Flash Sessions: Five 10-Minute Talks

Flash Session


Think flash essays, but in person! In this popular panel made up of mini-sessions, a group of presenters grace the stage and share their passion and knowledge in brief, 10-minute talks. This fast-paced event is sure to inspire you, give you ideas, and leave you with a few golden nuggets to take home! From finding the perfect writing group to exploring book reviewing, this session-of-sessions will surely have something for you!

Recap Slides Available:

Fact-Checking the Family Story (Brandon Arvesen)

Getting Unstuck (Dawn Leas, PDF)

Read Any Good Books Lately? (Vicki Mayk, PDF)


Fact-checking the Family Story

  • Flash Session

Writing memoir is a messy process. The task asks writers to descend into memory and to engage readers with accurate and meaningful details. Memoir is even messier when the narrative centers on someone other than the writer. Subjects remember stories, but are they accurate? Memory is so vulnerable to hyperbole. How can the writer honestly engage in the process of telling true stories? This session emphasizes the essential use of reporting and research in narrative writing. Attendees will learn how meticulous and diligent research can lead to stronger narrative construction and what they can gain by embracing research practices in their own works in progress.

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Writing Groups: How? Why?

  • Flash Session

Every writer needs some form of writing group. Based on Aimee's highly successful Brevity Blog post "Writing Groups: How? Why?" this breakout session covers the four (or more!) types of writing groups, which kind(s) are right for you, and how to get the most out of yours. In this workshop you will learn why you need a writing group and if you already have one, how to revitalize it so you love it and look forward to it. You'll even leave with a sheet of inclusive tips and tricks for workshopping members' work.

Getting Unstuck: 3 Paths to Free-flowing Words

  • Flash Session

Can't move pen across page or cursor across screen? Stuck in fear of not being good enough? In fear of failure? In fear that the story pin-balling in your brain won't read as well as on the page as it sounds in your head? Let’s talk about three ways to open (and keep open) the faucet of free-flowing words – get outside, get moving (some of what I’ll suggest may surprise you), and get journaling. Do one (or all) consistently, and you’ll fill blank page after blank page.

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Read Any Good Books Lately? The Art of the Book Review

  • Flash Session

Forget those boring elementary school book reports and the off-the-cuff reviews you post on Amazon and Goodreads. There's an art to writing a good book review and thoughtful ways to be critical in one when necessary. A well-written book review combines opportunities to be a good literary citizen, gain a writing credit in your favorite publications, and score free books. It also can showcase a reviewer's writing, reflect their personality and provide content for social media sharing. Attendees will learn tips for crafting lively reviews that are free of cliches. Ideas for publishing reviews also will be shared.

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5 Ways into Your Lyric Essay: A Literary Tour of Creative Nonfiction Forms

  • Flash Session

When we think of “form” in writing, we often think of rigid structures and rules, like a throwback to high school English. But creative nonfiction invites us to push boundaries and think outside the box – to examine our subject from various angles as we seek to better understand and effectively tell our stories. In this session, we'll look at five types of lyric essays and examples of each by writers such as John McPhee and Virginia Woolf. Join us on a literary tour through the meditative, hermit crab, counterpoint, collage and braided essay forms - and get ready to experiment with your own work!


  • Brandon Arvesen

    I am a writer, editor, and writing professor. I have an MA in Fiction from Johns Hopkins and an MFA in CNF from Goucher College. I am the founding editor of 3centsMagazine, an online publication that puts three independently written pieces into thematic conversations. In addition to my work for...

  • Aimee Christian

    Aimee Christian writes creative nonfiction, essays, and memoir about identity, adoption, parenting, and disability. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cognoscenti, Pidgeonholes, Entropy, Hippocampus, the Brevity Blog, and more. She reads creative nonfiction for Hippocampus and is an instructor at GrubStreet. Find out more...

  • Dawn Leas

    Dawn Leas is the author A Person Worth Knowing (Foothills Publishing), Take Something When You Go (Winter Goose Publishing), and I Know When to Keep Quiet, (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry has appeared in New York Quarterly, The Paterson Literary Review, Literary Mama, The Pedestal Magazine, SWWIM, and elsewhere. She’s...

  • Vicki Mayk

    Vicki Mayk is Book Reviews Editor for Hippocampus Magazine. A nonfiction writer and magazine editor, she is the author of Growing Up on the Gridiron: Football, Friendship and the Tragic Life of Owen Thomas (Beacon Press 2020). Her work also has appeared in Literary Mama, Hippocampus, The Manifest-Station, and other...

  • Kate Meadows

    Kate Meadows is a writer, editor and workshop instructor with an MFA in Professional Writing. Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, Chicken Soup for the Soul and elsewhere, including three Hippocampus anthologies – DINE, INK and Getting to the Truth. She creates and teaches online writing...