Guest Blogger Katey Schultz In Favor of Flashing (fiction, y’all)

What do The Ramones, visual
arts portraiture, and the elusive creative genius all have in common? Flash
fiction, of course, though I should probably confess that, as a bona fide
obsessive when it comes to the flash genre, it’s my personal opinion that all roads
lead back to this jaw-dropping, fun, short-form style of writing.

The Ramones packed their
songs with energy (
proof), using
concision, repetition, and rhythm much like any well-written flash piece.
Portraiture captures a person at one particular moment in time; but the visual,
tonal qualities of the artwork itself can
suggesta life lived and events to come. The
creative genius
might be elusive, but one of the great equalizers is the theory
of abundance. In other words, there’s always more where that came from, which
is pretty much what reading
any good flash fiction anthology feels like.
Next month, 49 Writers will
kick off an online writing class in flash fiction and I’m proud to say that I
get to be the lucky instructor. (Okay, I’m also the one who created all the
course content.) I say “lucky,” because flash is a medium that responds well to
community, tight timeframes, and cross-disciplinary explorations. I’m always
writing, revising, and publishing in this genre on my own, but getting a bunch
of folks into the same headspace at the same time often doubles my
productivity. Using audio and text lectures, group discussion posts,
methodological prompts, sample texts, craft essays, an optional video chat, and
a few rockin’ good YouTube videos, we’ll gather in this pop-up online learning
community for about a month and come away inspired.
I’ll provide direct critiques
on some writings, peers will chime in on others, and there will be lots of
drafting along the way. We’ll ask questions like: How do you capture energy and
momentum with words? What gestures do people use to express longing?
Enthusiasm? What are successful techniques for using the “writer’s camera” in
stories that are only 250-750 words? What is the relationship between yearning
and obstacles? How do they relate to plot, and is there time for plot in only
1-3 pages? Do all characters have to suffer? Why or why not?
who wish to have a better handle on scene (for their novels or short stories),
take note—this form will teach essential compression and metaphor skills
necessary for peak moments in longer works. Those interested in the flash form
on its own, or in the playfulness of this very accessible form—you’ll also
delight in the learning opportunities presented here.
For a sneak peek at the full course syllabus,
this page and if you’re ready, hop on over to online registration and save your spot now. Curious? I’ve got six
flash fictions published at
KYSOFlash, free, right now.

Katey Schultz is the author of Flashes of War, a two-time award-winning collection of flash fiction published by
Loyola University Maryland. She has been a 49 Writers Instructor twice in the
past, as well as delivering readings and craft lectures for 49 Writers while on
her book tour. Her flash fiction has received mention in
The Washington
Post, Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, The Guardian, BOMB Magazine, and more. Learn more at

2 thoughts on “Guest Blogger Katey Schultz In Favor of Flashing (fiction, y’all)”

  1. Thanks, Lynn! I only wish I was going to be in AK at some point this winter (my fave season) to meet up again and hear about all your progress on your books!

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