Grackle art by Jim Blackburn
“I threw the thin and brilliantly colored veil of imagination over the rocky terrain of reality. It became a beautiful sight, but its topography remained just as it had been.”
“The Veil” by Osama Alomar
“The Veil” is a story told in just two sentences, revealing, with a single economical image, the manifold nature of storytelling: stories can enhance reality, making it more brilliant, they can reveal its rockiness, and sometimes, in a feat of truth and beauty, they accomplish both. In this class, we will use the manifold qualities of flash fiction—a small imaginative container that can hold all kinds of realities—to tell stories.
The limitations of a small word count (fifty, one-hundred, three-hundred words) will help us bolster innovation and create arresting images. We will try out various forms and techniques—faking documents, compressing time, and writing from the point of view of inanimate objects, to name a few. We will read practitioners of the genre like Osama Alomar, Lydia Davis, Daniil Kharms, Grace Paley, and others. We will participate in generative writing exercises and workshop each other’s very short stories every week. Writers of all genres and experience levels are welcome.
Anna Mebel is the author of the chapbook Eradicate Sex Chemicals! (dancing girl press) and the co-founding editor of Figure 1. Her writing has been published in Sixth Finch, The Journal, The Rupture, Pinwheel, Tin House Open Bar, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University.