Weekend Workshop: Immersive Flash Fiction Lab

The weekend before last, I had the pleasure of participating in a 3-day weekend virtual writing workshop called “Weekend Immersive Flash Lab” led by Kathy Fish. A wonderful way to get me inspired and heads down into pure “writing mode” is by attending a writing workshop. I’ve attended a fair share of online workshops in the past few years, particularly ones led by flash fiction writers whom I greatly admire. The workshops I’ve participated in have ranged from 1 hour to 8 weeks long, in asynchronous and synchronous formats, and either with the goal of purely generating work or receiving feedback on new or existing work from the workshop leader and workshop peers. The workshops usually contain articles on craft, example flash fiction works that exemplify the craft elements being taught, and writing prompts. Whenever I’m fresh out of ideas or feel that I need a little push in my writing, I sign up for a flash writing workshop.

Kathy Fish is a flash fiction writer who inspires me. I love her work, and I’ve attended a couple of her live Zoom writing workshops where she gave the group writing prompts to do right then and there. Kathy occasionally hosts weekend-long workshops. However, these workshops are in high demand. To be fair to everyone, Kathy uses a lottery system. I’ve entered the lottery for multiple of Kathy’s workshops over the years, but the odds were never in my favor. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was notified I was finally selected in one of the lotteries! Thus, this is how I ended up in the Immersive Flash Lab.

The theme of the workshop was all about experimentation. We were urged to push the boundaries of form, language, and subject matter. It was a no-judgment zone because everyone was meant to be experimenting and playing with flash fiction in a new way. This workshop was asynchronous and run on a WordPress site where I posted my responses to the writing prompts each day. I got to read writing from my fellow workshop participants as well. We were instructed to only leave positive feedback on other writers’ posts. In writing, one must receive both positive and constructive feedback in order to make the writing better. However, Kathy’s reasoning behind the positive feedback criteria was that we were meant to be encouraging each other to continue experimenting and continue writing. Whereas some workshops have the end goal of revising work and making it better, this workshop had the goal of purely getting words on paper and experimenting with flash fiction in a way I never had before.

This was all very liberating. It was nice to write and experiment with no abandon. To not worry about others judging my work. To not self-edit as I write. And now that the workshop is over, I can take the pieces I wrote, parse through the positive feedback, keep the elements other writers/Kathy mentioned that they liked, and move on to the revision phase.

To end this blog post, I’d like to share the start of a piece I wrote in the Immersive Flash Lab workshop. It was an experiment on form and narrative. Hopefully, the full, revised version of this piece will one day end up published!


Decide why you want to own a fake cat. For me, I wanted friends.

This is how it started: I once attended speed dating at the local coffee shop, except it was speed dating to find friends for people 25-40. After two, three rounds of not finding anything in common with anyone—no I don’t have pets, I don’t have kids, I don’t like to read, I don’t like yoga, I’m single, I don’t drink, I’m not 420 friendly (my mom says I’m too picky and have no personality)—I landed with a woman who wore cat-eye shaped eyeliner. But the eyeliner didn’t stop there. No, she also used that black makeup pen to draw on whiskers and a little black cat nose. It was obvious what I had to talk to her about: cats. So, I made up Ginger (see Step Two, naming). The woman—Kat I think her name was?—lost her shit. She smiled so big the eyeliner whiskers on her cheeks started to crease. Obviously the other speed daters weren’t as cat obsessed, but once I had Ginger’s story down, I couldn’t stop.

You can learn more about Kathy Fish’s workshops here: https://kathy-fish.com/reimagined/?page_id=35.

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