Big things can come in small packages—their own perfect beauty tied to their size. The short short story—also known as “flash fiction,” “suddens,” “nouvelles” (in France), “pocket-size stories,” and “the smokelong” (the time it takes to smoke a cigarette)—is literary proof that great fiction can come in a small package.
A tale told quickly offers pleasure long after its telling, perhaps because the form sits on so many thresholds, or because brevity and urgency demand study. In this workshop, says Andy Touhy, “You’ll get a taste of this quicksilver genre by closely reading a variety of short shorts for inspiration, as well as to understand how they operate, all with an eye toward approaches that suit your writing style, mind, and personality. You’ll also, through a series of generative exercises, try your hand at multiple versions of the form. We’ll discuss these together, exchange feedback, then reopen the conversation.”
Finally, this class will take a look at the many places these microfictions are being published now, in print and online, and at strategies for submitting and placing them. By the end of the class, everyone will come away with a Tiny Kingdom or two of their own, to polish up and send out.
Andy Touhy, a recipient of the San Francisco Browning Society’s Dramatic Monologue Award and Fourteen Hills’ Bambi Holmes Fiction Prize, is also a nominee for inclusion in Best New American Voices. In 2016 his story manuscript, The Secret of Mayo, was named the finalist for BOA Editions’ Short Fiction Prize. Work from the collection has appeared in journals such as Conjunctions, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Colorado Review, Eleven Eleven, and The Collagist. He holds graduate degrees in literature and creative writing and has taught at SFSU, Academy of Art, and Ohio University. He lives in Oakland with his wife and child.
- Saturday, January 26, 10:00am-4:00pm
I enjoyed the class today and found Andrew to be a very pleasant and informative teacher. I would definitely take another class from him again if the opportunity arises. I sense that he has a depth of knowledge of the craft that we only began to see today in our limited time. Thank you.
WOW, is he a great teacher!! He is so knowledgeable, articulate, thoughtful, and generous! I learned a ton and really enjoyed exploring the short fiction form with him. PLEASE PLEASE get him to teach more classes at the Writing Salon.
Andy was a fantastic teacher in so many ways that I cannot enumerate them all. This would be a ten page essay. First of all, his broad knowledge of all things written in literature was fulfilling. I am a Berkeley graduate with a degree in English and I felt that his teaching was much better than the writing classes I took at UC Berkeley in the late 1980’s (I am getting old!) He made sure that we got our money’s worth in the small amount of time that we did have. Because of his helpful comments on my re-write in my story, I think this was the reason I got published, first time, in the forthcoming Queer issue of Pank Magazine.