Culturama, a weekend arts festival at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California is all online this year. Organiser and professor at the College, John Brantingham, prolific writer of amazing poetry and flashfiction, who was a runner up in the 2019 Bath Novella in Flash Award, with his novella Inland Empire Afternoon and who, with poet, Grant Hier gave a fantastic workshop at our 2018 Flash Fiction Festival, has asked me to run a workshop. I’m very happy to be running another version of my popular Dreams Into Fiction workshops, on Friday November 20th from 9.00 am – 10.30 am PST, which is 4.00 pm – 5.30 pm GMT. All welcome from around the world and it’s FREE. You just need to register on the site. The arts festival actually runs over three weekends in November and many great workshops are on offer.
My workshop will be a fun and interactive and you’ll come away with three drafts based on your dreams and new ideas to write more.
To get you thinking in advance, why not look at this photograph I took from the garden of my house as if it were an image from a dream you had last night. What’s the story?
My internet connection broke last Saturday 19th just before my workshop So it is now rescheduled for this coming Saturday. And you are welcome to join me for this Equinox-themed flash fiction workshop on Zoom. 3.30 pm – 6.00 pm (London Time). Saturday 26th September. Cost £30 (includes individual written feedback from me on one story created in the workshop, any time afterwards).
Some free places. Suitable for beginner and experienced writers.
The trees are only just beginning to turn but Autumn is in the air. This year, the Equinox is on 22nd September and in my workshop a couple of days before, we’ll:
focus on some rituals and superstitions associated with this time of the year;
look at the balance between light and dark in stories;
write using several different kinds of ‘Equinox ‘prompts to create micros and longer flash fictions;
generate ideas for further writing, including novellas-in-flash
There’ll be large group sessions with input from me and writing time and small ‘break out’ groups, where you can meet other flash fiction writers from around the world and discuss what you’ve been writing and get some initial feedback if you want. It will be fun and friendly and you’ll come away with at least three drafts of new stories plus plenty of ideas. Hope to see you there!
After you book, I’ll send you a Zoom link and something to do to prepare for the workshop. Contact me via this email for more details or if you want to apply for a free place.
Contact me ASAP via the email if you would like to come and I will let you know how to pay. There are still a couple of free places for the cash-strapped writer too.
Join my free workshop for National Flash Fiction Day UK on Zoom from 3.30 pm – 6.00 pm, Saturday June 6th. It’s for up to 50 people. Lots of prompts and ideas to turn your dreams into fictions. I’ve run versions of this workshop before at three Flash Fiction Festivals. There will be new ideas and some old ones. But you are sure to produce at least four new drafts from your one dream. All you need is to do is to bring a tiny dream or dream fragment and be prepared to play. There’ll be small groups in between the large groups sessions, for you to share some of your drafts (only if you want) and chat with flashy friends or make new ones.
The beautiful dream-like photograph here was taken in Arizona last year by photographer Royston Hunt who is selling this picture and many other landscape shots as greeting cards or notelets from his website. Do have a look, they are all amazing pictures. If you haven’t got a dream ready to bring, you can also use this picture in the workshop for inspiration, as if were your dream.
Contact me on this email by Thursday 4th June if you want to come and I will send you a Zoom link.
It’s the fifth day of my posts colour-co-ordinating outfits to my old note books and offering prompts. This series is going to be happening all month, so there are plenty of ideas to choose from. Do remember that if you write a story inspired by any of the daily prompts and that story is published, at any time, I will send you a free entry to Bath Flash Fiction Award (for another story).
Today I am holding a notebook I used when I was about eleven years old in the early 1960s. In it, on one page,I have listed the pocket money I would have saved,from October to December and the Christmas presents I was going to buy for my friends. All bubble baths at one shilling and nine pence each.
Your writing challenge is to write a story about pocket money, losing it, saving it, not having enough for a longed-for item. Or maybe not even childhood memory-based stories. Maybe the money you find in your pocket and how you don’t want to use cash anymore.
Include word(s) from the list and item(s)from the table. Go for about five hundred words. Time yourself for a fast write. Twenty minutes.
Day 4 of my series of pictures of me colour-cordinating clothes with my stash of old notebooks and throwing in a daily prompt. A good distraction for me. And hopefully, you might feel inclined to write a flash.
To remind you, I am running this series of prompts all May leading up to a big birthday at the end of the month. There will be occasional extra fun things where you can win prizes. And continuing every day, I am offering a free entry to Bath Flash Fiction Award for a different flash fiction (£1460 prize fund), to anyone who writes a story to the daily prompt and gets it published. Many places are open for submission either now or regularly and I will shortly make a list to go on another page.
Today, I have a notebook patterned with dragon flies.They don’t sting, but the writing challenge is to write a flashfiction based on a time when you were stung by an insect. Use the memory details and go off piste by choosing a word or words from the list and an item or items on the table. Let me know how you get on
And for more flashy fun, my new Zoom group taking place on Tuesday mornings 10.30 am to 12.30 pm still has some places. The first meeting tomorrow is free. More prompts, feedback, focus and fun.
Contact me ASAP if you are interested.
It’s Day 3 of my Notebook writes series. Because May is my birthday month I am offering daily prompts and colour coordinating with outfits. I found a shiny red notebook in my unfinished notebook stash and it was fun matching it to some of red clothes I’ve had for years with a touch of black thrown in.
Today is International Dawn Chorus Day and I went out at 5.00 am down the lanes to catch the first songs. Several blackbirds at full warble, always perched on the apex of roofs. Lots of other birds and many songs I didn’t recognise.
The prompt today is to write a story based on a time when you were up at dawn, maybe recently, maybe a long time ago. Include a word or words from the list and one or more items from the table. I’ve placed ‘The Roster’, by Debra A Daniel, the novella in flash highly commended in the 2019 Bath Flash Fiction Novella in Flash Award, on the table as it has a nice splash of red on the colour. And it is a very good book. You can read more about this in the interview with Debra on the Bath Flash Fiction Award website. And there’s some lovely songs her husband wrote, inspired by the book linked there too.
Remember that if you write a story inspired by this prompt or any of the others already posted, and get it published at any time, let me know and I will give you a free entry to Bath Flash Fiction Award (for another story).
As an added bonus for the rest of the day (I am posting this in the afternoon) here’s another challenge. I’ll give a free Ad Hoc Fiction anthology to the person who guesses the number of marbles in the yellow vase ( to the nearest amount).
I am running my trial Zoom writing class on Tuesday 5th May from 10.30 am to 12.00 pm. If you haven’t yet got Zoom fatigue, do have a go. It is suitable for beginners and experienced writers. During the class I’ll offer more prompts and feedback and we have Alison Woodhouse dropping in to talk about writing a winning drabble (100 word story). Contact me on my email asap.
It’s the second day of my Notebook writing prompts series where I colour co-ordinate an outfit to match one of my stash of unfinished notebooks. A purple/mustard combo here with my banana paper journal.
Why not dig out one of your notebooks and write some flashfiction in longhand? Today’s challenge is to write a 100 word micro, using my prompt, for the National Flash Fiction Day New Zealand Micromadness contest, which ends on May 15th.There are two contests actually. One is for ‘Lockdown’ micros, the other is on any theme. It’s free, so give it a go. Include one word or more from the list pictured and also include an item on the table. National Flash Fiction Day New Zealand publishes a story a day from the beginning of June up until June 22nd. If you get a micro published using this prompt, let me know, and I will send you a free entry (for another story) for Bath Flash Fiction Award
The notebook I am featuring today is made from banana fibre. I have hardly written in it but the paper is lovely and smooth, just right for longhand in fountain pen ink. It’s fun trying to match outfits to books of any kind, because it makes you consider different colour combinations you wouldn’t normally wear. I really like the mustard and purple mix.
I am running a trial Zoom session on Tuesday 5th May 10.30 am – 12.30 pm following the structure of the classes I have run face-to-face in Bath. Flash fiction prompts for in-class writing, feedback on stories from a couple of participants submitted in advance, a focus. Next week that will be on very short flashes. What works. Alison Woodhouse who won National Flash Fiction Day UK, micro competition in 2019 was commended this year and has been successful in several other contests since, is popping in for a guest spot to talk about writing to a very short word length. It’s all fun. Contact me asap if you want to join.
As a distraction during the last weeks, I have been having fun colour coordinating outfits to flash fiction books published by Ad Hoc Fiction,the small press I direct, which focuses entirely on publishing short fiction. Check out the gallery of pictures I posted on the Bath Flash Fiction Site of Series One: The Older Writer/publisher Dressing Up To Go Nowhere
Series Three, which I have just begun today, will continue all May, and I will colour coordinate outfits to some of my large stash of unfinished notebooks. I will also offer a daily prompt. I know others like me who are enticed by the lure of a new notebook but never fill up the pages. Today’s notebook is one I bought in 1995 to record dreams. Plenty of blank pages in that one and some interesting dreams, many still on the same themes as today!
As it is May 1st, a day steeped in ritual and tradition, the prompt is to write a flash fiction story based on a superstition. Include some or all of the words on the list pictured below and any of the items on the table. If you are interested in taking up this writing challenge and you complete the story and get it published, I will send you a free entry (for a different story) for any round of the Bath Flash Fiction Award. Just send me the link to the story or your email with the offer of publication. It could be from any online or print magazine, or a flash fiction competition. For anyone wanting more prompts and story feedback, I am shortly beginning a two-hour Zoom class following the structure of the popular face-to-face classes I ran in Bath before lockdown began. Two writing prompts and in-class fast writes. Feedback by the group on two or three first drafts of flashes submitted in advance. A story example to study. Fun. We’ll have a trial go at this, and then subsequently it will be £15 a session. Maximum ten people. Contact me via my email asap if you are interested.
I’m hosting hosting a celebratory evening of flash fiction readings on 28th September from 7.30-10.00 pm at St James Wine Vaults, Bath where we will be launching ‘All That Is Between Us’ the stunning new collection of Flash Fiction by Bristol based author and writing tutor Ken Elkes.
I’ll be reading here too, along with Flash Fiction Festival team members, presenters and volunteers Diane Simmons, Santino Prinzi, Alison Woodhouse, John Wheway, Grace Palmer and Carrie Etter who are all widely published flash fiction writers. Free entry, free glass of wine, nibbles, late bar, Ken’s book and other books published by Ad Hoc Fiction for sale with cash or card. Do come! There’ll be a great variety of flash fictions to listen to and you never know, you might just get hooked!