Flash Fiction: Theory and Practice (Panel)


Creative Writing, Editing and Publishing

David Galef (Montclair State University)

Flash fiction is a form as old as Aesop’s fables and Biblical parables, and as recent as microfiction on blogs. But what works best in a limited space: a vignette, a what-if story, or a cautionary tale? A twist take or a metafictional gesture? What happens to traditional notions of plot and character? What gets lost and what gets heightened in the process of paring down? Is there an emerging praxis or theory for writing flash fiction as there once was for short stories? What is the history of this brief form, and how has the form altered in our cyber age? Who are some of the best practitioners of this brief form, and why? Since flash fiction is now in classrooms, zines, anthologies, and literary contests, what is the extraordinary appeal? Does it entail a special type of pedagogy in the classroom? Is there a vanishing point beyond Twitter fiction, and what does the future hold? “Flash Fiction, Theory and Practice” is a panel devoted to the study of a form that is still emerging, even as it’s become ubiquitous. Any fresh angle on this subgenre is welcome, but preferably with an emphasis on analysis and technique and something intrinsic to the form, not just a reading of a particular short short story.
Flash fiction is as old as Aesop’s fables, as recent as microfiction on blogs. But what works best in a limited space, who are some of the best practitioners of this brief form, and why? Is there an emerging praxis or theory for writing and teaching flash fiction as there once was for short stories? Any fresh angle on this subgenre is welcome, but preferably with an emphasis on analysis and technique and something intrinsic to the form, not just a reading of a particular short short story.