Fall Workshops Opening August 1

Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel (and Launch Your Big Idea)

August 22-Sept 2 (10 days, online asynchronous)

Early Access Registration opens August 1

Do you have a Big Story Idea brewing, but you don’t know where to begin? Is it a flash novel? Novella? Collection? A regular novel or memoir or a million other things? Sometimes not knowing can stop us from getting started. Sometimes the scope of it feels overwhelming. 

Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel is my signature course designed to help you launch your Big Idea. For 10 days we will envision, draft, collage and create the momentum for that large-scale idea you’ve been wanting to tackle. We’ll begin breaking it apart and making friends with the scope of it, and in that process of discovery you will find momentum, insight, excitement, and sometimes a total pivot–that’s okay! For 10 days we’ll get out of our own way–10 days and a flurry of words and ideas and encouragement and camaraderie–and when it’s over you will have the bones (at least) of a longer project and a much better idea of where to go next.

Whether your book is fiction or creative nonfiction, if you are drawing on the skills of flash forms–from collections to novellas in flash to flash novels–then this class will help you launch your idea into the world. Many, many flash novels and other books have been conceived, executed, and written from the seeds of this class. Maybe yours?

*Participants should have a basic understanding of flash fiction. Come with your big story idea and be prepared to shake up what you thought you knew. (This course may be taken multiple times. It is also the prerequisite/jumping off point for the Flash Novel Mastermind, a private, guided, 12-week community incubator to write yourself to the finish line of the first draft–see description below)

Full payment of $250 is required upon registration. This holds your spot, as workshops fill quickly.


Beautiful Flash Fiction II: Pop Lit and Flash Fusion (NEW)

September 5-9, 2022 (5 days, online asynchronous)

Early Access Registration opens August 1

The world is a constant and incredible source of inspiration–IF we are paying attention. In this brand new workshop we will engage with unexplored or under explored avenues of potential inspiration including pop culture, science, math, music, trends, politics, fashion and more to discover unusual angles and back doors into new ideas. We will continue previous conversations on what makes something beautiful, actively blur the distinctions between low brow and high brow art, and elevate the mundane to the miraculous. As always, come with an open mind and expect to play.

Taking a deeper dive into the concepts from Going Short, we will try a variety of approaches to the compressed narrative and you will generate your own original flash pieces. 

*This course is open to writers with all levels of experience in the form, whether you are brand new to flash fiction, a writer coming from other genres, or a veteran flasher looking for a dose of inspiration and some writing camaraderie.

You do NOT need to have taken Beautiful Flash Fiction I to participate.

Full payment of $175 is required upon registration. This holds your spot, as workshops fill quickly.


Flash Novel Mastermind: A 12-Week Guided Community Incubator

September 12-December 2

To embark on the journey of a book is to lose sight of the shore, to surrender to the story and the muse. Now imagine boarding that ship out to sea with like-minded others, colleagues on their own creative adventures but together, in community, with expert guidance and encouragement.

The Flash Novel Mastermind is a private, guided, 12-week community incubator for flash novelists and flash novels in process…a space of content, coaching, and camaraderie where we build on the momentum from Flash Flood while also finding a rhythm that will sustain us over the long haul of actually writing a book to completion.  

Whether your book is fiction or creative nonfiction, if you are drawing on the skills of flash forms–from collections to novellas in flash to flash novels–then this is the community and support you need to write yourself to the finish line of the all-important first draft–that solid and complete lump of clay that lets you discover, finally, what this story has been trying to say.

*The Flash Novel Mastermind is only open to those who have already taken Flash Flood

Waiting list opens August 1. Registration and full details available August 25

Are you creatively burned out? 5 (free) days to get your creativity back on track!

Is this you?

Creative Burnout is real, my friend. And unlike regular burnout, we can’t just “push through” and suck it up. Creative work draws from a different well, and when that’s dry…well, no wonder you’re having a hard time writing.

If you’ve worked with me, you know I’m as passionate about supporting the creative process as I am the finished product: whether that’s the day-to-day of writing, the specifics of finishing a book, or the daily challenge of being a visionary person in a hustle world. And yes: I want to help writers become better at their craft…but I also know we can’t plant seeds in depleted soil.

How do you know if you might be creativity burned out? Here are some possible clues:

Possible Signs of (or Contributors to) Creative Burnout
(no judgment but be honest!)

  • You’ve just finished a big creative project (a book, manuscript, etc.)
  • You find yourself down “research rabbit holes” during writing time
  • You’ve just finished a big life project (a move, remodeling, etc)
  • You’re having a hard time finding something to read that excites you
  • You’ve signed up for a workshop you didn’t finish or didn’t even start (my hand raised on this one!)
  • You’ve recently had a big life change (new baby, illness in the family, etc.)
  • Your old writing habits aren’t working anymore
  • You need more sugar/caffeine than usual to write
  • Everything you’re writing feels/sounds like everything else you’ve written–you feel stuck in a creative loop
  • You’ve had increased feelings of creative jealousy (everyone else is doing it better)
  • OR You’ve had an increased desire to isolate (I’m leaving social media, etc.)
  • You’ve stopped doing things you know are good for you (i.e. journaling, walking) and you can’t seem to get back in the rhythm.
  • You find yourself tired when it’s time to write
  • You’ve been feeling more defensive than usual about your work (not taking rejections/feedback well)
  • You can’t remember the last time you took yourself on an artist date
  • You forget to eat OR eat mindlessly throughout the day
  • You’ve had trouble sleeping–either falling asleep or waking up often
  • You are easily distracted from your creative work
  • You need external motivation or the writing doesn’t happen
  • You don’t have many other creative people in your (real) life who “get” you
  • All your writing has started to sound the same–no sparkle/new ideas.
  • You don’t have the time or mental space to go “deep”–you stay on the surface of your ideas
  • You don’t have a regular writing routine OR your regular writing routine is no longer working
  • You feel estranged from your work

Spoiler alert: The hustle is killing your creativity


(Now if this list does not speak to you–fantastic! Keep kicking butt, my friend!)

BUT…if any of these sound familiar, and you want to reverse or even avoid some of the pitfalls that might land you in Burnout Land–then I’m inviting you to join me for a brand new FREE 5-Day Reversing Creative Burnout Challenge:

From Burnout to Breakthrough: 5 Days to Get (or Keep) Your Creativity on Track: April 4-8, 2022

Five days of small but powerful action steps to overcome creative burnout PLUS a 90-minute live virtual retreat with me to end the week.

How it works:

Once you register, I’ll send you one email each day (beginning Monday, April 4th) examining each of the 5 areas of creative burnout: how it happens, how to avoid it, as well as small, actionable steps you can take today to move the needle even 10%.

Then we will gather for a 90-minute live virtual retreat on Friday, April 8 at 11 am MST. Bring your notebook and your beverage of choice and give yourself the gift of a mini-deep dive with other creatives.

This 5-Day Reversing Creative Burnout Challenge is FREE–including the mini virtual retreat–but you must register. Replays will be available for a limited time for those who sign up.

REGISTER HERE and I’ll see you next week!

xoxo

Nancy

P.S. Don’t forget to register!

Great Flash Fiction Festival Throwdown February 26th

Friends!

For a number of (good) reasons, I will not be teaching any online workshops until the late summer/early fall (more on that soon). So I wanted to make doubly sure you knew about this wonderful opportunity to work with not only me but an entire program of flash fiction greatness THIS SATURDAY via Zoom.

I will be ending out the program and teaching one of my favorite types of writing: The Strange, the Surreal, and the Absurd

Details and links to register are below. Note that all the times are London/UK time!~

more soon! xo Nancy


Online programme February 26

On the programme below, all the information to let you know what’s happening each month – 11.00 am – 6.30 pm GMT

You can book here.£30 for the whole day

  • A ‘Throw Down’ writing challenge set and judged by different judges.
  • one or one and a half hour workshops on different aspects of flash fiction;
  • at least two half hour mini workshops or talks on different aspects of flash fiction;
  • three fifteen minute readers’ slots;
  • yoga stretches for writers;
  • small break out groups to chat to writer friends from around the world.

Read more about the workshops on these two days here.

Note: If you can’t attend the whole day, events are recorded and videos are sent to participants after the day is completed.

Session and Workshop Descriptions

Nancy Stohlman

The Strange and Surreal: Opening the Back Door into Our Big Truths with Nancy Stohlman, February 26th 5.00 pm – 6.30 pm

While realism in fiction has its place, some truths can be clumsy when faced head on. When you cannot take the front door into your material because it’s too raw, painful, blunt or overdone—then you must find the back door, a less obvious way into the story where The Big Truth can be revealed. The strange and surreal can create faster pathways to emotional resonance by keeping the audience off guard, unprepared, and more receptive. Come prepared to get weird!

Nancy Stohlman has been writing, publishing, and teaching flash fiction for more than a decade, and her latest book, Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2020) is her treatise on the form. Her other books include The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, The Monster Opera, and Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, a finalist for a 2019 Colorado Book Award. Her work has been anthologized widely, appearing in the W.W. Norton New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, Macmillan’s The Practice of Fiction, and The Best Small Fictions 2019, as well as adapted for the stage. She teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder and around the world.

Hermit Crab Hangouts, February and March half hours

‘Hermit crab’stories take different forms of writing, anything from recipes to flat pack instructions, to parking tickets to wild-life guide books, Q & A’s. It’s endless.She will introduce a different hermit-crab form each month with examples and get you to try out hermit-crab flash during the session.

Jude Higgins

Jude Higgins devised and programmed this and the previous online Flash Festival six month seroes as Director of Flash Fiction Festivals UK. She founded Bath Flash Fiction Award in 2015 and is Director of Ad Hoc Fiction, the short short fiction press. She runs a popular weekly online class to write and get feedback on flash fiction and this summer ran her first series of Hermitcrab Hangouts online. She has stories published or forthcoming in the New Flash Fiction Review, Flash Frontier, FlashBack Fiction, The Blue Fifth Review, The Nottingham Review, Pidgeon Holes, Storgy, Inktears,The MoonPark Review, Fictive Dream, the Fish Prize Anthology, National Flash Fiction Day anthologies and Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine among other places. She has won or been placed in many flash fiction contests and was shortlisted in the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize in 2017 and 2018. Her debut flash fiction pamphlet The Chemist’s House was published by V.Press in 2017. She has been nominated for Best Small Fictions 2020 and for Pushcart Prizes and will be included in Best Microfictions 2022 has had stories included in BIFFY50 in 2019 and 2020.

Susmita Bhattacharya

Hour long Workshop For Young People wih Susmita Bhattacharya

A workshops happening in parallel with the events for adults with a special prize.

Susmita Bhattacharya is an Indian-born British writer. Her novel, The Normal State of Mind, was published in 2015 by Parthian (UK) and Bee Books (India) in 2016 and was long listed for the Words to Screen Prize, Mumbai Association of Moving Images (MAMI) Film Festival in 2018. Her collection of short stories, Table Manners, was published by Dahlia Publishing in 2018 and won The Dorset Award in 2019.She teaches contemporary fiction at Winchester University and also facilitates the Mayflower Young Writers workshops, a SO:Write project based in Southampton. She lives in Winchester.


Farhana Shaikh

Small Good Things. The joy of small press publishing: half an hour talk with Farhana Shaikh on February 26th.

In this 30 half-hour talk, founder of Dahlia Books, Farhana Shaikh will discuss independent publishing, building writing communities and what she’s learnt about her own writing from her publishing adventures.

Farhana Shaikh is a writer and publisher born in Leicester. She is the founding editor of The Asian Writer. In 2010 she established Dahlia Publishing to publish regional and diverse writing and the Leicester Writes Festival to celebrate local writing talent.
She was part of Curve Theatre’s Cultural Leadership Programme 17/18. In 2017 she won the Penguin/Travelex Next Great Travel Writer competition and has since been longlisted for the Thresholds International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition and Spread the Word Life Writing Prize. Her short play Risk was developed through the Kali Discovery programme. She is the author of From Imposter to Impact: Arts Leadership in the 21st Century.

Meg Pokrass

Writing Collaborative Fiction a half hour talk with Meg Pokrass and Jeff Friedmann, February 26th

Have you ever thought about writing stories with another writer? Meg and Jeff have a collection coming out with Pelekensis Press in March 2022 and will tell you about the process of writing together.
Meg Pokrass, is the author of seven flash fiction collections, two novellas-in-flash, and an award-winning book of prose poetry. A recipient of San Francisco’s Blue Light Book Award, her work has been internationally anthologized in two recent Norton Anthologies, Best Small Fictions 2018, 2019, Wigleaf Top 50 (multiple times) and has been published in over 500 literary magazines including Electric Literature, Craft, Tin House, Passages North, Wigleaf and McSweeney’s. Meg serves as Flash Challenge Judge for Mslexia, Co-Editor of Best Microfiction, 2020, Co-Founder Flash Fiction Collective Reading Series (SF), & Founding/Managing Editor of New Flash Fiction Review and a festival curator for Flash Fiction Festivals, UK.


Jeff Friedmann’s eighth book, The Marksman, was published in November 2020 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. He has received numerous awards and prizes for his poetry, mini tales, and translations, including a National Endowment Literature Translation Fellowship in 2016 and two individual Artist Grants from New Hampshire Arts Council. Two of his micro stories were recently selected for the The Best Microfiction 2021. Meg Pokrass and he have co-written a collection of fabulist microfiction that will be published by Pelekinesis Press in March 2022.

Fifteen minutes of Yoga stretches for writers with writer and yoga teacher Sudha Balagopal. Both February and March.

Sudha Balagopal

Each of the five months, Sudha will introduce stretches to rejuvenate and refresh writers sitting in front of a computer screen on our long festival days. Something really useful to take and practice at home as well as writing prompts and ideas.

Sudha Balagopal’s fiction straddles continents and cultures, blending thoughts and ideas from the east and the west. She is the author of a novel, A Dawn, and two short story collections, There are Seven Notes and Missing and Other Stories.Her short fiction has been published in journals around the world, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions. Her novella in flash, Things I Can’t Tell Amma was highly commended in the 2021 Bath Flash Fiction Award and published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2021. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching yoga.

College, runs the yearly Culturama Workshops in the Arts month and lives in the Inland Empire.

One Sentence Stories with Matt Kendrick

Matt Kendrick

There are many flash fiction pieces written in the form of a single, looping sentence, rippling through their narrative without a solitary full stop. These one-sentence stories are often described as breathless. They can feel effortless, as if they have arrived on the page by magic; but there is often a clever architecture holding everything in place. In this mini workshop, we’ll look at some brilliant examples, considering the why, the where, the what and the how of this wonderful – but also wonderfully tricksy – narrative form.

Matt Kendrick is a writer, editor and creative writing teacher based in the East Midlands, UK. His short fiction has appeared in Bending Genres, Cheap Pop, Craft Literary, FlashBack Fiction, Fictive Dream, Lunate, Spelk, Splonk, Storgy, and elsewhere. He has been listed in various writing competitions including Bath, Flash 500, Reflex and Leicester Writes, and he won the Retreat West “Abandoned” flash fiction competition in June 2020. His stories have been featured in the Biffy 50 list for 2019-20 and Best Microfiction 2021. He has also been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize.

There are many flash fiction pieces written in the form of a single, looping sentence, rippling through their narrative without a solitary full stop. These one-sentence stories are often described as breathless. They can feel effortless, as if they have arrived on the page by magic; but there is often a clever architecture holding everything in place. In this mini workshop, we’ll look at some brilliant examples, considering the why, the where, the what and the how of this wonderful – but also wonderfully tricksy – narrative form.

Matt Kendrick is a writer, editor and creative writing teacher based in the East Midlands, UK. His short fiction has appeared in Bending Genres, Cheap Pop, Craft Literary, FlashBack Fiction, Fictive Dream, Lunate, Spelk, Splonk, Storgy, and elsewhere. He has been listed in various writing competitions including Bath, Flash 500, Reflex and Leicester Writes, and he won the Retreat West “Abandoned” flash fiction competition in June 2020. His stories have been featured in the Biffy 50 list for 2019-20 and Best Microfiction 2021. He has also been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize.

LAST CHANCE! Flash Novel workshops for 2022

Ready to write this winter?

Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel

January 17-28, 2022 (SOLD OUT)

February 21-March 4, 2022

$249 Registration Fee

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Do you have a large, book-length idea that you’ve been wanting to bring to fruition? Do you want to start 2022 with your flash novel in progress? Do you love the intensity of FlashNano or NaNoWrimo? Then get ready: In 10 days we will create a literal “flash flood” and you will leave the workshop with the bones (at least) of a flash novel.

What’s a flash novel? With the scope and complexity of a novel, and the size and ingenuity of flash fiction, the flash novel is a new type of book, a breakout genre that can deliver a sophisticated reading experience in a compact space. In this online workshop will envision, draft, collage and create the momentum for that large-scale idea you have been wanting to tackle.

Participants should come with a basic understanding of flash fiction and have ideas for a book-length project.

NOTE: This class (taken either now or previously) is the jumping off point for the Flash Novel Mastermind, running again this spring. 

_____________________________________________

Going Short: Writing Beautiful Flash Fiction 

January 10-14, 2022 SOLD OUT

February 14-18, 2022 (SOLD OUT)

This 5-day generative class will take a deeper dive into the concepts from Going Short to examine the fundamentals of flash, try a variety of approaches to the compressed narrative, discuss what makes successful flash, and generate your own original flash pieces.

This course is open to writers with all levels of experience in the form, whether you are brand new to flash fiction, a writer coming from other genres, or a veteran flasher looking for a dose of inspiration and some writing camaraderie.

Questions? Feel free to contact me at nancystohlman@gmail.com