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We’re workshopping – Guest Post by Valerie O’Riordan

There's less than three weeks to go before the first National Flash-Fiction Day is upon us, and two days before THAT, I'm going to be running a flash-fiction workshop in Manchester City Library. The event's sold out now, but you can still sign up to get on the wait-list, if you're interested. And to get you interested - and perhaps to demystify things for those of you who'll definitely be joining me on the day - here's a taste of what's in store.

First off: no lectures, no tutorials, no severe editorials - this workshop's going to be all about the writing. (And a little bit about the reading - it is in a library, after all...) If you're anything like me, the blank page is a savage horror on the desktop: whilst those first words can be honed and tweaked and crossed out and reconsidered, getting them down in the first place is often the problem. So I want to use this workshop as an opportunity to break down these barriers - for one night, at the very least! So what we'll do will be a couple of very fast, very frantic writing exercises. It'll be fun, and there won't be time to over-think - or, perhaps, to think at all! - or to get intimidated; we'll be gathering prompts and blasting our way through some far-from-premeditated stories as fast as a ticking clock will allow us. (I promise not to bring a ticking clock.) And to get you in the mood, in between rounds, I'll be showing you some of my favourite examples of flash-fiction - for inspiration, not intimidation! At the end of the session, nobody will have to share their stories, but if they want to, there'll be the chance to get them uploaded onto the library's website. Fame! Our great Director, Calum Kerr, has also set up a new flash-blog if you want to send him your work - and I'll also be talking to you about other submission opportunities for flash-fiction.

And if all this hasn't scared you off, I'll see you on Monday May 14th!

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