Writing It Short

The Art of Flash Nonfiction

Writing It Short

Powerful stories often come in small packages.

Writing shorter isn't as simple as it might seem. Flash requires precision and restraint and often lends itself to unconventional structure and form. 

Featuring a variety of exercises that will help you appreciate both the constraints and creativity of flash nonfiction, this three-hour workshop is the perfect opportunity to experiment with this increasingly popular form.

During this afternoon workshop participants will:

  • Receive links to pre-workshop readings that will encourage rich discussion and practice on the day of the workshop;
  • Draft three new pieces of flash nonfiction that are ready for revision or submission;
  • Mine materials that are already part of your daily life for writing prompts that remind you to look at the ordinary world with new eyes;
  • Discover new local artists and engage with their work via writing prompts that respond to visual art;
  • Explore the best venues to submit and publish your flash;
  • Share your work with an audience of your peers for quick feedback;
  • Receive feedback and support from the workshop group and up a half a page of written feedback from the instructor.*

Participants are asked to bring a photograph (digital or print) of an important person in their life for one of the writing exercises.

* Additional written feedback from the instructor is available for an additional charge. 

Participants who choose to add a manuscript review (up to 1,000 words) will receive margin notes plus 250-300 words of written commentary from the instructor no later than 1 month after the workshop concludes. Or, so that you can revise your work-in-progress after the workshop, add the manuscript review now and submit your piece for review no later than November 11, 2017, and you'll receive personalized feedback from Sarah within one month.

Saturday, October 14, 2017
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Advance registration strongly recommended. 
The workshop is limited to 20 students.

Location // 5119 Coral Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Free on-street parking is available. Doors open at 12pm; event begins at 1pm. Snacks and coffee will be provided.

Sarah Shotland is the author of the novel Junkette and a playwright whose work has been produced in theaters nationally and internationally. She is a 2017 writing resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute's Equal Justice Initiative, where her residency will be focused on finishing a collection of flash creative nonfiction. She is the Co-Founder and Program Coordinator of Words Without Walls, which brings creative writing classes to jails, prisons, and rehab centers in Pittsburgh. Her work there has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has over 15 years of experience teaching creative writing in and out of academic settings, and currently teaches at Chatham University.

Questions? Please call us at 412-404-2975 or email our events manager, Lauren Boehm, at boehm@creativenonfiction.org