WELCOME to the Beginner’s Guide to Flash Fiction! 

Welcome indeed to this flashtastic mini course written in collaboration with ‘Flashy’ Kathy Hoyle, our Coventry Writers’ Retreat rep and regular host of our  weekly Flash Face Off challenge. Kathy’s flash fiction can be found in Ellipsis, Reflex Fiction, Spelk, Lunate, Retreat West, Flash500 and HISSAC, and you can tweet at her @kathyhoyle1

Within these digital pages you will find guidelines, resources, and actual instructions to help you negotiate your way around the world of flash fiction.

Maybe you’re totally new to the concept and wanna know what all the fuss is about.

Maybe your short fiction naturally falls on the short side and you reckon flash might be the niche for you.  

Or maybe you’re a seasoned flasher who just wants a bit of a boot up the bum to get you writing and thinking more critically about your work. 

All of these are fine and worthy reasons to be here. Because this course is for everyone and anyone who wants to write flash fiction.

We’re here to give you a little guidance, lay down the fundamentals of flash, and get you well on your way to writing your own stories with confidence. 

Over the next seven days (or however long it takes you – no pressure, no rush), this course will help you get to grips with the art of writing great flash fiction. 

We’ll talk about what the hell it actually is, generate ideas, work on structure, characterisation, pace and tone. 

We’ll craft some brilliant beginnings, magnificent middles and excellent endings.

And finally, we’ll help you find somewhere to showcase your newfound storytelling chops!

Because writing flash is a real skill. It may be short and sweet but it still requires a shit-tonne of hard work. It’s also great fun and a brilliant way to develop a weekly writing habit, dip in and out of genres, push yourself out of your warm and cosy comfort zone, and generally build up your writing skills to make you an all-round, all-powerful writer-force to be reckoned with. 

Our courses are designed to be broken down into manageable chunks that you can fit in around work, life, general busyness and all the usual distractions. So work through the course at your own pace (there’s no need to do it in 7 days just because we named the headings that way) and make sure to take advantage of our private writing forums where you can ask for advice, brainstorm ideas and get feedback on your story ideas.

On that note, and WE CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH: critiquing other people’s work is THE most effective way to improve your own. Not only does it train you to think objectively about how to best represent your story, but it also encourages other people to look at your work. Tit for tat, and all that. So don’t waste the opportunity to give and receive feedback while you’re here.

Right. Housekeeping done. 

First things first, head on over to the forum and introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your writing. Then get yourself stuck into the course!

Jenny Slate saying 'Welcome' while doing amusing dance GIF

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