Flash fiction workshop comes to Albany

Albany Advertiser
Night Parrot Press co-publishers Linda Martin and Laura Keenan.
Camera IconNight Parrot Press co-publishers Linda Martin and Laura Keenan.

Albany will host a flash fiction workshop to coincide with the release of a collection of experimental stories featuring lashings of local literary talent.

The collection, Once: A selection of short short stories, is described by Perth publisher Night Parrot Press as “the best of new flash, micro and hybrid fiction in WA”.

“Thirty rising and established authors write big ideas in small spaces,” the publisher says.

“Funny, ironic, thoughtful and sharp, these fresh stories of extreme brevity will have you thinking, laughing and ultimately hooked on this exciting new genre.”

The book contains 58 stories, all under 500 words and some barely 100.

They blend prose and poetry, do away with the norms of punctuation and play with the shape of sentences on the page.

The collection was edited by Linda Martin and Laura Keenan, the author behind Night Parrot Press, an independent publisher, which was founded last year with the aim of giving non-traditional writing a platform.

In the book’s foreword, they liken flash fiction to a helium balloon, which is held for the duration of the story, then let go, leaving you to wonder at its trajectory.

Ms Keenan first came across flash fiction in a Denver writers’ group in the US in the early 2000s.

“It was exhilarating — to read and to write — and I couldn’t get enough,” she said.

“Flash was considered an outsider literary genre at the time by traditional publishers and commercial booksellers. The ugly stepchild of poetry and short stories.

“It was an exciting time to see it gaining momentum and winning over new readers and audiences.”

Once: A selection of short short storiesincludes stories by 18-year-old UWA Albany student Ellie Fisher, Albany writers Yann Toussaint and Bronwyn Jones, and Denmark’s Mark Hackleton.

A book launch will be held from 5pm at Six Degrees in Albany on January 30.

On February 1, Ms Martin and Ms Keenan will host a flash fiction workshop at UWA Albany from 9.30am to midday. To book, visit nightparrotpress.com.

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