I had such a great time yesterday talking about flash fiction at the California Writers Club Peninsula Branch. What a lively group of people, engaged and engaging. President Chris Wachlin surely sets the tone. Many thanks to Max Tomlinson, who heads up the programs, for asking me and giving me such a lovely introduction. I enjoyed questions about the differences between vignettes and flash fiction, and what exactly is a "telling moment," for example -- I really love the opportunity to rethink what I think I know.
I'll give another flash fiction presentation at the San Francisco Writers Conference in February. Check out the website -- scholarship and contest opportunities.
I've been away on writing retreat, working on my manuscript of interconnected stories. Drawing ever closer to calling it finished. I've just sent it off to two trusted readers, and as the saying goes, await their reply. (A phrase that also resonates for me as it's the title of Dan Chaon's wonderful novel.)
Meanwhile, my book review of Garrett Socol's Gathered Here Together is available for your reading pleasure at Prick of the Spindle lit journal.
Coming up: my first newsletter, the opening of North Bay Writers Groups workshops, and two readings in the East Bay. Stay tuned!
I'm often asked whether I think an MFA is worth getting, and specifically whether a particular student ought to get his or hers. Robin Black's got a well-written analysis, probably one of the best considered and articulated I've heard in a while here at Beyond the Margins.
Speaking of Beyond the Margins, this is a wonderful resource for writers. If you're in one of my workshops, you already know this, but if not, do check it out. I was pleased to have been nominated for their Above and Beyond 2012 Award, really honored and thrilled to be in the company of the other nominees.
A new year means new flash fiction classes. I've got two coming up.
An Introduction to Writing Flash Fiction
College of Marin, Kentfield
Feb 01, 2012 - Mar 14, 2012
1:10 pm - 3:00 pm Wednesdays
7 weeks, $79
You can register here.
How to Write Flash Fiction -- And Why You Want To
10 am - 3:00 pm
Book Passage (On-line registration soon.)
Charles Baxter says flash fiction stories “are between poetry and fiction, the story and the sketch, prophecy and reminiscence, the personal and the crowd.” Flash fiction is one of the most exciting story forms to read and write. The practice of writing these short-shorts causes you to flex your best writing muscle: precision. New outlets make this a growing market for publishing. Learn what makes these short-shorts different from other forms, and how writing them can improve your writing overall.
The dates for the Art of the Noun Writers Studio in San Miguel de Allende (#4 on Lonely Planets top places to visit now in Mexico -- yes, perfectly safe) are set for Jan. 3-8, 2012. Reserve your place now and come join us.
Please check out the dates for the next six-week sessions of the North Bay Writers Group Workshop. These are my favorite teaching experiences of all I do. They're small (limited to eight per session) so intimate and allow for individual attention. Students or workshoppers are engaged and passionate, and their work is developing astoundingly --especially those that have kept up with the sessions, participating time and again. I love the camaraderie I see take root and grow among participants, how it serves as a good, weighty counterbalance to the necessary solitude of the writer.
Wait lists exist for each of the sessions -- Monday nights and Thursday afternoons -- but don't let that deter you from getting in touch if you have an interest in trying out one of these workshops. Sometimes people on the wait list wind up not being able to attend after all, so you never know.