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Flash Fiction: Understanding Craft Moves that Increase Clarity and Precision in Writing / A Virtual Half-Day Workshop

Presented by Penny Kittle and Linda Rief

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Date and Time

One, half-day workshop from 9:30am to 12:30pm Eastern Time (ET).

  • Saturday, March 5, 2022

Please note that this virtual half-day workshop is scheduled for Eastern Time (ET). If you are in a different time zone, please plan your schedule accordingly.


Thomas Newkirk wrote, in Writing Unbound, "If reading fiction is beneficial, if, as some research indicates, it builds empathy, reading stamina, vocabulary, and cultural knowledge, if it provides entry into appealing vicarious worlds—why can't the same be said for writing fiction?"

In our classrooms (middle school, high school, and university) we've noticed students are energized and engaged when creating their own worlds. Flash fiction is an especially appealing genre for students, because it frees their imaginations, yet necessitates careful attention to the precise crafting of sentences. It is accessible and manageable for both students, and teachers, because it is short—usually less than 750 words—and yet it carries the characteristics and weight of longer narrative pieces.

In this workshop, we will use mentor texts written by students and professionals to discover the unique qualities of this genre, try our creativity at crafting one of our own, and see the benefits students derive from the close reading and imitation of this kind of writing.

Learning Objectives

  • Empower students to use their imaginations to create worlds, situations, and characters that stretch their views of the world in ways they may, or may not have, experienced
  • Encourage students to read closely to gain insight into the characteristics or qualities of a mentor text
  • Guide students to make intentional choices with respect to characters, setting, words, titles, description, dialogue, lead, ending, and problem
  • Invite student writers to imagine the thoughts and feelings of others by exploring those they may not have had themselves
  • Build a repertoire of writing opportunities for our students

About the Presenters

Penny Kittle teaches first year writers at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She was a teacher and literacy coach in public schools for over thirty years. She is the author of Book Love and Write Beside Them, and the coauthor with Kelly Gallagher of Four Essential Studies and 180 Days. She also coauthored two books with her mentor, Don Graves. She works beside teachers and leaders around the world to empower young readers and writers.

Linda Rief left the classroom in 2019 after forty years of learning with eighth graders. She is an instructor in the University of New Hampshire's Summer Literacy Institute and a national and international presenter on issues of adolescent literacy. Her latest Heinemann books include Heartfelt Transitions: Using Poetry to Deepen Reading and Writing (forthcoming 2022); The Quickwrite Handbook; ReadWriteTeach; and Inside the Writer's-Reader's Notebook.

Who Should Participate

Classroom teachers of grades 5-12, literacy coaches, reading and language arts specialists, curriculum coordinators, and administrators.


The cost of this virtual half-day workshop is $60.00 per person. Tuition also includes access to the recorded workshop for 30 days, which begins on the date you receive the link. Please note, access cannot be extended past 30 days.


Registrants will receive multiple emails from Heinemann, including enrollment confirmation, which also serves as your tuition receipt and contains some basic instructions. If you have not received your confirmation email within 48 hours of your registration, please contact us at or 800-541-2086, ext. 1151. Approximately two days prior to the event date you will receive an email with the PD event's Zoom link and log-in instructions.

We highly recommend you test your computer readiness by clicking on this link.

If your computer needs any software upgrades, Zoom will walk you through the updates.

Note: We encourage group participation; however, we require that each person be registered and provide a unique email address.

Registration Form

Our Registration Form is now standardized to be used for any Heinemann PD Services open-enrollment event. Download our new PD Event Registration Form here.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

03/05/2022 - 9:30am-12:30pm ET, Online

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Availability: Available When: 03/05/2022 Where:
Virtual Workshop

9:30am-12:30pm ET, Online

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