Course Catalog

Keeping It Brief: Writing Flash Fiction

Sudden fiction. Micro fiction. Short shorts. Generally considered anything under 1,000 words, flash fiction is an exciting, innovative art form that takes elements of a short story and compacts them, forging a gem from a lump of coal. Students will study classics of short-form fiction, from writers such as Jean Toomer, Evan S. Connell, and Maggie Nelson. They will learn how to build plot, tension, and structure in a few short words via a mixture of workshops and in-class writing exercises. Expect to produce up to six new pieces.

This class takes place at Ballard Homestead, 6541 Jones Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117

Instructor: Ruth Joffre

Class Type: 6 Sessions

Start Date: 07/08/2015

No Class On: July 22

End Date: 08/19/2015

Days of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$220.50 Member Price:
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$245.00 General Price:

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Ruth Joffre

Ruth Joffre is the author of the story collection Night Beast (forthcoming Grove Atlantic 2018). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, The Masters Review, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Copper Nickel. Her book reviews have been published in The Rumpus, The Millions, Kenyon Review Online, and Colorado Review. She lives in Seattle.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe every piece of literature is an emotional education. A story like Mavis Gallant's "The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street," for instance, requires us not only to understand the inner workings of its characters' psyches but to become the kind of people who are capable of feeling as they feel and thinking as they think. In this way, we learn to feel sympathy for the socially awkward, love for the romantically jilted, and sorrow for the painfully ambitious. When we can't expand our minds this way, our writing and our reading suffers.

Writers I return to: Alice Munro, Annie Proulx, Mavis Gallant, W. G. Sebald, Elizabeth Strout, Maggie Nelson, Anita Brookner, Penelope Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Richard Yates, Elizabeth McCracken, and James Baldwin, to name a few.

Favorite writing advice: Hands down, this piece of advice from Benjamin Percy: "Keep hammering."

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