Advanced Flash Essay: Freedom in Structure

Advanced Level // 10-Week Online Course

Advanced Flash Essay: Freedom in Structure

To be added to the waitlist, email

January 11 - March 21

$435 if registered by 12/21/2020
$485 if registered after 12/21/2020

Your course registration includes a FREE 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction or True Story magazine (US residents only), or a free ebook; more details here.

Advanced Courses require prerequisites for enrollment. If you purchase this course, you will be contacted to confirm that you meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • completed an intermediate level course & one additional course (self-guided courses do not apply), or
  • have an MFA in creative nonfiction, or
  • have a strong publishing record.

Refund, discount, and cancellation policies


Instructor: Jenna McGuiggan

Sometimes it can be harder to write short than to write long, but the flash essay presents a fun and potentially immensely rewarding challenge. Paradoxically, the word-count limitations may offer writers a certain kind of liberty. As author Julia Cameron has written, "In limits there is freedom. Creativity thrives within structure."

This class is designed for writers who are familiar with the basics of flash nonfiction and want to go deeper into the form. We'll explore a range of short nonfiction forms, styles, and structures. We'll focus on specific elements of the craft of writing and learn ways to use these elements within the confines of up to 1,500 words.

(Creative Nonfiction's 5-week Flash Essays Class is a recommended, but not mandatory, prerequisite.)

Week 1: Forms of Flash
Week 2: Miniaturized Building Blocks
Week 3: Beginnings, Middles, & Endings
Week 4: Contours of Symbolism
Week 5: Personal-Universal Bridge
Week 6: Structural Possibilities
Week 7: Poetics of Prose
Week 8: Shape Your Voice
Week 9: Hone Your Work (Revision)
Week 10: Home Your Work (Publishing)

See the complete syllabus here »

See schedule of all available classes »


Refund, discount, and cancellation policies

By 5pm EST on the Monday before classes begin (one week prior to start date):

  • Students may request a refund (less a $50 application fee) or request a transfer to another course in the same term (no fee).

By 5pm EST on the Friday at the end of the first week of classes:

  • Students may transfer their enrollment credit to a future course (less a $95 processing fee for 10-week courses or a $75 processing fee for 5-week courses). Transfer credits must be applied within two years from your cancellation date.
  • Students may switch to another class in the same term (subject to availability) for a $25 fee.

No refunds or transfers will be offered after 5 pm on Friday of the first week of classes.

* Learn how to receive a "refer-a-friend" discount.


* US residents will receive a complimentary 1-year subscription to Creative Nonfiction magazine (4 issues) or True Story magazine (12-issues) with their online course registration (or a year extension to their existing subscription). Students outside the US can receive a free copy of the ebook Creating Nonfiction: Lessons from the Voice of the Genre, or can choose to receive a 4-issue print subscription to Creative Nonfiction for the cost of shipping fees. We regret that we are not able to offer complimentary digital subscriptions for international students at this time.

If you are an international student who would like a print subscription, please click here to add the cost of shipping to your order total.