• Home
  • The Art of Storytelling from the Subconscious using the Medium of Flash Fiction // with Riham Adly

The Art of Storytelling from the Subconscious using the Medium of Flash Fiction // with Riham Adly

  • 19 June 2024
  • 30 July 2024
  • Online
  • 20



If you’re a creative writer, whether you’re writing short stories already, planning a novel, or working on that memoir, then let me you ask you this:
  • Are you struggling with the kind creative blocks where the words are there, but you can’t write them or express them?
  • Are you feeling the need to write stories that offer more than just entertainment? Wanting to dig deeper into yourself to tell a compelling story, your own story? 
  • Are you wondering if it’s time to go beyond that veil we call the subconscious, time to understand the emotional dimensions of your senses, your thoughts, and your actions through storytelling?

The Subconscious is the seat of repressed memories and hidden emotions. Imagery and symbolism are its language.  As humans we are the only species that resorts to storytelling to try to understand ourselves. Sometimes a story about a character’s anger or grief isn’t at all about that but is rather about their hidden shame.

Everything has two poles, one apparent and another hidden. The journey towards healing and boundless creativity starts with this discovery. Characters in stories have patterns, desires, obstacles. What are those patterns trying to show or mirror?

Good writing uses elements of craft to reflect the character shows and what they hide. We are going to explore the emotional maps that drive behavior, dialogue, desires, and conflicts of our characters in the stories we choose to tell. We’ll do that through using flash fiction (stories under 1000 words) to laser focus on emotions that drive patterns and actions.

We'll produce 5 stories in this course.

Week by Week

Week One: Brief Introduction to Flash Fiction  We’ll understand why this medium is the most suitable for writing from the subconscious. We’ll also look at the basic structure of flash fiction, and why it’s so popular in this day and age as opposed to longer forms of storytelling. 

Week Two: ( Show Don't Tell)  We’ll look at emotional resonance and understand what it means to write with purpose. We'll discover the map of emotions and emotional functions of the five senses and how to use literary devices to deliver and serve the emotional message in the story.

Week Three: ( Character) We'll start looking at that which is hidden, at the core , layers, and masks our characters put on. We look at core needs and core commitments and how those influence the character’s perspective.  We’ll also look at the purpose of flashbacks and backstory.

Week Four : (Perspective) Is all about point of view and the narrative voice. We'll explore how those needs and commitments shape perspective ( distance and intimacy)  creating the character's voice that influences  theme, mood, tone and narrative style.

Week Five: ( Plot) We look at attachment patterns that drive the actions and reactions of our characters. We'll discover emotional movement? What it means to shift.

Week Six: (Setting) We wrap up by exploring Setting. We'll look at ways to use setting as a mirror to what the character is going through. Setting is the context within which events take shape.

Who Should Take This Class

Novelists, memoirists, short story writers, coaches, TLAN artists, and therapists looking for innovative ways to help their patients or clients or anyone suffering from creative blocks. 

Students should expect to spend 3 hours per week perusing resources and readings, engaging in several writing/creation prompts, and briefly responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.


This is an online class, hosted on the online teaching platform, Wet Ink, as well as Zoom. The Wet Ink platform allows students to log in on their own time to post comments and critiques directly to authors’ works. You can also view deadlines, track revisions, and watch video or listen to audio. At the end of the class, each student will receive an email that contains an archive of all their content and interactions. Wet Ink is mobile-friendly and their are no browser requirements.

The course will include five optional zoom classes taking place Saturdays from 1:30-2:30 pm EST.  Because they are optional, the Zoom sessions will not be recorded.

About the Facilitator

Riham Adly is an award-winning flash fiction writer from Giza, Egypt. In 2013 her story “The Darker Side of the Moon” won the MAKAN award. She was short-listed several times for the Strand International Flash Fiction Contest. Riham is a Best of the NET and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work is included in the “Best Micro-fiction 2020” anthology. Her flash fiction has appeared in over fifty journals such as Litro Magazine, Lost Balloon, The Flash Flood, Bending Genres, The Citron Review, The Sunlight Press, Flash Fiction Magazine, Menacing Hedge, Flash Frontier, Flash Back, Ellipsis Zine, Okay Donkey, and New Flash Fiction Review among others. Riham has worked as an assistant editor in 101 words magazine and as a first reader in Vestal Review magazine. Riham is the founder of the “Let’s Write Short Stories” and “Let’s Write That Novel” in Egypt. She has taught creative writing all over Cairo for over five years with the goal of mentoring and empowering aspiring writers in her region. Riham’s flash fiction collection “Love is Make-Believe” was released and published in November 2021 by Clarendon House Publications in the UK.

The TLA Network exists to support and promote individuals and organizations that use the spoken, written, or sung word as a tool for personal and community transformation.

Access our policies: Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use

The Transformative Language Arts Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

1741 Valley Forge Road, #175, Worcester, PA 19490 | tlan.coordinator@gmail.com

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software