English in a Flash: Creative Short-Form Writing in English

Course content

Inspired by masters of short-form writing in such literary genres as flash nonfiction, flash fiction and prose poetry, we experiment with a variety of styles to expand our repertoire of writing strategies in English. We compose creative texts weekly to strengthen our habits of writing. We read like writers: to practice the connection between critical reading and evocative writing. We engage in conversations, share work with our peers, exchange feedback, become stronger communicators.


This course combines creative writing, literary studies and advanced English language practice. We read selected examples of short-form writing to observe how such brief texts (from 6 words to 750 words) use language to suggest larger narratives. We read like writers, that is, we treat short-shorts as our master texts in order to understand better how we can compose images, build scenes, create engaging characters and develop our own style of writing.


Thanks to this course, you will:

  • become a more nuanced reader of contemporary literary texts,
  • get to know a variety of short-form writers and styles,
  • learn how to incorporate the lessons of reading into your own writing,
  • gain confidence in sharing opinions and offering feedback,
  • diversify and improve your writing skills in English.

Workshops that incorporate writing activities and conversations; peer reviews; presentations; independent reading (reading like a writer) and writing (invitations to write/ writing games inspired by master texts); assembling a portfolio which documents creative progress throughout the course.

Selected works by outstanding authors working with the short-form genres: flash fiction, prose poetry and flash nonfiction (e.g. Lydia Davis, Dave Eggers, Lia Purpura, Rosmarie Waldrop or Charles Simic); essays by practitioners who discuss their craft; excerpts from studies considering literary aspects of short-forms (e.g. The Rose Metal Press Field Guides to Writing: Flash Fiction, Prose Poetry, Flash Nonfiction; ‘Craft Essays’ on Brevity or Creative Nonfiction websites).

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Type of assessment details
Over the semester you systematically explore diverse short-form texts and styles. You read like a writer and compose your own short-shorts guided by invitations to write. You share your drafts and offer feedback on your peers’ works. (IMPORTANT: please note the hands-on format of this course requires regular attendance and contribution to workshop activities – you cannot make up for absences by merely reading some texts at home.) All these creative investigations and materials contribute to your exam portfolio.

A portfolio (21-25 pages) uploaded in the Digital Exam:

• selected texts which represent the most publishable material from your creative writing
(max. 5 pages);
• feedback on your peers’ drafts (max. 4 pages)
• 3 reviews which discuss one literary or linguistic point of interest in 3 texts (one from
each genre) selected from the assigned reading (max. 6 pages);
• 2 responses to craft essays (max. 4 pages);
• 1 reflective essay discussing your re-writing process and growing awareness of short-
form genres (max. 6 pages).
Exam registration requirements

Bachelorniveau - Tilvalg 1: HENB10251E (  Studieordning)

Kandídatniveau - Tilvalg 1: HENK13021E (  Studieordning)

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • English
  • 409,5


Course number
Programme level
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester


Kun for studerende ved Åbent Universitet:
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Teaching Wednesdays 17.00-20.30.
14 weeks; classes take place on South Campus, Amager.
For questions regarding the schedule, please contact academicenglish@hum.ku.dk.
Study board of English, Germanic and Romance Studies
Contracting department
  • Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinators
  • Jean Lohmann Rasmussen   (3-72747a48707d7536737d366c73)
  • Sofie E Abrahamsen Søndergaard   (18-7571686b6730757167706667746963637466426a776f306d7730666d)

Elzbieta Jolanta Wójcik-Leese

Saved on the 11-03-2024

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