Flash Fiction Course: The Art of the Very Short Story

Scott Onak’s stories have been published in Ninth Letter, Midwest Gothic, SmokeLong Quarterly, Willow Springs, and Mid-American Review. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has received an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award. He holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Idaho and has received writing residencies from the Ragdale Foundation and Vermont Studio Center.

Next course starts on 25th May 2021 – FULL

Price: €150

Duration: five weeks

Course is strictly limited to 5 participants.

In this five-week Flash Fiction Course: The Art of the Very Short Story, you’ll learn the skills required to create these small masterpieces.

We’ll explore how the elements of traditional storytelling like character, conflict, and plot play out in a condensed form. We’ll also sharpen our use of detail and image and borrow some strategies from poetry. Students will read a variety of flash pieces and will create a new story every week. Scott will provide feedback on the weekly assignments.

Writers of any type of fiction are welcome and will benefit from practicing how to make their writing more sharp, concise, and powerful.

Week One: Through the Keyhole

In Week One, we’ll explore how the basic elements of plot, character, conflict, and resolution change in this abbreviated form. How much of each do we need to create a “complete” story for our readers?

Week Two: Characters Inside Out

The second module is about using the power of sensory detail to move our characters (and word count) away from vague description and into concrete action, gesture, and speech.

Week Three: Image

We’ll borrow from poetry and concentrate on the power of image: a picture can be worth a thousand words–or at least a dozen!

Week Four: Reversal

In module four we’ll practice the quick turn, setting up and then reversing our readers’ expectations as an effective way to bring movement and change into a small space.

Week Five: Ambiguity & Ending

When writing flash, we don’t always have room for a well-rounded conclusion. So how much can we leave unsaid about an ending and yet still keep our readers satisfied?

“Thanks so much for the course. It was really very enjoyable and I will very much miss the deadlines each week. It was great to have a focus and to get regular feedback. I love writing but find it hard to get motivated on my own.” Nora H.

To find out more about how the online courses work, or if you have any further queries, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at info@creativewriting.ie

Our cancellation/refund policy may be viewed here.

PAYMENT/REGISTRATION: Please note that we do not require you to fill out a registration form. Instead, please click on the ‘Check Out Securely’ button below. During the payment process you can input your name and email address which we will use to register you on the course. If you’d prefer to use another email address for the course correspondence or if you’re paying on behalf of another student, when you have processed the payment, please send the relevant email address and name for the course correspondence to info@creativewriting.ie. Once you have processed the payment, we will email you within 24 hours to confirm receipt.


BANK TRANSFER/LODGEMENT: if you don’t have a card to pay for the course, you can pay through bank transfer or bank lodgement. Please email us at info@creativewriting.ie for our bank details.

POST: We no longer accept cash, cheque or money order payments by post.