March 3-5, 2023 – Quick as a Flash: The Art and Writing of Flash Fiction and Nonfiction

Flash has gone by many monikers throughout history, beginning with “palm of hand” stories to the rather dated nickname of “smokelongs.” What hasn’t changed, however, is the desire of flash writers to tell the truth of themselves or their characters in new and innovative ways. From Six-Word-Stories to Twitterature, Microfiction to Drabble, this retreat is designed to expose you to a wide variety of flash styles and techniques to provide you with the skills and confidence necessary to critically analyze, thoughtfully develop, and successfully complete your own pieces of flash fiction and nonfiction.

This course will utilize a four-part approach:

1) Reading a variety of flash fiction and nonfiction (flash, micro, twitterature, six-word-stories, etc.) in order to identify specific genres, techniques, literary devices, use of language, etc.,

2) Develop and create our own pieces of flash utilizing the techniques identified in classic and contemporary texts,

3) thoroughly and thoughtfully workshop one another’s work in an effort to support and inspire each other as writers, culminating in an online literary journal of our collective work and

4) begin the exciting task of submitting our flash to a variety of outlets and conduct a reading of our flash in literary salon fashion!


Cost: $450.00 per person (includes 2 nights in a private suite, 5 meals, snacks, 5 workshops, and plenty of private time for writing)

Date: Friday, March 3, 2023 (Check-in: 4:00-6:00 pm) to Sunday, March 5, 2023 (Check-out: 11:00 am)

Place: Rockvale Writers’ Colony, 6994 Giles Hill Road, College Grove, TN


The Schedule (tentative)

Friday, March 3, 2023

4:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Check-in and settle in. We’ll show you to your assigned room.

6:00 p.m. – Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Welcome and Overview of Retreat

7:15 p.m. – Writing Workshop: A Burst of Light
An introduction to flash from Hemingway’s six word story to Twitterature. Writers will learn the history of flash and read some of the most famous pieces of flash fiction and nonfiction before creating their first “Burst.”

9:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Saturday, March 4, 2023

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come anytime you’re ready.

8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop: Flashback & Fast Forward
With such a short amount of space, how should writers deal with time in flash? This workshop will focus on timing and plot development in flash and the distillation process necessary for creating rich tension and characterization. Writers will create their own flash and workshop with a partner.

9:45 a.m. – Free Time for Writing

12:00 p.m. – Lunch

1:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop: The Bugbear and Other Creatures
Taking a cue from the French literary society, OULIPO, this workshop will focus on taking risks in our flash. We will create several pieces of flash from a variety of prompts based in the supernatural, the mythological, and the otherwordly!

6:00 p.m. – Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop: Flashdance
There can be quite a lyrical quality to flash and, as such, we can take inspiration from music in our work. This workshop will focus on lyricism and musicality in our flash and we will workshop with a partner.

8:30 p.m. – Flash Literary Salon
An opportunity to share and read your writing. Sharing is optional, but we do ask that you attend to support your fellow workshoppers!

10:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Sunday, March 5, 2023

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come anytime you’re ready.

8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop: Burst on the Scene
You’ve written beautiful flash…now what? This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn more about the avenues for publishing flash, culminating in submitting our own flash and a celebration of our time and work!

9:45 a.m. – Free Time for Writing

11:00 a.m. – Checkout and Goodbye


Retreat Facilitator: Katie M. Zeigler

Katie M Zeigler is a writer and professor living in Walnut Creek, CA. Zeigler holds a BA and MA in English from Stanford University and an MFA in Creative Writing from St. Mary’s College.

She has had short fiction, non-fiction and flash published in a variety of outlets, including Smokelong Quarterly, The Centifictionist, Digging, Griffel, Wilson Quarterly, Fish Anthology and Stanford Magazine. Zeigler won the Stanford Magazine Fiction Contest, was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s short fiction contest and placed second in Fish Anthology’s international flash fiction contest. She has also performed readings of her short fiction for The Maine Review, LitQuake, Why There Are Words and the Peninsula Literary Society. She currently teaches creative writing at Diablo Valley College.

In addition to her teaching, Katie serves as the Editor in Chief of NiftyLit. You can read the inaugural issue, and learn more about this new literary journal at niftylit.io


Please note the following due dates and refund policy:

• $100.00 non-refundable deposit due upon registering.
• $350.00 balance due one month before retreat start date (February 3, 2023)
• If cancellation by retreater occurs 2 weeks to 1 month before retreat (February 3 to February 16, 2023)– refund is 50% of the balance owed.
• If cancellation by retreater occurs less than 2 weeks before retreat (February 17 to March 3, 2023) – no refund
• If RWC cancels the retreat for any reason, full refunds will be provided to all retreaters.