Private Workshops

Randall Brown is now offering 6-week private flash fiction (1000 words and under) workshops, using teacher-generated coursework & weekly submissions (or with only weekly submissions & no teacher-generated coursework). You will be submitting complete flashes each week. Also, Randall Brown is offering critiques of completed/in-progress flash fiction collections, up to 50 pages, all pieces 1000 words and under. Finally, Randall is also offering critiques of individual pieces, 1000 words and under. Randall has only offered these private critiques once before, in 2008, as part of a charity auction. All money will go to the nonprofit literary press [MATTER PRESS] to pay writers ($50 per accepted piece). Contact Randall Brown with any questions.

The six-week private workshop involves the following:

Each Monday, you’ll receive a packet of instructional materials along with an assignment. By noon Sunday, you’ll submit a flash (it is up to you whether you’d like to submit the assigned flash or a different one); by the end of the day Monday, I’ll have returned your flash with comments/critique. On Monday, we begin again. During the week, I am free for any discussion regarding the instructional materials, the assignment, your submitted flash, and the like. Also, you can turn in a revision of the weekly assignment at any time during the workshop, so you’ll be submitting up to twelve (12) pieces for critical feedback. Here is the weekly schedule:

  1. Synecdoche & the One-Scene Flash
  2. Compressed Narrative Flash
  3. The Episodic Flash
  4. The Counterpointed Flash
  5. The “Found” Flash
  6. The Prose-Poemy Flash

Flash Fiction Six-Week Private Workshop w/Revisions

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Flash Fiction Collection Critique

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Single Piece — Flash Fiction Critique

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Here is a brief bio for Randall:

Randall Brown has served as an MFA Program Director and has taught high school, undergraduate, graduate, and community flash fiction workshops. He served as Lead Editor of the flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly and is the founder of FlashFiction.Net— and the founder & managing editor of Matter Press and its Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. He appears in The Rose Metal Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, a Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction, and many online and print journals. He has presented on flash fiction at AWP, the Philadelphia Writers Conference, and at a number of colleges and universities. He has judged flash fiction contests & flash fiction chapbook contests and has read approximately 30,000 unpublished flash fiction pieces as an editor, judge, teacher, workshop participant, and submisssions reader. He is currently on the faculty at Rosemont College’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, teaching flash fiction workshop, prose workshop, and rhetoric & composition.

Here is some press:

Lee Rourke writes in A BRIEF HISTORY OF FABLES: FROM AESOP TO FLASH FICTION, “One only has to visit sites such as flashfiction.net and smokelong.com or journals such as Matter: The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts to get a real sense of some of the most electrifying and ground-breaking flash fiction published today; displaying work from authors all around the world who manage to compress the weird, the fabulous and the truly astonishing into their fictions.”

From The Brooklyn Rail: “Brown is also famous for working with private workshop writing groups at Martin Scorcese’s Zoetrope, groups founded by modern flash fiction torch bearer Kim Chinquee, who has a cult-like following; there is history here and in the making. As the futurists were to early 20th century Italian painting, Brown and Chinquee are to flash fiction.”

From Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Writing Flash Fiction: “Michael Martone and Diane Williams are shaping the next generation of flash writers, such as Randall Brown, Kim Chinquee, Sherrie Flick, and Pia Z. Ehrhardt, with their unique styles that all serve as vehicles for some truth.”

From Dave Clapper, SmokeLong Quarterly Founder, “But if asked to name one person who has been the most tireless advocate of flash generally (and, to our great fortune, of SmokelLong specifically), I would name Randall in a heartbeat. His blog, flashfiction.net has become a daily must-read for anyone really interested in the form. Submissions to SLQ under his leadership grew from 300 to 1200 per issue. New journals publishing flash could always count on an excellent piece from Randall arriving in their in-boxes.”

From flash fiction writer, Digby Beaumont: “Randall is a talented flash fiction writer. He’s also a great facilitator. Anyone serious about their fiction writing will love these sessions. Mine, taken in 2008, were tailored to my needs and helped lead to many valuable insights that I continue to build on whenever I write. And all 8 of the stories that I worked on with Randall ended up getting published in quality, literary magazines.”

From SmokeLong Quarterly lead editor, Tara Laskowski: “I consider Randall Brown to be my flash fiction mentor. His advice, friendship and guidance while I was a fellow at SmokeLong Quarterly not only changed my writing for the better, but inspired me in countless ways. I cannot express how much of an influence he’s been on me because it continues to happen every day. Whenever I read a Randall Brown story, I know I am seeing a master at work. If you want to think about words in a different way and learn how to tell so much in so little space, then you should be so lucky to talk with him.”

From flash fiction writer Sue Ann Connaughton: “This past summer, I took this workshop and it was well worth the time and money—a bargain, actually. I learned and practiced new techniques and received detailed critiques from Randall, who always responded quickly and thoroughly to my questions. So far, I’ve submitted two of the stories I wrote for the workshop and both were accepted by paying publications (Fabula Argentea and GlassFire).”

From flash fiction writer Andrew Stancek: “I have worked with a number of wonderful writers and editors. Randall is beyond compare. His judgment is impeccable and his comments invaluable. He has drastically improved each of my pieces. This is my first opportunity to share with the world the news that a story which I worked on with Randall has just won the Grand Prize in the Gemini Magazine Flash Fiction contest and its $1,000 prize.”

From flash fiction writer Gay Degani: “Randall helped me to shape my chapbook. He helps a writer to see his or her work in a different light without shadowing any of the writer’s intent. His keen eye and ability to suggest what to consider in a piece of writing is extremely helpful.”

From Elizabeth Pettie, co-founder of WordTango.com: “I tend to ramble, in my writing, my life, like right now… In Randall’s class, I learned to pack sentences with power. The tight deadlines forced me to do what all writers want to do: sit down and write. Randall is an amazing teacher. I’m proud to say that three of the stories I wrote in his class were published in FRiGG Magazine.”

From Justin Herrmann: “I received a couple good-news emails from Sherrie Flick. One story of mine was selected for Best Small Fictions, another was a semi-finalist. Both stories were originally written in the workshop I’d taken with you last year. In fact, all eight of the stories we workshopped have found good homes. I’m normally a slow writer, and I haven’t written at that pace or that quality since. So thank you for drawing the best out of me and thank you for the help strengthening the stories.”

From “Expert Tips for Writing Flash Fiction” inThe Writer: “For Randall Brown – author of the award-winning flash collection Mad to Live and editor of Matter Press, which specializes in flash – it comes down to what the form says about the nature of the world and human experience in it. ‘The world – shattered and lying in shards – has grown tired of its pieces being glued together to create the illusion of something complete. Instead, the world hopes someone will pick up a single fragment and create out of it something whole, something that fills that compressed space with the entirety of all that there is,’ he says.”


Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


05/27 • Claudio Perinot
06/03 • Amanda Chiado
06/10 • John Davies
06/17 • Lynne Jensen Lampe
06/24 • Valerie Valdez
07/01 • Carlin Katz
07/08 • Meg Eden
07/15 • Tim Raymond
07/22 • Mike Itaya
07/29 • TBD
08/05 • TBD
08/12 • TBD
08/19 • TBD
08/26 • TBD
09/02 • TBD
09/09 • TBD
09/16 • TBD
09/23 • TBD
09/30 • TBD