The Art of Flash: Reading as Writers

Everyone knows you have to read in order to write, but perhaps that should be ‘read with attention’. Great flash fiction leaves a very strong impression but the danger is we simply inhale it. How often do we bring our critical faculties to the reading experience, analysing what the writer has done, in order to improve our own writing of flash stories?

Do you keep notes (a reading journal) about the flash that pops up daily on your screens? What draws you to a particular story? Exciting language, playful or clever structure, metaphor and symbolism, character and story, or (usually) a mixture of these?

Do you like to work out how the flash has been constructed (usually through a process of rewriting endlessly!)? Are you drawn to realism, prose poetry, hybrid flash? Do you like complete stories or brief glimpses? Are there subjects you seek out and ones you avoid? Are you looking for something new, an original way of looking at the same themes? Do you like happy stories (there are a few out there!) and most importantly, are you trying to write the sort of stories you admire?

In this workshop we will read a selection of flash stories with an analytical eye, studying the craft, looking under the hood if you like, in order to deepen our appreciation of the stories we’ve studied. There will also be some writing exercises to see if we can bring some of what we learn into our own stories.

Date: January 14, Saturday: 7 AM PST / 10 AM EST / 3 PM GMT / 8:30 PM IST (see below for time zone map)

About Instructor

Alison Woodhouse is a writer and creative writing tutor. Her short fiction has won a number of competitions and many other pieces have been placed or shortlisted. She has judged National Flash Fiction Day micro competition, Flash 500 and Reflex. She is one of the team who run Bath Short Story. Her novella in flash, The House on the Corner, was published by AdHoc Fiction in 2020 and her flash collection, Family Frames, was published in 2021 by V Press, signed copies of both are available via her website alisonwoodhouse.com

Click here for the Crow Collective Workshop FAQ.

Registration: Want to register? Sign up for the mailing list and you’ll be notified when registration opens in December.

Click here for the text version of the time zone map.

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