Writing Flash Essays
If you’ve worked in the brief or “flash” essay form, you may have heard it before: an excerpt is not an essay. Extracting your best 750 or 1,000 words from a book-length project or longer essay almost never works. So, what makes for a focused, shapely piece of flash nonfiction? How can you craft bite-sized true stories that nonetheless feel expansive, with memorable characters, complicated stakes, surprise insights and satisfying endings that aren’t too neat?
In this 3-hour seminar, we’ll examine the mechanics of several published flash essays – with special focus on beginnings and reflective turns – taking them apart to see how they work. We’ll also do generative exercises, so you can apply what we learn to your own material. You’ll leave with nuts-and-bolts advice for shaping flash essays that start quickly and run deep.
This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.
GrubStreet's space will be mask optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in-person.
Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.
For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
Previous Students Say
- "Supportive Environment"
- "Great for Newbies"
- "Inspired Me to Write More"
- Generate New Work
- Study Published Writing
- Craft Lessons
- In-Class Writing
- Class Discussion
- Personal Essay