Flash Nonfiction Festival

November 14-20

Register Now

Join Literary Cleveland and Brevity virtually online for our first ever November Flash Nonfiction Festival. Over the course of seven days you will work with some of the best flash nonfiction writers and editors in the country to draft new pieces, advance your craft, share your work, and learn where and how to publish.

Register for individual programs or sign up for the full conference and save. 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 not be recorded. Registration deadline: November 12.

Kickoff Panel Discussion

Sunday, Nov. 14 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Flash nonfiction writers and festival workshop leaders Krys Malcolm Belc, Venita Blackburn, Zoë Bossiere, Daisy Hernández, and Elena Passarello will discuss craft, the writing process, and the state of flash nonfiction today.

Venita Blackburn Workshop

Time in Flash

Monday, Nov. 15 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Flash is in many ways an entry point to story-telling because it encourages the kind of precision and thematic understanding that all compelling stories must have. The form wastes no time immersing readers in all the elements of narrative with a special emphasis on time. Flash can span a few seconds, generations or even millennia. This workshop will emphasize development of stories with a focus on making great and small leaps through time in very short spaces.  

Zoë Bossiere Workshop

Crafting Who, What, and Where: The Art of Scene and Characterization in Flash Nonfiction

Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

The ability to create true-to-life scenes with characters that come alive on the page is a crucial skill for any essayist. But how does a writer find the space to render detailed scenes and rich characterization in a flash essay, where every word counts? Join Zoë Bossiere, managing editor of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction and co-editor of its new anthology, The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction (Rose Metal Press, 2020) for a crash course in how to build compelling scenes from the ground up! This 90-minute interactive workshop session will include an analysis of successful scenework in a variety of published flash essays, helpful approaches to crafting lively scenes from your life experiences, generative prompts with dedicated in-class writing time, and opportunities to share your written work with other writers

Krys Malcolm Belc Workshop

Compression: The Single-Paragraph Essay

Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

In this generative class, we will study and practice the craft of the one-paragraph flash essay. These compressed essays thread ideas in an unstoppable cadence to pull the reader through. This makes them exciting to read and to write. Together, we will examine two very different examples of this essay form, looking at how the authors use space and unrelenting forward movement to create a voice-driven and wide-ranging paragraph. Then, we will apply those principles to a generative writing exercise meant to jump-start a “mega paragraph” of your own!

Elena Passarello Workshop

Flash in Fragments: A Generative Workshop

Thursday, Nov. 18 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

As if the flash genre wasn’t short enough many evocative flash pieces go smaller. Writers like Christine Byl, Todd Kaneko, and David Wade chop their word counts into even smaller chunks, collaging together a series of ultra-brief fragments that vibe with one another in resonant, telling ways. But what makes a successful flash fragment? What does it need to do in order to feel fully realized? And how might arrangement and framing allow the fragments to best speak to one another in the tight space that a flash prose piece allows? This lively workshop will address all these questions, as well as get the participants started on crafting a fragmented flash essay of their own.

Flash Nonfiction Open Mic

Friday, Nov. 19 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

Join Literary Cleveland and Brevity to hear writing from your fellow festival participants and to share your own new work.

Editor Roundtable on Publishing

Saturday, Nov. 20 from 11:00am-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 Dinty Moore and Zoë Bossiere of Brevity, Ira Sukrungruang of Sweet: A Literary Confection, and Nicole Walker of DIAGRAM.

Image by Cleveland artist Kate Snow.

Join Literary Cleveland and Brevity virtually online for our first ever November Flash Nonfiction Festival. Over the course of seven days you will work with some of the best flash nonfiction writers and editors in the country to draft new pieces, advance your craft, share your work, and learn where and how to publish.

Register for individual programs or sign up for the full conference and save. 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 not be recorded. Registration deadline: November 12.

Kickoff Panel Discussion

Sunday, Nov. 14 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Flash nonfiction writers and festival workshop leaders Krys Malcolm Belc, Venita Blackburn, Zoë Bossiere, Daisy Hernández, and Elena Passarello will discuss craft, the writing process, and the state of flash nonfiction today.

Venita Blackburn Workshop

Time in Flash

Monday, Nov. 15 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

Flash is in many ways an entry point to story-telling because it encourages the kind of precision and thematic understanding that all compelling stories must have. The form wastes no time immersing readers in all the elements of narrative with a special emphasis on time. Flash can span a few seconds, generations or even millennia. This workshop will emphasize development of stories with a focus on making great and small leaps through time in very short spaces.  

Zoë Bossiere Workshop

Crafting Who, What, and Where: The Art of Scene and Characterization in Flash Nonfiction

Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET

The ability to create true-to-life scenes with characters that come alive on the page is a crucial skill for any essayist. But how does a writer find the space to render detailed scenes and rich characterization in a flash essay, where every word counts? Join Zoë Bossiere, managing editor of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction and co-editor of its new anthology, The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction (Rose Metal Press, 2020) for a crash course in how to build compelling scenes from the ground up! This 90-minute interactive workshop session will include an analysis of successful scenework in a variety of published flash essays, helpful approaches to crafting lively scenes from your life experiences, generative prompts with dedicated in-class writing time, and opportunities to share your written work with other writers

Krys Malcolm Belc Workshop

Compression: The Single-Paragraph Essay

Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

In this generative class, we will study and practice the craft of the one-paragraph flash essay. These compressed essays thread ideas in an unstoppable cadence to pull the reader through. This makes them exciting to read and to write. Together, we will examine two very different examples of this essay form, looking at how the authors use space and unrelenting forward movement to create a voice-driven and wide-ranging paragraph. Then, we will apply those principles to a generative writing exercise meant to jump-start a “mega paragraph” of your own!

Elena Passarello Workshop

Flash in Fragments: A Generative Workshop

Thursday, Nov. 18 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

As if the flash genre wasn’t short enough many evocative flash pieces go smaller. Writers like Christine Byl, Todd Kaneko, and David Wade chop their word counts into even smaller chunks, collaging together a series of ultra-brief fragments that vibe with one another in resonant, telling ways. But what makes a successful flash fragment? What does it need to do in order to feel fully realized? And how might arrangement and framing allow the fragments to best speak to one another in the tight space that a flash prose piece allows? This lively workshop will address all these questions, as well as get the participants started on crafting a fragmented flash essay of their own.

Flash Nonfiction Open Mic

Friday, Nov. 19 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET 

Join Literary Cleveland and Brevity to hear writing from your fellow festival participants and to share your own new work.

Editor Roundtable on Publishing

Saturday, Nov. 20 from 11:00am-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 Dinty Moore and Zoë Bossiere of Brevity, Ira Sukrungruang of Sweet: A Literary Confection, and Nicole Walker of DIAGRAM.

Image by Cleveland artist Kate Snow.

This festival takes place remotely online via Zoom

Based in Cleveland, OH 44113

Our Instructors

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.

Krys Malcolm Belc

Krys Malcolm Belc is the author of the flash nonfiction chapbook In Transit (The Cupboard Pamphlet) and the memoir The Natural Mother of the Child (Counterpoint). His work has appeared in Granta, Black Warrior Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere and has been anthologized in Best of the Net 2018 and Wigleaf Top 50. Krys has won contests at Redivider and Pigeon Pages and his work has been supported by the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

Zoë Bossiere

Zoë Bossiere is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University, where she studies and teaches creative writing and rhetoric & composition. She is the managing editor of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction, and the co-editor of its anthology, The Best of Brevity (Rose Metal Press, 2020). She is also an interview podcast host for the New Books Network.

Daisy Hernández

Daisy Hernández is the author of The Kissing Bug: A True Story of an Insect, a Family and a Nation's Neglect of a Deadly Disease. She is also the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism. Daisy is an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Miami University in Ohio.

Dinty W. Moore

Dinty W. Moore is author of several books, including Between Panic and Desire, Crafting the Personal Essay, The Accidental Buddhist, and Dear Mr. Essay Writer Guy, and his writing has also been widely anthologized. He is the editor-in-chief of Brevity, which is now in its second decade of publication, and co-editor of its anthology, The Best of Brevity. Dinty lives in suburban Philadelphia. He is deathly afraid of polar bears.

Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello’s essays have recently appeared in National Geographic, Paris Review, and Best American Science and Nature Writing. She is the author of two award-winning collections, Let Me Clear My Throat and Animals Strike Curious Poses, the latter of which was translated into four languages. In 2019, Outside named Elena one of “25 Essential Women Authors Writing About the Wild.”

Ira Sukrungruang

Ira Sukrungruang was born in Chicago to Thai immigrants. He is the author of four nonfiction books This Jade World (2021), Buddha’s Dog & Other Meditations (2018), Southside Buddhist (2014) and Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy (2010), the short story collection The Melting Season (2016), and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night (2013). He is the president of Sweet: A Literary Confection, and is a Professor at Kenyon College.

Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker is the author of Processed Meats: Essays on Food, Flesh and Navigating Disaster, The After-Normal: Brief, Alphabetical Essays on a Changing Planet, Sustainability: A Love Story, Where the Tiny Things Are, Egg, Micrograms, Quench Your Thirst with Salt, and This Noisy Egg. She edits the Crux series at University of Georgia press, is nonfiction editor at Diagram, and teaches creative writing at Northern Arizona University.

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