Six Flash Stories in Six Weeks

with Amy Bonnaffons

six flash stories in six weeks

July 24, 2024
6 Weeks

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.

Zoom sessions Mondays from 7-9 PM Eastern

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.Enroll Now

Flash fiction packs the maximum punch in the fewest words. Writing flash is like a boot camp in the most important skills of fiction writing: how can you meaningfully deploy character, setting, dialogue and plot in just a few words? How can you create a satisfying story arc without pages upon pages to develop plot and character? Not only can it be done–but you can do it! In this course, you’ll learn how.

Over the six weeks of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to generate six complete works of flash fiction and to receive feedback on them from myself and your peers. In addition to generative exercises, the course will contain mini-lectures on elements of craft and how to use them in flash fiction, as well as advice on where and how to submit your flash creations for publication.

Whether you already have a passion for flash fiction or you simply want to learn new ways to flex your narrative skills and deepen your understanding of craft, this course is for you!

Who this course is for: 

This course is for fiction writers of all levels, who want to generate a lot of new material in a short amount of time. It’s geared towards those who want to try flash fiction for the first time as well as those already practicing in the genre.

Learning and Writing Goals

Learning Goals

In this course, you will: 

  • Learn the qualities of the flash fiction genre.
  • Deepen your understanding of craft elements, like character, plot, setting, dialogue, and how they work differently in flash format.
  • Determine how to tackle revisions in flash format.
  • Learn how to give constructive feedback to classmates and peers.
  • Learn how to submit to literary journals who want flash fiction.

Writing Goals

In this course, you will: 

  • Draft at least six new flash pieces with varying word lengths.
  • Revise at least three new flash pieces based on instructor/peer feedback.
  • Refine at least one or two flash pieces with an eye toward publication.

Zoom Schedule

We will meet on Zoom on Mondays from 7-9 PM Eastern. Note: We will not meet on Labor Day, September 2nd. I will reschedule this session when the course begins. 

Weekly Syllabus

Week One: Introduction

We will read several flash stories in class and discuss the unique qualities of flash fiction. I’ll give a mini-craft lecture on one of the stories. We will do a generative activity to start a flash piece in class. We’ll discuss readings by Kelly Link, Etgar Keret, Donald Barthelme (and George Saunders’ essay about Barthelme, “A Perfect Gerbil”).

Homework: Write one complete flash story.

Week Two: Plot and Narrative Arc

How do we think about plot in a flash context? What are the narrative possibilities of such a brief space? There will be a mini-craft lecture, we’ll discuss examples from the reading, and we’ll do a generative exercise. We’ll discuss readings by Leesa Cross-Smith, Ismail Kadaré, Ray Gonzalez.

Homework: Write one new complete flash story, paying particular attention to plot. I’ll provide an exercise to help you get started.

Week Three: Character, Voice & Dialogue

How can character be drawn deftly and concisely? How do voice and point of view interact to establish character in a flash context? How can dialogue pack the maximum punch in a short space? There will be a mini-craft lecture, we’ll discuss examples from the reading, and we’ll do a generative exercise. We’ll discuss readings by Amy Hempel, Jamaica Kincaid, Lydia Davis.

Homework: Write TWO new flash stories, paying particular attention to character and dialogue, and/or write two different versions of the same story.

Week Four: Setting

How can flash be used as a vehicle to powerfully explore setting? There will be a mini-craft lecture, we’ll discuss examples from the reading, and we’ll do a generative exercise. We’ll discuss readings by Joy Williams, Leonardo Alishan, Chrystos.

Homework: Write a fifth complete flash story, paying particular attention to setting, and/or revise one of your previous stories with particular attention to setting.

Week Five: Playing with form

Flash can be an excellent format in which to play with received form. We’ll look at the fairy tale, folk tale, fable, and surrealist narrative. Class will include a mini-craft lecture, discussion of reading, and a generative exercise. We’ll discuss reading by Sabrina Orah Mark, Leonora Carrington, Kate Bernheimer, Italo Calvino.

Homework: Write a sixth complete flash story, this time in one of the genres we explore in class.

Week Six: Sharing!

This class will be dedicated to sharing and discussion of student work (depending on how many students sign up, we may begin this in week five). There will also be a mini-lecture on submitting flash fiction for publication.

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.Enroll Now

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Student Feedback for Amy Bonnaffons:

Overall, this course was very enriching for more than just my writing. I’m very happy with the writing I did during this course and now have several pieces that I can continue to work on. Amy was very generous with her feedback. She seemed genuinely excited to read and review our work. It made a big difference in how much I was able to get from this course. Shanlee Bratten

July 24, 2024
6 Weeks

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.

Zoom sessions Mondays from 7-9 PM Eastern

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.Enroll Now

amy bonnaffons headshot

About

Amy Bonnaffons is the author of the story collection The Wrong Heaven  (2018) and the novel The Regrets (2020), both published by Little, Brown. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Kenyon Review, The Sun, and elsewhere, and has been read on NPR's This American Life. She holds a BA in Literature from Yale, an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU, and a PhD in English and Women's Studies from the University of Georgia. Amy is a founding editor of 7x7.la, a literary journal devoted to collaborations between writers and visual artists. She has taught writing at New York University, the University of Georgia, and in many other settings, including senior centers, hospitals, and prisons. For several years, she has also led unique creative writing workshops that incorporate spiritual techniques such as shamanic dreamwork and energy work.  Her own spiritual journey has included elements from many traditions, from Buddhist meditation to core shamanism and ancestor work.  She is certified as a clairvoyant reader and healer by the Inner Connection Institute in Denver, CO. Born in New York City, she now lives in Athens, GA.