Thursday, 17 November 2011

Flash fiction prompts

To encourage my Sudden Prose students to write more flash fictions, so they have more to choose from when it comes time to select a portfolio, I've been trying to come up with more prompts with which to help them along. Here's the one we tried in class today: Choose two fairy tale characters and put them in conflict to create your own fairy tale flash fiction. Possible characters include a wicked stepmother, a saintly stepdaughter, a princess, a prince, a troll, a dragon, a talking animal, a trusty steed, a fairy, and an old lady.

I'd be glad to hear of other flash fiction prompts that you've found successful, as well as see any responses you come up with to this one!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A new online class in prose poetry and flash fiction

From 10 January I'll be teaching a new online course on prose poetry and flash fiction for The Poetry School; it meets biweekly (online) on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. UK time for five sessions, and participants need to sign up at least two weeks in advance. Come along! Click on "a new online course" for more details.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

"Lent" by Julia Webb

To read an ambitious, compelling prose poem, please see Julia Webb's "Lent," which I chose as the winner of this year's Poetry Society Stanza Prize.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Thoughts on Flash

Here are some interesting remarks on short prose forms from a number of practitioners. Thanks to Andrew Bailey for bringing this post to my attention.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A new online course

Flash fiction and prose poetry fans wherever you may be, I'm happy to tell you I'm teaching an online course on "sudden prose" for The Poetry School, beginning 10 January 2012 and running for 5 fortnightly evening sessions. You can find further details here, but if you're interested, register soon--the class has a limit of 12 students.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Bath Spa University Flash Fiction Prize

Bath Spa University has just instated a number of prizes for undergraduate students across the various schools, and I'm heading up several in creative writing. The one relevant for this blog is the Bath Spa University Flash Fiction Prize, for the best flash fiction portfolio from an undergraduate, and the winner for 2011 is Adrian Berg. Congratulations, Adrian!

I hope next year to add a Prose Poetry Prize--stay tuned!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Binnacle's Ultra-Short Competition

The Binnacle, the literary journal of the University of Maine-Machias, runs an annual competition for poetry and prose under 150 words. The competition deadline's past, but it would be good to mark the calendar for next year, especially as submissions are free. Last year entries were accepted from 1 December.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Friday, 15 April 2011

UK magazines regularly publishing prose poetry &c.

I'm developing a list for my Sudden Prose students I thought would be of greater interest, especially to readers of this blog. Here's what I have thus far (and I welcome your additions) for UK magazines that often publish prose poetry:

Obsessed with Pipework
Tears in the Fence

Magazines that have been known to publish prose poetry from time to time:

Magazines that rarely if ever publish prose poems:

The London Review of Books
Poetry Review
The Times Literary Supplement

Friday, 1 April 2011

The McDonald's Experience prose poem exercise

As I haven't posted in a long while, and today's the first day of National Poetry Month, with some, myself including, trying to write a poem a day, I thought I'd share a prose poem exercise I just gave to my undergrads in Sudden Prose. I'd be delighted to see your results.

Choose one of the following and talk about how the place would be transformed if it were set up like a McDonald's: mechanized, automated, branded, etc. Don't mention McDonald's anywhere in the piece.

McPost Office
McPrimary School

Write as much as you can--try for at least eight sentences, then edit back to your most vivid, original details, for a total of 4-5 sentences.

For the last sentence, describe what the people/animals leaving such a place look like now that they've been through the Mc experience.

I apologise if this requires field research.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Thumbnail Magazine for short works

A new online magazine, Thumbnail, seeks short works: prose up to 800 words, poetry up to 40 lines. Read the first story of the current issue, Dorene O' Brien's "Alien Invasion Tapes, #87," and see if you don't laugh out loud like I did.