Flash Nonfiction
with Margaret Wappler (Online)

Two Saturdays
11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pacific)
November 2 and 9, 2019

This two-day seminar will dive into the exciting, innovative, and playful nature of the flash nonfiction form. What is flash nonfiction? Generally, flash is a story or essay told in 2,000 words or less, but usually more like 500-750 words, also known as a micro essay or prose poetry, depending on tone, voice, and other elements. They can also be the building blocks of a longer work, such as a memoir or a longer essay. We'll discuss the genre's relationship to narrative prose and poetry, as well as more lyrical and experimental forms of writing. Through prompts that encourage you to focus on the flashpoint of a story (where the conflict begins, no rambling, no preambles) or an arresting image, students will have the opportunity to write and workshop two pieces. We'll also read exemplary examples of the form from John McPhee, Dinah Lenney, Lia Purpura, Annie Dillard, and Jamaica Kincaid.

This class is open to students of all levels and will meet online in real time using the Zoom platform. We will contact you with details closer to the date of the class.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$130 for new students; $120 for returning students

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Margaret Wappler has written about the arts and pop culture for the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Elle, Cosmo, New York Times, and several other publications. Her debut novel, Neon Green, published by Unnamed Press in July 2016, has been praised as "witty and entertaining" by the Los Angeles Times and a depiction of "life in the nineties as it was actually lived " by Electric Literature. She lives in Los Angeles and can be heard weekly on the pop culture podcast, Pop Rocket.


“After I finished a graduate program in creative writing, I could not find a writing workshop that was both affordable and catered to writers outside the screenwriting genre. What I found in this workshop was far more than that. I found a professional group of writers and an instructor who knew craft and also knew how to create a warm, supportive environment for giving feedback. Margaret Wappler‘s workshop was the highlight of my week and I always left there inspired! Also, one of the essays that I wrote in the workshop was recently published. The tools I received there stay with me and so does the warm feeling!” —Nicole Hoelle

"Taking Margaret Wappler's Novel I class has finally made me think and behave like a writer. I'm always thinking about my novel, its characters and place. When I read other work, I am now conscious of the structure and artistry of the novelist and eager to apply my newfound skills to my own work. Margaret is an excellent instructor. She's focused and in control of the room. She is a generous and thoughtfully constructive listener. I can't think of a better way to spend $350." —Naida Albright

“Margaret Wappler‘s fiction classes at WWLA have been nothing short of absolutely fantastic for me. I say classes because I’ve re-enrolled twice in a row now, and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about her and WWLA as a whole. Margaret is well read, she’s got a great sense of humor, and she knows what makes a writing workshop really tick.  Being able to navigate the space between criticism and consideration in a workshop setting is no small task, but she knows how to pull it all off gracefully. When I expressed an interest in taking a flash fiction class (and sort of begged Margaret to teach it), she was receptive and communicated with Edan about the possibility. To my delight, the two collaborated and designed a flash fiction seminar with Margaret set to teach, and I’m now working happily away in that actual class! How’s that for responsiveness? It’s not a surprise to me that both these great ladies have connected through WWLA. I’m just glad I found them, and I’ll happily sing their praises to anyone willing to listen.” —Doug McBride

“Taking Margaret Wappler‘s fiction workshop was a great experience. She does an amazing job of initiating discussion while never dominating or dictating any particular point of view, as a less skilled instructor might. Her feedback on my writing was always concise, thoughtful, and constructive, and seemed tailored to address my particular strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I’ve taken a lot of workshops and writing classes over the years, but none have helped me improve my writing more than my time spent working with Margaret.” —Graham Shafer