Bernard Cooper
Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 new; $380 returning
(Payment plans available for returning students.)

Flash is the shortest of short-form narrative—shorter even than a short story, sometimes as short as a single sentence. But just because it's short doesn't mean it's easy! Flash demands a writer use all the elements of storytelling (character, setting, plot, etc.) in a way that's distilled down to its most sudden, urgent, and evocative form.

Flash, says Amy Hempel, is "like most ordinary short stories—only more so." How can we make our own stories "more so"? During this eight-week workshop, we'll read diverse examples of minimalist storytelling (fiction and creative nonfiction) and write many of our own. We'll create and share work every week, and along the way, we'll experiment with techniques to make our flash "flashier."

This workshop is open to experienced writers and enthusiastic, serious beginners. The class will take place in Silver Lake, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Silver Lake
7:30 to 9:30 pm
July 19, 2018 to September 6, 2018

Bernard Cooper is the author of memoir, My Avant-Garde Education, recently published by W.W. Norton. He is also the author of The Bill From My FatherMaps To AnywhereA Year of RhymesTruth Serum, and a collection of short stories, Guess Again. Cooper is the recipient of the PEN/USA Ernest Hemingway Award, the O. Henry Prize, a Guggenheim grant, and a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship in literature. His work has appeared in several anthologies, including The Best American Essays of 19881995, 1997, 2002, and 2008. His work has also appeared in magazines and literary reviews including Granta, Harper’s Magazine, The Paris Review, Story, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. He has contributed to National Public Radio’s “This American Life” and for six years was the art critic for Los Angeles Magazine. Visit him online here.


"Funny but not jokey, moral but not preachy, Bernard Cooper's stories [in Guess Again] reflect a great sense of humor and a bottomless reserve of humanity." —David Sedaris

"Funny, compassionate, wistful . . . Cooper has a voice that is fluid and engaging." —Charles Wilson, The New York Times Book Review

"Wonderful . . . [Cooper's] delicate use of humor, sympathy, and humanity makes Guess Again a wonderful addition to the short-story canon." —Scott W. Helman, The Boston Globe

"Gentle humor and wonder at the variety of directions life can go lurk in the crevices and secret corners of these stories." —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times