June 14-16, 2024 

A short story catches fire and all that remains is a one-page tale. The tale falls apart and becomes a single paragraph prose poem. A burn mark stains the prose poem and we’re left with only a tweet. An aphorism. A haiku of ash.

In this generative workshop, we’ll be focusing on compression and condensation. Paring and trimming (and chainsawing) your writing down to its essentials. With plenty of prompts to pick and choose, the weekend will slowly (yet speedily) start to shrink — from tiny fables to prose poems to 100 word stories to 280 character tales to 12 word biographies to 10 word obituaries. Fortune cookies, one line narratives, quick whispers, and much more.

We will cover writing by legends of the micro like Barton Smock, Andrea Cohen, Matthea Harvey, Edward Mullany, Bill Knott, Richard Brautigan, Leonardo Alishan, Rikki Ducornet, and plenty of others.

Splitting our time between microfiction and poetry, freewrites followed by edits, this highly generative writing weekend will lean into the brevity of one’s own writing, sculpting and chiseling to find the diamond in the rough. The lifeforce in the slush. The needle in the haystack. The emerald in the well.

I am the King
by John Maradik

only smaller
no, smaller than that
smaller still

About the Instructor
Benjamin Niespodziany is the author of two chapbooks: 2021’s The Northerners, out through above/ground press, and 2022’s Pickpocket the Big Top, out through Dark Hour Books. His work has been featured in the Wigleaf Top 50, Fence, Maudlin House, Fairy Tale Review, Cheap Pop and various others. His website is neonpajamas.com.

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