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Method Writing; or The Art of Flash Fiction

For this creative writing workshop, we will focus on Flash Fiction, which is a brief form of story-telling (under 1,000 words usually). Flash Fiction is not just a short short story; instead, at its core, it focuses primarily on characters in situations who desire to discover themselves and their place in the universe.

Because all Fiction is a temporal art form, the characters we create (be they human or chicken, AI or zombie) cannot exist for even a few seconds without desiring something. Thus, we’ll develop rich characters who will express this yearning, which does not happen in explanatory terms but rather is a result of several tiny, sense-driven, organically resonant moments. In successful Flash Fiction, this expressed yearning will dovetail with what James Joyce calls the epiphany, “the shining forth” or “illumination,” which is the ultimate expression and recognition of the characters’ deepest fear and/or desire. Whether the character knows it or not, the reader will.

To that end, we will write four Flash stories that should be able to stand on their own but may also become the foundation for your future short stories, novellas, or even novels. We’ll also discuss revision strategies and publication practices. And we’ll approach these processes with maturity and humor.

Instructor: Michael Garriga is the author of the flash fiction collection, The Book of Duels (Milkweed Editions). His writing has appeared in The Southern Review, Oxford American, New Letters, and Best American Small Fictions, 2015. He is also co-founder and -editor of the online journal, Fiction Southeast, which is dedicated to flash fiction.  

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Details: Method Writing; or The Art of Flash Fiction takes place Wednesdays January 11, January 18, January 25, February 1, February 8, and February 15 from 6:30-8:30pm online via Zoom.


Prerequisites: None

Genre: Fiction

Level: Intermediate

Format: Craft and generative workshop with writing outside of class.


Location: This class takes place online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 12 participants (including scholarships).

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with an intermediate level memoir, nonfiction, or essay writing course.

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by December 1.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email info@litcleveland.org.
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