The Flash Mini


28-30 January 2022 – Online flash fiction course 


Join us for a fun and intensive weekend of flash fiction writing focused on creating new pieces of work to hone and polish once the hard work is done.

Each morning a workshop will go live on the course space with writing prompts, readings and a discussion of the craft of flash, plus you’ll have an online forum to share what you write with your course mates and tutors for feedback. The forum element is entirely optional and you are not obliged to comment on every story posted by your course mates. We do recommend you take part in this side of the course though as it really does enhance it.

After the weekend you have the opportunity to send in a story for detailed feedback. 

Course tutors

Amanda Saint

Amanda Saint is a novelist, flash fiction writer and the founder of Retreat West. She is also the commissioning editor and publisher at the award-winning, Retreat West Books. Her debut novel, As If I Were A River, was a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month and a Book Magnet Blog Top 20 Book of 2016. Her second novel, Remember Tomorrow, published in March 2019 to critical acclaim. Her flash fictions have been published in many journals and anthologies. She has been longlisted in the Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition, Fish Flash Fiction Prize, and Ink Tears Short Story Prize; shortlisted for the Flash 500; and won the Editor’s Choice Prize at 101 Words. Her collection, Flashes of Colour, is publishing in 2020. Amanda has been designing and teaching flash fiction courses and creating and judging flash fiction competitions for several years; and has published several flash collections, anthologies and memoirs at Retreat West Books.

Mary-Jane Holmes

Mary-Jane Holmes is chief editor at Fish Publishing, Ireland; consulting editor at The Well Review poetry journal based in Cork; a guest editor at V. Press; and creative director at the Casa Ana Writing Retreat in Granada, Spain. In recent years she has won the 2018 Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition, 2017 Bridport Poetry Prize, the Martin Starkie Poetry Prize, the Bedford International Poetry Prize and the Dromineer Flash Fiction Prize. Her poetry collection Heliotrope with Matches and Magnifying Glass, was published in 2018 by Pindrop Press to wide acclaim. Mary-Jane’s work has been published in The Best Small Fictions Anthology 2016 and 2018, Mslexia, Reflex Fiction, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Prole, The Tishman Review, The Lonely Crowd and Firewords Quarterly. She holds a first class honours Masters of Studies in Creative Writing from Kellogg College, Oxford.

What writers on previous courses have said

The Flash Weekender was my first online course with Retreat West. Everything about it was first rate – the brilliant tutors, who shared their own winning flash stories, the environment in which we shared our work, the other talented and supportive participants. I was pushed to delve deep from the interesting and challenging prompts, and as a result created work I would never have created otherwise.

This course was fun and inspiring.

Really loved this, and the great support from everyone. Can’t wait to participate in more. Thank you so much!

A brilliant short course revealing some of the secrets of good short fiction. Theory backed up with flash fictions giving practical examples. Great to be able to correspond with writers worldwide.

Well paced, well pitched, definitely helpful to both fledgling and fully-fledged flashers. I thoroughly enjoyed it, learnt a lot, recognised my weaknesses and wrote more flash fiction in three days than I have in months. A great way of getting inspired to keep writing.

This is a great way to generate a handful of first drafts. The workshop gave me the motivation I needed to get moving. Now I have several pieces ready for editing.”

Great weekend spent stretching my writing muscles. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Booking T&Cs

  • Full payment is due to reserve a space
  • Cancellations up to 4 weeks before the course start date will receive a full refund minus a £10 admin fee
  • Cancellations between 4 and 2 weeks before the course start date will receive a 50% refund minus a £10 admin fee
  • Cancellations less than 2 weeks before the course start date will not be eligible for a refund
  • Stories must be sent in for feedback within 4 weeks of the course ending
  • Stories sent in for feedback cannot be submitted for any of the Retreat West flash fiction competitions