Keep it Brief with Richard Thomas

Flash fiction is about brevity, so we'll keep this short: Click here, sign up, learn stuff, write harder. Boom.

Your Instructor: Richard Thomas, Bram Stoker Award finalist author of Spontaneous Human Combustion

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 20 students

Price: $299

Class Description

Flash fiction is described as a fully executed short story that tends to be under 1,200 words.

It isn’t just short—it still has to have all of the components of a short story: Hook, conflict, tension, plot, setting, theme/mood, and resolution.

In many ways, flash fiction has more to do with prose poetry than a short story—every word has to be carefully selected, some having multiple meanings, relying on inference, foreshadowing, and declarative sentences to fill in back story and events that take place off the page, while still creating characters that we care about.

And that isn’t easy.

Welcome to Keep It Brief with Richard Thomas, a two-week workshop all about flash fiction. 

Why is Richard the man to teach this? 

  • He's written and published over 100 short stories, including many flash fiction and micro-fiction stories
  • He was the winner of the “Enter the World of Filaria” contest at ChiZine for a flash fiction story, “Maker of Flight” (1,000 words)
  • Placed micro-fiction stories in contests—“Jimmy Five Ways” at Punchnel’s (one of five winners) and “Charlotte Sometimes” at Zouch (6th place)
  • His story “Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave” (400 words) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize

This class will include frequent writing assignments, building toward a polish piece of flash fiction. Richard will use his own flash and micro-fiction as a teaching tool—along with stories from authors like Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Ernest Hemingway, and Lydia Davis.

What This Class Covers

  • Flash Fiction Defined
  • Reduction
  • Tip of the Iceberg
  • Foreshadowing
  • Off the Page
  • In Media Res
  • One Idea or Emotion
  • Depth Through Layers, Theme and Mood
  • Making It Personal
  • Getting Us to Care as Soon as Possible
  • Only Keeping the Essentials

Goals Of This Class

  • To write several rough draft flash fiction stories of varying lengths.
  • To understand the difference between flash and short fiction.
  • To understand the essential elements of successful flash fiction.
  • To learn how to write to a specific work count.
  • To learn how to write a complete story in very few words.


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