You’ve heard it called plenty of things: flash fiction, micro-fiction, the short-short story, prose poems. But what is this delicious, quirky art form, and how do you create it?
“Flash fiction is its own genre,” says Jenny Pritchett. “It’s not just a longer poem, or a shorter story. It has its own cadences, chimes, and resolutions, and you can learn to write it by putting aside your expectations of more familiar forms.”
In this workshop, you and a close group of students will write and share five stories no longer than 500 words each, using models from Amy Hempel, Lydia Davis, Peter Orner, Jerome Stern, and other experimentalists whose short works are as powerful, mesmerizing, and meditative as works in other beloved genres. The assignments will help you explore the possibilities and parameters of a familiar or, perhaps, a brand-new genre for beginning as well as more experienced writers.
Jenny Pritchett has published flash fiction in Northwest Review, as well as in her book At or Near the Surface (Fourteen Hills Press). She has published longer fiction in Southwest Review, Boulevard, Salt Hill, Fiction Attic, Best of the Web 2008 and elsewhere, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has twice been a writer-in-residence at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, and has taught creative writing and American literature at SFSU, California College of the Arts, Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, and IAIA in Santa Fe, New Mexico.