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Flash fiction versus the short story

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”  - Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 

This eight-week course will explore a number of different short stories and flash fictions through group discussions. In a nurturing and friendly environment, we will identify and explore the ingredients of flash fiction and short stories, and ask ourselves what makes a successful story in these different genres. We will also plan and develop our own ideas for our short narratives. 

Dates and Times

The course will run from 10am – 12.30pm on:

  • Thursday 17th January
  • Thursday 24th January
  • Thursday 31st January
  • Thursday 7th February
  • Thursday 14th February
  • Thursday 21st February
  • Thursday 28th February
  • Thursday 7th March 


The full cost of this 8 week course is £155


Week one and two: Getting a grip with the genres

What are the essential building blocks for the short story and flash fiction? We read and discuss the tricks, secrets and insights into these genres.

Week three and four: Short story?

What makes a powerful short story? We will analyse the author’s craft in more detail and develop our own writing through a series of creative writing exercises.

Week five and six: Flash Fiction

Hooks, Twists, Surprises, Ambiguities? The brevity of flash fiction and the enormity of its content. 

Week seven and eight: Constructive Criticism

We will have a couple of weeks to feedback on each other’s work and learn how to become critics of each other’s work.


There are no requirements to enrol on this course apart from a love of the written word.


Upon completion of this course students are issued a St Mary's University Certificate of Attendance as well as a portfolio of creative writing.