currently working on a PhD on the role of (dis)connectivity in the novella-in-flash.

More details soon

John will also lead a 60 min early morning nature workshop

“Flashes about Nature: with John Brantingham

In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to write meaningfully about our relationship with and place in the natural world. Participants will leave with at least one piece begun.

John Brantingham is currently and always thinking about radical wonder. He was Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ first poet laureate. His work has been in hundreds of magazines and The Best Small Fictions 2016 and 2022. He has twenty-two books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. He is the editor of The Journal of Radical Wonder.

Michael Loveday

Writing a Novella-in-flash: Harnessing Your Everyday Life for Fiction with Michael Loveday

Magical things can happen for our writing when the raw, ongoing material of everyday life chimes with the fictional worlds we are developing, or illuminates them. Our writing has the sudden potential to deepen further as we realise even more about the foundational relationship between what’s real and what fills our imagination. This workshop explores how we might unearth thematic and dramatic richness from routine, day-to-day life – and keep drawing from this deep well on an ongoing basis after the festival. We will also consider examples of writers who have expanded upon personal experiences when writing novellas-in-flash or novels-in-fragments, including those that deliberately blur the line between fiction and memoir. The invitation is for us all to practise being alert witnesses to what is happening – in ourselves and in the world around us – and enrich our manuscripts with the thrill of unexpected discoveries…

Michael Loveday began writing fiction and poetry in 2001, and was the editor and publisher of the poetry journal 14 magazine from 2005 to 2012. He Said/She Said, his debut poetry pamphlet, was published by HappenStance Press in 2011. His first full work of fiction (the hybrid novella-in-flash Three Men on the Edge, V.Press, 2018) was shortlisted for the Saboteur Best Novella Award. His craft guide to the novella-in-flash form, Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: from Blank Page to Finished Manuscript (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2022) has won several international awards including a Best Indie Book Award and the 2024 Independent Press Award for Writing and Publishing. His fourth publication, Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood, was published in November 2022 by Bamboo Dart Press. He teaches flash fiction as a Visiting Lecturer at Bath Spa University, is a freelance coach for creative practitioners, and mentors writers to develop novellas-in-flash. More at:

Susmita Bhattacharya

Food For Thought: with Susmita Bhattacharya

In this workshop, we will look at developing characters through the lens of food. We will also draw on examples from Flash Fusion – An Anthology of Flash Fiction Writing and Craft by Writers of South Asian Origin and prompts from the book as well.

Susmita Bhattacharya is an Indian-born British writer. Her novel, The Normal State of Mind, was published in 2015 by Parthian (UK) and Bee Books (India) in 2016 and was long listed for the Words to Screen Prize, Mumbai Association of Moving Images (MAMI) Film Festival in 2018. Her collection of short stories, Table Manners, was published by Dahlia Publishing in 2018 and won The Saboteur Prize in 2019. She teaches contemporary fiction at Winchester University. She was Writer-in-Residence at Word Factory in 2021. She lives in Winchester.

Vanessa Gebbie

Murder and Radishes with Vanessa Gebbie

Vanessa says: “Surprise yourself as you draft your flashes, and your reader will be surprised too. A chance conversation at last year’s Flash Festival had three participants giggling over an odd combination of ideas. All three then went away, separately, to respond to those giggles. The results – a trio of flash fictions by Gina Headden, Cheryl Markosky and I are published together in the 2023 Flash Fiction festival Anthology Vol 6. Join me for some creative fun, and learn how to make unexpected collisions that will have your flashes sparkling. By the end of this session you will have at least 5/6 fresh drafts to polish and get out there.”

Vanessa will also offer The Biggest Game of Word Cricket in the Whole Wide World
Our traditional Saturday morning half an hour warm-up session for the whole assembly in the dining room.

Vanessa Gebbie has won multiple awards for both prose and poetry, including a Bridport Prize and the Troubadour. Her flash publications include Ed’s Wife and Other Creatures (Liquorice Fish Books) and the weird/irreal collection Nothing to Worry About (Flash: The International Short Short Story Press at Chester University) 2018 as well as many individual publications online and in print. She is author of three short story collections (with Salt and Cultured Llama), a novel (Bloomsbury), and two poetry publications (Pighog and Cultured Llama). She is also commissioning and contributing editor of Short Circuit, Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Salt). She teaches widely.

Stephanie Carty

The Writer Self in Flash Fiction: with Stephanie Carty

This workshop will be based on Stephanie Carty’s new workbook The Writing Mirror. It will focus on the insights you can gain about yourself by analysing your flash-length work. For this workshop, please bring print-outs of several of your pieces or have electronic means to access them – they can be in draft or completed form. You will be guided through tasks that hold a specialist lens to your work to see what is reflected back.

Stephanie Carty is a clinical psychologist, writer and trainer in the UK. Her novella-in-flash Three Sisters of Stone won a Saboteur Award and her short fiction collection The Peculiarities of Yearning won best collection in Eyelands Book Prize. Her first writers’ workbook on the psychology of character Inside Fictional Minds is published by Ad Hoc Fiction and her new workbook The Writing Mirror is now available on Amazon.

Nora Nadjarian

Magic Realism: blurring the lines between reality and fantasy: with Nora Nadjarian

Could magical or supernatural phenomena presented in an otherwise real-world or mundane setting give your flash fiction a whole new meaning? In this generative workshop we will look at ways in which magic realism can add an extra layer of emotional depth to flash fiction. We will also explore symbolism as a powerful tool which can create strong and memorable images in readers’ minds, making the story more vivid and unforgettable. There will be examples from stories by Aimee Bender, Italo Calvino and many others.

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. 

Emily Devane

`Brief Encounter: Finding Story Inspiration in Films: with Emily Devane

In this session, Emily Devane will explore how your favourite films can become points of inspiration for stories – whether it’s about conjuring the same atmosphere, borrowing a character, or riffing off an established narrative setting to enhance your own story world. Emily will use a range of prompts and examples, and there will be opportunities to try out new ideas.

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.

Alison Woodhouse

Monsters in Fiction: with Alison Woodhouse

Monsters in Fiction

Monsters have featured in fiction since the beginning. Theseus and the Minotaur, Medusa and her head of snakes. Beowulf, the oldest known written work in English, commits to slay the monster Grendel (and Grendel’s mother). Fairy tales are peopled with hideous creatures – trolls, ogres, werewolves and changelings. Monsters serve multiple purposes. Traditionally they gave an opportunity for the ‘hero’, like Beowulf, to complete his journey by overcoming evil, but more importantly, for every age and society monsters are metaphors for human fears and beliefs. They are the ‘other’, ‘outsiders’, the ‘unknown’ but when we cast difference as monstrous, we become monsters ourselves.
In this workshop we will explore modern day monsters and myths, think about what is monstrous, and how to use this to go deeper in our fiction, through discussion and guided exercises. There will be an opportunity to share work but no pressure to do so.

Alison Woodhouse is a writer and teacher. 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. She is currently studying for a Ph.D on the Polyphonic Novel. 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

Alison Powell

The Best Things Come in Small Packages: with Alison Powell

Using the power of proverbs as a starting place for writing flash.
It will be an interactive session and people should come out with a few pieces of flash ready to develop plus ideas for inspiring new pieces in future.

Alison Powell writes prose fiction and runs creative writing workshops as WriteClub. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines and been listed in various awards, including the Bath Flash Fiction Award, Mslexia’s New Writing prize, the Bath Short Story Award, the Janklow & Nesbit prize and the Bridport Prize for First Novels. She holds an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa and has been selected for writing residencies with National Theatre Wales and Liminal Residencies.

Farhana Shaikh

Supercharge Your Creative Practice: with Farhana Shaikh

Leverage your superpower and take hold of imposter syndrome to reimagine your writing life. In this invigorating morning workshop, writer and publisher Farhana Shaikh will guide you through a series of questions to examine why you write and how you lead. Farhana will share her tips and experiences on navigating the funding landscape, leading as an introvert, and how to supercharge your writing practice.

Farhana Shaikh is a writer and publisher. She founded The Asian Writer in 2007 and later established Dahlia Books to publish regional and diverse voices. She is the project lead of the ACE-funded Middle Way Mentoring project with regional and national partners. In 2017, Farhana won the Penguin/Travelex Next Great Travel Writer competition. A year later, she was longlisted for the Spread the Word Life Writing Prize and had her short play, Risk staged at Curve theatre. Last year, Farhana was longlisted for the Women’s Prize Discoveries award for her novel-in-progress which was supported through a DYCP grant. Farhana lives in Leicester and on X where she talks about books and publishing @farhanashaikh.

A Question of Palate and Nose with Slawka G.Scarso

Using our senses beyond our eyes can provide unique depth to our writing. It can help create an immediate sense of place and portray unique and memorable characters that will captivate readers. During this 60-minute workshop, we will look at techniques and prompts to make our sensorial writing bloom in an interactive and fun way.

Slawka G. Scarso has published flash and micros in Ghost Parachute, Fractured Lit, Gone Lawn, FlashBack Fiction, Mslexia and others. Her debut novella in flash All Their Favourite Stories was commended in the 2022 Bath Novella in Flash Award and is available from Ad Hoc Fiction. She has been working as a wine and food journalist and copywriter for over 15 years, publishing several books on wine and travel in Italy. She lives between Rome and Milan with her husband and her dog, Tessa. More words on Twitter as @nanopausa and

Building Up The Layers of Your Flash Fiction: with Anita Goveas and Farhana Khalique

Anita Goveas and Farhana Khalique

What’s the difference between a biryani and a good flash fiction? One has lots of layers, and the other one is cooked in a pot! 😉 In this workshop, we will discuss how to layer your flash fiction in order to add more flavours and resonance. We will refer to various features and tools, such as character, atmosphere, structure and figurative techniques. There will be a mixture of reading, writing and discussion, and you will leave with several ideas and tips for baking these into brilliant flashes. We will also mention our own writing processes and how we use these techniques in our work.

Anita Goveas is British-Asian and based in London. She’s on the editorial team at Flashback Fiction, an editor at Mythic Picnic’s twitter zine, and she’s an editor for the Flash Flood. She was one of the teachers on Dahlia Publishing’s ‘A Brief Pause’ writer development programme, and she’s taught workshops with the Crow Collective and the Stay at Home Lit Fest. She also runs a writing group for unpaid Carers for Wandsworth Carers centre. Her debut flash collection Families and Other Natural Disasters was published by Reflex Press in September 2020: Find Anita at @coffeeandpaneer and

Farhana Khalique is a writer, voiceover artist, teacher, and PhD student from south-west London. Her writing has appeared in Flash Fiction Festival Six, Tales from the City, Best Small Fictions, and more. Farhana has judged the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize, been shortlisted for The Asian Writer Short Story Prize, and she is a former Word Factory Apprentice Award winner. She is also a submissions editor at SmokeLong Quarterly, and has also taught workshops with SmokeLong, Retreat West, Dahlia Publishing, and more. You can find her online at @HanaKhalique and

Anita Goveas is British-Asian, and based in London. She trained as a speech and language therapist before switching careers in 2015 and having the time to write. She was first published in the 2016 London Short story prize, was a Word Factory flash of the month winner in 2017, a 2018 Creative Futures Literary Award winner (Bronze), was one of the London Library’s 2019 Emerging Writers and won the Salisbury Literary Festival prize 2019. She’s been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Microfictions and a Pushcart prize, has two stories in Best Microfictions 2019, made the BIFFY 50 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 lists and the 2021 Wigleaf Top 50 list. Her debut flash fiction collection Families and other natural disasters was published by Reflex Press in Sept 2020.She’s on the editorial team at Flashback Fiction, an editor at Mythic Picnic’s twitter zine, and she’s an editor for the NFFD Write In and Flash Flood

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

Rosaleen Lynch

52 Stories for readers and writers: with Rosaleen Lynch

Rosaleen will take us through some stories and exercises from her forthcoming new collection/workbook; a year of themed weekly reading and writing practice for individuals or groups.

Rosaleen Lynch is an Irish youth and community worker and writer in the East End of London with words in a number of journals, including New Flash Fiction Review, HAD, Fractured Lit, Craft,SmokeLong Quarterly, Jellyfish Review, EllipsisZine, Mslexia, Litro and Fish, and has been shortlisted by Bath Short Story Award and the Bridport Prize, is a winner of the HISSAC Flash Fiction Competition and the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize, Her collection/workbook will be published Ad Hoc Fiction. She can be found on Twitter @quotes_52 and

Another World: A Haibun Makeover: Jude Higgins in Conversation with Roberta Beary

Roberta Beary

A sibling to both flash and prose poem, more and more celebrated writers, such as Ocean Vuong and Marge Piercy, are taking up the haibun challenge.
Roberta Beary, co-editor of the craft book Haibun, a Writers Guide (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2023) and Flash Fiction Festival founder Jude Higgins, will discuss editing one of Jude’s first haibun, ‘Another World’, published in Flash Fiction Festival six. Roberta will talk about what makes a good haibun, how title, prose, and haiku, link to form a trinity that resonates with readers.
All workshop participants will receive complimentary copies of print journals that include several haibun.

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. 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.

share by email