The Online Flash Fest

Our SIXTH Online Flash Fest is happening in Spring 2024.



WHAT TIME IS IT? 10.00 – 18.00 (UK TIME)


Everyone that buys a ticket for the live event will also be sent the recordings afterwards. Or you can get a Recordings Only ticket.

Ticket Costs: £25 Recordings Only / £35 Community Members / £40 Non-Members

10.00 – 10.30: The Online Flash Fest Opening & Writing Sprints

We’re kicking off the day with a welcome from Amanda Saint and then you’ll limber up your pens for the day with some fun writing sprint exercises.

Amanda started Retreat West in 2012. She has been designing and teaching online courses, and live workshops, for many years and has worked as an editor on hundreds of manuscripts. 

She’s the author of two novels, As If I Were A River (2016), and Remember Tomorrow (2019) and her short fictions have been widely published; long/short listed in the Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition, Fish Flash Fiction Prize, Ink Tears Short Story Prize, Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition, Flash 500 and V300; and won the Editor’s Choice Prize at 101 Words. Her novella-in-flash, Pressure Drop, is publishing in 2024, and she’s now working on her third novel.

10.45 – 12.15 Five a Day with Martha Lane

Poisoned apples, birthday cakes for those no longer with us, baby’s first meal, a prisoner’s last… Food can be an interesting way to get to the heart of a story. Whether you prefer sweet or salty there’ll be something for you in this 90-minute generative session featuring prompts to whet the appetite. 

Martha Lane is a prose writer from the blustery North East, UK. She writes extensively about grief, nature, class and all things unrequited. Many of her stories can be found online at Her speculative novella (about grief and nature of course), Lies Over the Ocean, is available to buy on Amazon. She loves writing, and facilitating workshops is such a lovely way to share the joy!

12.15 – 13.15: Lunch
Time to fuel up for the afternoon sessions.

13.15 – 14.45: Writing Between the Cracks with Catherine McNamara

How crossing borders can enrich our writing and being on the outside can transform us into observers who are equipped with the tools required to write alluring fiction, teaching us to observe, to wait, to listen. To be fearless and clear-minded in the task of creating meaningful fiction. A session where we will think about observation, empathy and the purpose of our work.

Catherine McNamara grew up in Sydney, ran away to Paris to write, and ended up in West Africa co-running a bar. She was an embassy secretary in pre-war Mogadishu, and has worked as an au pair, graphic designer, art gallery manager, teacher, translator and shoe model.

Her flash/short fiction collection Love Stories for Hectic People came out in March 2021 with Reflex Press and won Best Short Collection category for the Saboteur Awards 2021. Her short stories and flash fiction have been Pushcart-nominated and published widely in the U.K., Europe, U.S.A. and Australia. She’s the author of two other books: The Cartography of Others (2018) and Pelt and Other Stories (2013).

Catherine speaks Italian and French and lives in Veneto, Italy, where she hosts summer retreats for writers and artists in her African-art-filled farmhouse. She is an online writing mentor and coach and the flash fiction editor for Litro.

15.00 – 16.30 Joy of Randomness with Rosie Garland

Getting started can be one of a writer’s greatest challenges. With fun, easy to access exercises inspired by reading prompts, participants will be guided into surprising ways to springboard into new writing. Seasoned workshop facilitator and randomness-enthusiast Rosie Garland will introduce fresh ways of approaching getting started, and demonstrate how inspiration can be found in unlikely places. The workshop aims to give participants a sense of possibility and renewed connection with writing. The interactive exercises can be taken away and used again and again.

Based in Manchester UK, ROSIE GARLAND writes short and long fiction, poetry, song lyrics and things that fall between & outside. She sings with post-punk band The March Violets. Poetry collection What Girls Do in the Dark (Nine Arches Press) was shortlisted for the Polari Prize 2021, & Val McDermid has named her one of the most compelling LGBT+ writers in the UK today. In 2023 she was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature.

Website –

16.45 – 17.45 Monthly Micro Workshop with Debbi Voisey

Usually for our community members only, a special appearance of the Monthly Micro workshops at the Flash Fest! In the first half of the session, Debbi will dissect prize-winning micros and set writing exercises. Then that month’s prompt for the Monthly Micro competition will be revealed ahead of it going live on the website the next day and you’ll have time to write and get started on your entry!

Debbi Voisey writes flash fiction, short stories and novels. She had two novellas-in-flash published in 2021 (Only About Love with Fairlight Books, and The 10:25 with Flash:The International Short-Short Story Press). Only About Love received a special mention in the 2022 Saboteur Awards and was shortlisted for the Arnold Bennett Prize 2022.  

Debbi is currently seeking an agent and publisher for her novel, The Reset, which is written in short, flash-like chapters. She is also working on her next novel whilst running creative writing workshops, events, and courses on Zoom, and offering mentorships and guidance for people working on writing projects.