Oftentimes dismissed as insignificant, the work of writers pandering to our ever-decreasing attention spans, flash fiction (imaginative prose of no more than 1000 words) can be as stunning and provocative as any other kind of creative writing. In this course, students will be introduced to many different kinds of “short shorts,” with a strong emphasis on contemporary American manifestations of the genre. Through readings and class discussions, students will come to understand how the unique demands of flash fiction affect key aspects of traditional narratives such as plot, setting, characterization, dialogue, and point of view. To help better appreciate the challenges of the genre, students will write, revise, and present some flash fictions of their own. By the end of the course, students will come to understand that, despite their brevity, flash fictions are complex and emotionally moving works in which absolutely every single word counts.