Flash Fiction Festival

February 19-25

Register Now

Join Literary Cleveland virtually online for our 2023 Flash Fiction Festival in collaboration with the new Norton anthology Flash Fiction America (Feb. 14).

Over the course of seven days you will work with some of the best flash fiction writers and editors in the country to draft new pieces, share your work, and learn where and how to publish.

Presenters include Christopher Allen, Aimee Bender, Venita Blackburn, K-Ming Chang, Desiree Cooper, John Dufresne, Sherrie Flick, Denne Michele Norris, and Meg Pokrass.

Register for individual programs or sign up for the full conference and save. You can also purchase a copy of Flash Fiction America with your conference registration. All programs will take place remotely online via Zoom. Panel discussions will be held in webinar format and will be recorded. Large-group generative workshops will be run in meetings format and will be recorded at the discretion of the instructor. Live captioning will be provided by Zoom and transcripts will be available on request.

A limited number of scholarships are available for Northeast Ohio writers. Please email info@litcleveland.org for more info.

Register by February 17, 2023

BONUS: Free In-Person Workshop at CMA

Saturday, Feb. 18 from 2-3 pm ET

Northeast Ohio writers are invited to join us for a free in-person flash fiction workshop at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) inspired by their exhibition China through the Magnifying Glass: Masterpieces in Miniature and Detail. Participants will learn about the exhibition, review example flash fiction texts, and write their own micro fiction inspired by the Chinese miniatures within the gallery space. You don't have to sign up for the festival to attend this free event.

Virtual Kickoff Panel Discussion

Sunday, Feb. 19 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Festival workshop leaders and flash fiction writers John Dufresne, Desiree Cooper, and Venita Blackburn will discuss craft, the writing process, and the state of flash fiction today.

John Dufresne Virtual Workshop

Where the Stories Are

Monday, Feb. 20 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Stories, like the truth, are out there. Let’s find them. This will be a generative ninety minute workshop for those who write a bit or write a lot but want to write more. I’ll talk about how to write a very short story and we’ll do just that. And what do you do when you get stuck? We’ll discuss plot briefly, and place, and character, revision, and whatever else you’d like to know. We’ll write, we’ll share, we’ll write some more. What to write about, I admit, can be very intimidating when you are beginning to learn the craft, but if you do the exercises this evening, you’ll have generated enough material and characters to keep you happily writing for the long haul and keep you thinking like a writer.

Desiree Cooper Virtual Workshop

Revision in a Flash

Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

The perfect flash piece is not just short—it's intentional. In this workshop, we'll discover the process of revising your draft flash so that every word pulls its weight. Revising flash is not always about cutting. Together we'll explore when to add, when to rethink, and how to polish.

Aimee Bender Virtual Workshop

Flash as Microcosm

Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

In this class, we will play with the flash form as a microcosm of a variety of types of storytelling. Using a range of writing exercises, we will mess with time and more to appreciate the wild flexibility of the form. In this way, flash can be such a great model for the capaciousness of fiction in general.

Venita Blackburn Virtual Workshop

First Lines

Thursday, Feb. 23 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

First lines of flash fiction aren't just a hook. These few words teach the reader how to read the prose that follows, what clues will lead them to a satisfying end and who will be the stars to watch flicker in the universe that follows. This workshop will be about generating first lines that serve both the author and the audience.

Flash Fiction Virtual Open Mic

Friday, Feb. 24 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

Join us to hear writing from your fellow festival participants and share your own new work in progress.

Virtual Editor Roundtable on Publishing

Saturday, Feb. 25 from 11:00 am-12:30 pm ET 

Join the editors of some of the top flash fiction journals in the country to learn what they look for in submissions and how to get your own work published. Editors include Christopher Allen editor of SmokeLong Quarterly, K-Ming Chang editor at The Offing, Sherrie Flick editor of Flash Fiction America, Denne Michele Norris EIC of Electric Literature, and Meg Pokrass founding editor of New Flash Fiction Review and Best Microfiction.

BONUS: Free Flash Fiction America Virtual Reading

Saturday, Feb. 25 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Hear readings from select Flash Fiction America contributors at this free virtual event. More details to come.

Join Literary Cleveland virtually online for our 2023 Flash Fiction Festival in collaboration with the new Norton anthology Flash Fiction America (Feb. 14).

Over the course of seven days you will work with some of the best flash fiction writers and editors in the country to draft new pieces, share your work, and learn where and how to publish.

Presenters include Christopher Allen, Aimee Bender, Venita Blackburn, K-Ming Chang, Desiree Cooper, John Dufresne, Sherrie Flick, Denne Michele Norris, and Meg Pokrass.

Register for individual programs or sign up for the full conference and save. You can also purchase a copy of Flash Fiction America with your conference registration. All programs will take place remotely online via Zoom. Panel discussions will be held in webinar format and will be recorded. Large-group generative workshops will be run in meetings format and will be recorded at the discretion of the instructor. Live captioning will be provided by Zoom and transcripts will be available on request.

A limited number of scholarships are available for Northeast Ohio writers. Please email info@litcleveland.org for more info.

Register by February 17, 2023

BONUS: Free In-Person Workshop at CMA

Saturday, Feb. 18 from 2-3 pm ET

Northeast Ohio writers are invited to join us for a free in-person flash fiction workshop at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) inspired by their exhibition China through the Magnifying Glass: Masterpieces in Miniature and Detail. Participants will learn about the exhibition, review example flash fiction texts, and write their own micro fiction inspired by the Chinese miniatures within the gallery space. You don't have to sign up for the festival to attend this free event.

Virtual Kickoff Panel Discussion

Sunday, Feb. 19 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Festival workshop leaders and flash fiction writers John Dufresne, Desiree Cooper, and Venita Blackburn will discuss craft, the writing process, and the state of flash fiction today.

John Dufresne Virtual Workshop

Where the Stories Are

Monday, Feb. 20 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Stories, like the truth, are out there. Let’s find them. This will be a generative ninety minute workshop for those who write a bit or write a lot but want to write more. I’ll talk about how to write a very short story and we’ll do just that. And what do you do when you get stuck? We’ll discuss plot briefly, and place, and character, revision, and whatever else you’d like to know. We’ll write, we’ll share, we’ll write some more. What to write about, I admit, can be very intimidating when you are beginning to learn the craft, but if you do the exercises this evening, you’ll have generated enough material and characters to keep you happily writing for the long haul and keep you thinking like a writer.

Desiree Cooper Virtual Workshop

Revision in a Flash

Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

The perfect flash piece is not just short—it's intentional. In this workshop, we'll discover the process of revising your draft flash so that every word pulls its weight. Revising flash is not always about cutting. Together we'll explore when to add, when to rethink, and how to polish.

Aimee Bender Virtual Workshop

Flash as Microcosm

Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

In this class, we will play with the flash form as a microcosm of a variety of types of storytelling. Using a range of writing exercises, we will mess with time and more to appreciate the wild flexibility of the form. In this way, flash can be such a great model for the capaciousness of fiction in general.

Venita Blackburn Virtual Workshop

First Lines

Thursday, Feb. 23 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

First lines of flash fiction aren't just a hook. These few words teach the reader how to read the prose that follows, what clues will lead them to a satisfying end and who will be the stars to watch flicker in the universe that follows. This workshop will be about generating first lines that serve both the author and the audience.

Flash Fiction Virtual Open Mic

Friday, Feb. 24 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

Join us to hear writing from your fellow festival participants and share your own new work in progress.

Virtual Editor Roundtable on Publishing

Saturday, Feb. 25 from 11:00 am-12:30 pm ET 

Join the editors of some of the top flash fiction journals in the country to learn what they look for in submissions and how to get your own work published. Editors include Christopher Allen editor of SmokeLong Quarterly, K-Ming Chang editor at The Offing, Sherrie Flick editor of Flash Fiction America, Denne Michele Norris EIC of Electric Literature, and Meg Pokrass founding editor of New Flash Fiction Review and Best Microfiction.

BONUS: Free Flash Fiction America Virtual Reading

Saturday, Feb. 25 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Hear readings from select Flash Fiction America contributors at this free virtual event. More details to come.

This festival takes place virtually online via Zoom

Cleveland, OH

Our Presenters

Christopher Allen

Christopher Allen is the editor-in-chief and publisher of SmokeLong Quarterly and author of the flash fiction collection Other Household Toxins (Matter Press). His work appears in The Best Small Fictions (Sonder Press) and Flash Fiction America (Norton), as well as over one hundred journals and anthologies. He and his husband are nomads but might be sighted occasionally in Munich, Germany.

Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender is the author of six books: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (1998), An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000), Willful Creatures (2005), The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010), The Color Master, a NY Times Notable book for 2013, and her latest novel, The Butterfly Lampshade (2020), was longlisted for the PEN/Jean Stein Award. She lives in Los Angeles with her family, and teaches creative writing at USC.

Venita Blackburn

Works by Venita Blackburn have appeared in newyorker.com, Harper’s, Story, McSweeney’s, Apogee, Split Lip Magazine, the Iowa Review, DIAGRAM, The Paris Review, and others. She received the Prairie Schooner book prize for fiction, which resulted in the publication of her collected stories, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, in 2017. Her most recent collection of stories, How to Wrestle a Girl, was published in the fall of 2021 by MCD books.

K-Ming Chang

K-Ming Chang / 張欣明 is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree. She is the author of the New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice novel BESTIARY (One World/Random House, 2020). Her most recent book is GODS OF WANT (One World/Random House, 2022). Her next books are a novel titled ORGAN MEATS (One World) and a novella titled CECILIA (Coffee House Press).

Desiree Cooper

Desiree Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, former attorney, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist. Her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, is a 2017 Michigan Notable Book that has won numerous awards. Cooper’s flash fiction has appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018, Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction, Electric Literature, River Teeth, The Rumpus, and in the seminal anthology, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion.

John Dufresne

John Dufresne is co-editor of Flash Fiction America and the author of six novels, including Louisiana Power & Light and Love Warps the Mind a Little, (both New York Times Notable Books of the Year). He has two books on writing and creativity: The Lie That Tells a Truth: a Guide to Writing Fiction and Is Life Like This?: a Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months.

Sherrie Flick

Sherrie Flick is co-editor for the anthology Flash Fiction America (W. W. Norton). She served as series editor for The Best Small Fictions 2018, and she is a senior editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. Her story collection Thank Your Lucky Stars (Autumn House Press) is now an audio book.  New work appears in Ploughshares, New England Review, and Pithead Chapel. She is a senior lecturer in the Food Studies and MFA programs at Chatham University.

Denne Michele Norris

Denne Michele Norris is the editor-in-chief of Electric Literature, winner of the 2022 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize. She is the first Black, openly trans woman to helm a major literary publication. A 2021 Out100 Honoree, her writing has been supported by MacDowell, Tin House, and Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction, and appears in McSweeney's, ZORA, and more. Her debut novel, When the Harvest Comes, is forthcoming from Random House.

Meg Pokrass

Meg Pokrass is the author of seven full flash fiction collections, including Spinning to Mars (Blue Light Book Award, 2020) and The House of Grana Padano (co-authored with Jeff Friedman). Meg’s writing has been widely published and internationally anthologized, including in Flash Fiction America (Norton, 2023). Founder and Managing Editor, Best Microfiction and Founding Editor, New Flash Fiction Review.

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