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Afterglow 2023 —
The Summer is not Enough

This fall SmokeLong is offering a series of events combining webinars, peer-review workshopping, and feedback from the webinar presenters for those of you who want to extend the summer into the autumn and for those of you whose summer was too busy for workshopping.

How Afterglow 23 works:

The workshop begins with a live webinar/workshop (Zoom); then, a few days later, you’ll workshop drafts from the webinar with other workshop participants in small groups of 8-12 for five days, at which time you’ll have the opportunity to send one draft to the webinar/workshop presenter for feedback.

Participation in the full Afterglow events is limited to 20 people. 

There is also the option to attend the webinars without the workshopping and feedback features. This option will be available in the SmokeLong Shop. Webinars are recorded for participants unable to attend the live event.

Schedule of Events: 

September 9, 10am NYC — Absurdism, Surrealism, and the Supernatural in Flash with Brendan Stephens

Peer Review Workshop: September 13-17

“While often considered the exclusive domain of epic world-building novels, speculative fiction is also a powerful tool within flash fiction. In this webinar we discover how we might be able to use elements from fantasy, sci-fi, and surrealism to explore unknown worlds and brevity in under a thousand words.” — Brendan Stephens

Brendan Stephens hails from western Maryland, and his work has appeared in Pinch, Epoch, SmokeLong Quarterly, the Southeast Review, and elsewhere. His awards include multiple Inprint Donald Barthelme awards, an Into the Void Fiction Prize, and a Sequestrum Emerging Writer Award. Brendan earned his MFA from the University of Central Florida and his PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston.

September 16, 1pm NYC / 6pm UK — Making your prose pop! Exploring poetic techniques in flash fiction with Farhana Khalique

Peer Review Workshop: September 20-24

Have you ever re-read a flash fiction piece because of its imagery, atmosphere, or just to linger over the lines? In this workshop, we will explore using different poetic techniques to make our stories sing! — Farhana Khalique

Farhana Khalique is a writer, voiceover artist and teacher from south-west London, UK. Her writing appears in Tales from the CityBest Small Fictions 2022100 Voices, and more. She’s been longlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award, shortlisted for The Asian Writer Short Story Prize, and she’s a former Word Factory Apprentice. Farhana is also a submissions editor at SmokeLong Quarterly, a fiction editor at Litro magazine, and she’s taught workshops with Retreat West, Flash Fiction Festival, Dahlia Publishing and more.  @HanaKhalique

September 30, noon NYC — Writing about Family in Creative Nonfiction with Shasta Grant

Peer Review Workshop: October 4-8

How can you balance the considerations and privacy of the actual people you’re writing about while also fully developing characters on the page? What is more important: fact or emotional truth? What is okay to reveal and what is off limits? We’ll look at how to frame and put boundaries on your nonfiction narratives. — Shasta Grant

Shasta Grant  is the author of the chapbook Gather Us Up and Bring Us Home (Split Lip Press, 2017). She won the 2015 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest and the 2016 SmokeLong Quarterly Kathy Fish Fellowship. She has received residencies from Hedgebrook and The Kerouac Project and was selected as a 2020 Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellow. Her work has appeared in cream city review, Epiphany, Hobart, wigleaf, and elsewhere. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Indianapolis.

October 7, Time: 1pm ET — Ekphrastic writing – Using art as a starting point when you’re stuck for a story with Amber Sparks

Peer Review Workshop: October 11-15

Writers have always been inspired by visual art, but in this class we’ll learn practical ways to harness that inspiration. We’ll use exercises and prompts to turn artworks into solid, creative flash fiction and as flashes of light to get you out of a dark rut. — Amber Sparks

Amber Sparks is the author of The Unfinished World and Other Stories, and And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges, both from Liveright. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, Granta, The Cut, The Paris Review, and others.

October 14, noon NYC — Better Sorry than Safe: Transcending Cliché in Flash with Jennifer Wortman

Peer Review Workshop: October 18-22

Etgar Keret calls clichés “unsexy truths”; in this class, we’ll mine the truths in cliché and make them sexy! From sentences to storylines, we’ll draw on the tired and old to invite the sparkling and new. — Jennifer Wortman

Jennifer Wortman is the author of the story collection This. This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love. Her work appears in TriQuarterly, SmokeLong Quarterly, Electric Literature, The Best Small Fictions, Best Microfictions, W. W. Norton’s Flash Fiction America, and elsewhere, and has been cited as distinguished in Best American Short Stories. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and MacDowell, she lives with her family in Colorado, where she teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and serves as associate fiction editor for Colorado Review.

October 21, noon NYC — From a Moment to a Lifetime: Navigating the Scope and Movement of Time in Flash Fiction with Jasmine Sawers

Peer Review Workshop: October 25-29

An author’s “effortless” control of the passage of time serves to orient the reader to the universe of a story and give a piece its ultimate shape. Explore how we as writers can establish temporal authority for stories of any scope even when working with minimal page space. — Jasmine Sawers

Jasmine Sawers is a Kundiman fellow and Indiana University MFA alum. Their fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in such journals as PloughsharesFoglifter, and Wigleaf. Their book, THE ANCHORED WORLD, was a finalist for the 2023 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection. They serve as an associate fiction editor for Fairy Tale Review and teach creative writing outside of academia. Originally from Buffalo, Sawers now lives outside St. Louis.

November 4, 10am NYC — “Whose Story is it Anyway: Examining Point of View in Flash” with Sherrie Flick

Peer Review Workshop: November 8-12

Choosing an effective point of view is an important (and tricky!) decision for every flash fiction writer. We’ll look at third-omniscient, third-close, second, and first points of view and walk through how they work and how each changes the intent and focus of a story. We’ll look at examples of each form and practice writing different points of view through generative exercises. Participants will leave the session with renewed point-of-view confidence and insight! — Sherrie Flick

Sherrie Flick is the author of four books, including two short story collections, Thank Your Lucky Stars and Whiskey, Etc., both published by Autumn House Press. Co-editor for the 2023 anthology Flash Fiction America (W. W. Norton), she also served as series editor for The Best Small Fictions 2018, and is a senior editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. She lives in Pittsburgh where she is a senior lecturer at Chatham University. Her debut essay collection, Homing: Instincts of a Rustbelt Feminist, is forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press in 2024.

November 12, 1pm NYC / 6pm UK — “The Physics of Flash: Where Science and Mathematics Meet the Art of Fiction” with Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Peer Review Workshop: November 16-20

What happens when we imagine like a mathematician? Craft like a chemist? Edit like an engineer?  In this session, we’ll take our inspiration from the technical and explore how thinking like a scientist can unlock magic in our fiction. This is a friendly, playful webinar; no specialist knowledge or background is required or assumed.

Ingrid Jendrzejewski received a BFA in Creative Writing and BA in English Literature at the University of Evansville before going on to earn a BA and MSci in Natural Sciences (Physics) at the University of Cambridge. She has worked on text input tools that use probabilistic predictive language models and also as a developer for a popular mmorpg, where she wrote and coded a number of quests, minigames and in-game events. Ingrid currently serves as Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day and Editor in Chief of FlashBack Fiction. She has published hundreds of shortform pieces and her short collection Things I Dream About When I’m Not Sleeping was a runner up for BFFA’s first Novella-in-Flash competition. You can find her at ingridj.com and on Twitter @LunchOnTuesday.



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"Reading Your Work Like a Pro" with Farhana Khalique

Book Now!

Are you nervous about reading your work aloud, or worried that you’ll ‘flatline’ or sound monotone? Join writer and voice over artist Farhana Khalique for this workshop, which includes tips on how to deal with nerves, how to ‘mark-up’ your story so it’s easier to read and hear, how to inject more energy and emotion into your performance, and more. We’ll also do writing and reading exercises to put the above into practice.