In a Flash! Writing Short-Short Fiction

Course Number


Study Group Leader (SGL)

Donna Johns


This course will take place virtually on Zoom. Participation requires a device (ideally a computer or tablet, rather than a cell phone) with a camera and microphone in good working order and basic familiarity with using Zoom and accessing email.

10-Week Course

Feb. 28 - May 8. No Class April 24.


Flash fiction is written work of extreme brevity that still offers character and plot development. Depending on the form, flash fiction word counts range from 6 to 500 words. While flash fiction has been around since the days of Aesop, it has become increasingly popular in our social media era. There are many opportunities to publish flash fiction. Why write flash fiction? It’s fun to write and flexes your writing muscles. You need to be able to scribble your draft and then tighten it up until you have a proper tale told in as few words as possible. In this study group we’ll play with different forms of flash fiction: drabbles, vignettes, diary entries, and rants to name a few. No specific writing experience is necessary. Bring your imagination, a number 2 pencil, and a sense of fun to the table. We’ll share our pieces each week and learn from each other.

Group Leadership Style

More facilitated discussion than lecture.

Course Materials

Readings will be provided on the website.     

Preparation Time

1-2 hours.


Donna Johns spent her working years as a youth librarian in the Newton Public Schools, an adjunct professor at Simmons, and a popular presenter at regional conferences throughout New England. At BOLLI she focuses on making herself a better writer and encouraging others to pursue their writing goals. Donna has previously been a leader for the advanced memoir writing study group.