The Fantastic Flashing Email Course


This 10-workshop course will get you writing lots of new work and will look at how you can ensure your stories stand out to editors and resonate with readers.

We’ll look at different ways you can approach flash fiction writing to create innovative and memorable stories with characters that have real depth even though they only appear briefly on the page.

Stories written on previous courses have appeared in many online journals and been listed and placed in contests such as Bath Flash Fiction Award, Flash500, Reflex Fiction and many more.


Starting on the day you sign up, the course content will arrive weekly via email for you to keep and refer back to whenever you want.

COURSE COSTS: Pay What You Can Afford

We are offering this course with the option of selecting how much you want to pay. No matter how much you pay, you’ll be getting the same course as everybody else. We simply trust that people are honest and will support the author of the course with whatever they can afford. 


You will receive the following content:

WEEK 1 – It’s All About the Angle

There are only so many things we can write about this human experience  — consequently, the stories that stand out are often the ones that bring something fresh to the story by taking a new approach to how they tell it. We’ll look at ways to approach stories in a different way to find that unique angle.

WEEK 2 – In Opposition

We’ll look at creating stories building from overarching themes and whether your characters are aligned with them, or in opposition, which is how you can create the conflict and tension that powers stories forwards.

WEEK 3 – Finding the Feelings

Flash fictions that resonate most with readers provoke emotions. A shortcut to provoking your readers to feel something when they read your stories is to start with feelings. In this workshop, you’ll set out to write a story that comes from a particular emotion.

WEEK 4 – Fresh Fables

There’s a reason fables and fairy tales were passed down orally from generation to generation before stories were written down in the way they are now – because they speak to something within everyone. This makes them the perfect inspiration for modern storytellers to turn them into something new.

WEEK 5 – Pick and Mix

This week the focus will be on combining prompts to come up with new stories that jolt you our of writerly ruts and give a fresh feel to your writing.

WEEK 6 – First Encounters

Opening lines in flash that really do a lot of work, without seeming to, are a great way to make your stories stand out. We’ll look at examples that are doing just that and you’ll write your own stories that start with grabby openings.

WEEK 7 – Character Building

We’ll look at how you can give real depth to your stories by taking time to get to know the characters within them before you write your story. It’s not a quick process for flash writing, but we need to invest time in our flashes if we really want them to stand out.

WEEK 8 – There’s Something Strange

Stories that have an element of the strange and off kilter to them stand out. But as well as being a bit bizarre, to have emotional resonance stories also need to be sharing a deeper truth. We’ll look at the ways to bring the strange into your stories alongside the depth.

WEEK 9 – Hijacking

Ways to find inspiration by hijacking lines and titles from music, film, TV and literature, and even from stories of your own that haven’t quite worked, to find unique stories to tell. Writing from hijacks often gets you writing about things you’ve never written about before!

WEEK 10 – Internal Mining

Finally, we focus on finding inspiration within yourself as that is something you always have to hand. Using what you know, what you remember, what you believe without proof, what you hope, what fascinates you, as the springboard for your flash fictions. 




Amanda’s debut novel, As If I Were A River, was longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker Prize, 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. Amanda’s flash fictions and short stories have been widely published and placed/listed in many internationals competitions, including Mslexia Flash Prize, Fish Flash Prize, Flash500 and V300. She has just completed a novella-in-flash, is two-thirds of the way through a flash fiction collection, and is just about to start work on a hybrid novel/flash long-form project.


Amanda is the founder of, commissioning editor and publisher at the award-winning Retreat West Books (Winner: Most Innovative Publisher 2020 Saboteur Awards), which publishes novels, memoirs and short fiction. 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 is passionate about helping writers get to the heart of their characters to create memorable narrators that really come alive for the reader.