52 weeks, 250 words per week

This programme of writing evolves from the original 52|250 A Year of Flash that Michelle Elvy founded with John Wentworth Chapin in 2010.

This course is for all levels, with material developed for adults and youth. In it, you will learn to take a chance with your writing and pay attention to the details and the smallest of moments. You will engage with external prompts and lively discussions. You will start small and practice the fine art of brevity – which can be applied to all forms of communication. 

Whether you are a writer trying to hone your short stories or poetry, or a curious individual new to writing and looking for the beginning point, 52|250 will challenge you to explore new directions. From the nuts and bolts of structure to more complex ideas around suspense, movement and voice, the weekly lessons will help you find new means of expression in your writing.

The 52|250 challenge is in the commitment to writing every week – 250 words every week. It’s a slow build. Like any new skill, writing can be nurtured and developed with intense focus over time. This course will help demystify and encourage the act of writing.

Poets who want to explore narrative storytelling; storytellers who aim to adopt more poetic language; writers who seek a path through blocked creativity – all are welcome!

Why weekly?

Because the path to better writing is regular practice.

-John Wentworth Chapin

Michelle Elvy brings tools and skills from the original 52|250 year of writing to this new programme – set up as a year-long course, made up of weekly lessons with flexibility built in to cater to individual needs and goals. The central philosophy is start small | think big – building your writing each week, whether in distinct small stories or scenes that work together towards a greater whole.

Each week, students will write 250 words based on a new assignment or hone and edit previous work. Each week, the focus will be around coaxing the very best out of your 250 words.

Why 250?

250 words: enough to get your creativity flowing, but not overwhelming.

250 words: makes you pay attention to language, structure and story, blending poetry and prose – expressive, experimental and elegant.

250 words: a small moment, or a whole world.

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