(Above, Amber Wheeler Bacon with Mario)
Writers from Grant Faulkner to Molly Giles have described flash fiction with metaphors ranging from a coyote appearing in your yard at night, making the world a little more feral, more dangerous, to a firefly flickering on a summer’s night, captivating and fleeting. They’re called flash, microfiction, short shorts. They’re the love child between a short story and a poem. Etgar Keret says they’re like Kool-aid, a partial story that only becomes real once it mixes with a reader. I’ll stop there. You get the point: flash fictions are things of beauty—short, maybe, but powerful, otherworldly even.
In this class, we’ll study some of the best flash fictions around, from Amy Hempel to Venita Blackburn. We’ll write one to two flash fiction pieces each week and share our work for feedback in small groups. There will be optional homework and extra prompts for each week. The point of this class is to GENERATE, to have fun, to learn something new about stories and ourselves, but mostly to create new work. Currently, I’m working on a large project and I’ve found small flash prompts, both fiction and nonfiction, to be rejuvenating, reminding me of the joys in small work, the pleasures in a good line, or even one word that can turn a whole story on its head.
Whether you’re stuck in the middle of a big project or just want to practice writing in this form, join me!
AT THE END OF THE SERIES, EACH ATTENDEE MAY PUBLISH THEIR BEST FLASH STORY IN A SPECIAL ISSUE OF THE PETIGRU REVIEW CALLED TPR: THE FLASH ISSUE.
It’s a busy time. While these classes do build on one another, it’s also possible to attend only one, two or three, skipping those that fall on inconvenient nights. The sessions WILL be recorded for those who miss a paid-for class. It’s summertime. Let’s write some fireflies.
Amber Wheeler Bacon Biography:
Amber Wheeler Bacon is a writer and teacher whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Ecotone, Epiphany, Five Points, New Ohio Review, Post Road, Prairie Schooner and Witness. You can find her writing online at Ploughshares, CRAFT, Fiction Writer’s Review and New South. She is the recipient of the 2018 Breakout Writers Prize sponsored by The Author’s Guild and a 2021 scholarship from Bread Loaf Environmental. In 2020, her story collection was a finalist for Hub City Press’s C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize and Moon City Press’s Short Fiction Award. She received the 2022 Lit/South Award for flash fiction and is currently a finalist for the 2023 Chautauqua Janus Prize for prose, nominated by Ecotone Magazine.
Amber has an MFA from Bennington College, teaches English at Coastal Carolina University and is represented by Amy Bishop at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. She’s been a staff reader for Ploughshares, a fiction editor at Four Way Review, Managing Editor for South Carolina Writers Association publications and a daily editor at the Southern Review of Books. She lives by the beach in South Carolina.