Flash fiction: a shorter, faster future for storybooks in Perth

UWA guest lecturer Laura Keenan:
UWA guest lecturer Laura Keenan: "Flash fiction is a punchy, condensed way of writing that immediately throws the reader into the crux of the story."

IN today’s fast-paced world, a shorter and quicker way to read fiction has become a preferred genre for modern bookworms and writers.

Flash fiction, also known as sudden fiction, is a short story with a beginning, middle and end but pulled together in less than 1000 words.

UWA flash fiction guest lecturer Laura Keenan described flash fiction as a punchy, condensed way of writing that immediately throws the reader into the crux of the story.

“It’s supposed to have a narrative arc to it but it often eliminates features of a traditional story like an introduction and an ending,” she said.

“It’s a reflection of the times or maybe even a rebellion in some ways.

“We’ve got Twitter so media is more and more condensed and people are experimenting with that limited space in creative ways.”

Subiaco author Michael Buckingham Gray had his flash fiction published in literary magazines and journals including Flash: The International Short Story Magazine and The Fortnightly Review.

Gray said while he wouldn’t make a living from writing flash fiction alone, the online opportunities for flash fiction writers to be published were huge.

“There’s a growing community of both flash fiction writers and readers around the world,” he said.

“But it’s really interesting that in Australia, we don’t have as much of a following here.

“If you can write flash fiction, you tend to be able to write longer fiction well.”

Ms Keenan agreed that WA readers held onto traditional story formats.

“I don’t know if it’s just longer forms is the tradition here and the history of outback, noir writing that predominated for so long, maybe people were not ready to move away from that genre,” she said.

Mr Gray holds flash fiction writing workshops at Workshop Freo a couple of times a year while Ms Keenan will be running Flash Fiction Fan Club, a series of six workshops by Centre for Stories, with Linda Martin in September.

Discover more in Perth

WHAT: Flash Fiction Fan Club
WHERE: Centre for Stories, 100 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge WA
WHEN: 6pm-8pm every second Wednesday, starting September 19.