Flash Fiction Workshop


Flash fiction has earned its place in the wider world of literature. It is an agile, innovative form with a richness that brings benefits to both reader and writer – ideal for new and experienced writers alike.

This hands-on workshop will engage you in weekly writing and critique. You will hone your technique, develop skills, and make a robust start in creating a portfolio of new work.

Prerecorded weekly lectures will explore fundamentals – such as narrative style, word choice, structure, point of view and editing - and investigate how these building blocks can be different in flash to other forms of writing.

We'll undertake weekly writing exercises and engage in close readings of published works, exploring different styles and structures, and new techniques to try.

Our weekly live-time sessions will be used primarily for constructive group discussion of students' written works. 

You may be entirely new to writing – in which case flash fiction is an excellent place to begin. Those who are already writing regularly will likely find that exploring flash fiction benefits their craft as poets, novelists, memoirists or writers of short stories.  This class makes an ideal follow-on to our two-day course, 'Learn to Write Flash Fiction' - though it isn't necessary to have taken this course first.


Programme details

Course starts: 17 Jan 2024

Week 0: Course Orientation

Week 1: The art of brevity – starting points

Week 2: Settings, characters, plots

Week 3*: Two-hour live session for workshopping

Week 4: Language and specificity; seeing your world through other lenses

Week 5: Form and Structure

Week 6: Narration and dialogue

Week 7: Beginnings and endings

Week 8*: Two-hour live session for workshopping

Week 9: Delete or develop – the fine comb of editing

Week 10: How and where? Strategies for getting your flash fiction published.

*Week 3 and week 8 will be two-hour, live-online sessions to allow us an expanded time for sharing work, receiving feedback from fellow participants and the tutor.  Each of these sessions will begin at the scheduled time (13:30) and run for two hours rather than one. There will be no prerecorded lecture for these weeks.

Digital Certification

To complete the course and receive a certificate, you will be required to attend and participate in at least 80% of the live sessions on the course and pass your final assignment. Upon successful completion, you will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course. The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so.


Description Costs
Course Fee £269.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Ms Gail Anderson

Gail Anderson is a writer of short forms (flash fiction, short story, creative non-fiction and poetry) and a 2023 Ignite Fellow (Scottish Book Trust). Her work has taken first prize in competitions including the Edinburgh Award for Flash Fiction, Reflex Fiction, The Writers’ Bureau, Winchester Writers’ Festival, and the Scottish Arts Trust Story Awards. Thrice shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, her work appears in anthologies and journals such as Ambit, Mslexia, Popshot and The Southampton Review

Course aims

This course aims to introduce flash fiction to new and experienced writers alike, and to enable them to incorporate flash fiction techniques into their creative practice.

Course objectives:

  • To encourage creativity and experimentation in creative-writing practice.
  • To develop good critical reading habits.
  • To encourage participation in discussion and debates about writing.

Teaching methods

  • Close-reading and discussion of set texts.
  • Group discussion and analysis in the classroom.
  • Directed writing tasks; In-class writing exercises.
  • Sharing of work and group discussion.

This course will consist of a weekly, one-hour pre-recorded lecture to be viewed by students in preparation for the once weekly tutor-led live session at the time advertised (not recorded).

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • respond to different forms of flash fiction with growing confidence and understanding;
  • be able to write flash fiction in a manner which engages and sustains the interest of the reader;
  • apply techniques learnt in the class across a broader practice of writing; 
  • understand how and where to submit their written work.

Assessment methods

Students will produce the following:

  • A single flash fiction of less than 400 words accompanied by a short summary describing the process of writing it, and the elements employed in creating it.
  • Three flash fictions of approximately 500 words each.

These pieces will be negotiated with the tutor based upon the work covered in class.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final pieces of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)