Writing the Short-Short Story

Very short fictions are nearly always experimental, exquisitely calibrated, reminiscent of Frost’s definition of a poem—a structure of words that consumes itself as it unfolds, like ice melting on a stove. ~Joyce Carol Oates

Date: Next session TBA! from 6 pm to 8 pm, PDT. Find your time zone. The session will also be recorded and sent to you via email, to view whenever you wish.
Location: Online via Zoom seminars
 $27 usd: available below, or by contacting writing@kahini.org.
The Program  |  Faculty  |  Registration  |  Evaluations


The Program

The short-short story is the hardest to write, but the easiest to publish. ~Melissa Febos

Build your portfolio of fiction publications by writing a brand-new short-short story of 100 words in this two-hour-long session, designed for writers of all experience levels.

We’ll do our live session on June 23, from 6 pm to 8 pm, PDT: the session will also be recorded and sent to you via email, to view again and again, whenever you want, as you create new work.

Since our inception in 2014, Kahini participants have published over three thousand individual times in literary magazines, including Granta, Harper’s, and the New Yorker; released around three hundred books on such presses as Scribner, Tin House, and Viking; been featured in the Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Science & Nature Writing anthologies; and won the New Zealand First Book Award. Eighteen past participants so far have been appointed to tenure-track university professorships in creative writing.

But our real success at Kahini is crafting our true, authentic artistic voices as writers and putting words on the page, as we each write five new short-short stories.



Writing the Short-Short Story runs on Thursday, June 23, from 6 pm to 8 pm, PDT. Find your time zone. The seminar will also be recorded, and sent to you via email. Register securely online via Stripe.



Evaluations from Recent Participants

“I really enjoyed these sessions! You really know how to write very well and I enjoy your readings, comments and prompts. I like that we have two or three times to write.” ~Ginny B.

“What I found: my writing got better at the sentence level and I even published a standalone story. I plan on using this course again to help develop my chapters.” ~Paul L. 

“When my teenage son finds me looking out of the window, he laughs, “Ha, there goes our writer at work.” He means it as a joke and that’s how I take it, ignoring the faint taint of resentment that the mother is hiving off time for what, writing? Really? But that’s not all. I also want to brush aside what lies at the heart of his joke: the truth of my life as a writer. I can stay up all night imagining the most beautifully layered story but when I sit down to write, my mind goes blank. Here, the story is different. Hidden memories coalesce to form words that flow out of the mouth of my shirt sleeve onto the pages. Shitty first drafts, yes, but it is writing and so precious. When this happens, it leaves me anxious that it may not happen next time. But it does. Week after week. It is too much of a good thing to waste time on investigating if it is the beauty of the stories or the word-by-word dissection (and I love the fact that each word matters and is there for a reason). Is it the communion with writers at their desk at the same time, writing? Or the zillion prompts Jordan manufactures out of a 72-word story!” ~Rebecca M

“After a period of not writing this class gave me the jolt I needed to put pen to paper again. I love that we write during the classes and you really do have a couple of drafts at the end of each session. Jordan’s explanation of why a particular story works is very clear and has been a great reminder of the techniques to use when feeling stuck and when editing, I highly recommend this course.” ~Emma R.

“These weekly one-hour classes are perfect for me, a new writer. Short, to the point and throughout I know I am growing as a writer. I particularly thrive on being exposed to tools that emphasize writing as artistic process. My file folder is growing from the many opportunities to practice within the class as well.” ~Vicki H. 

In each Kahini session, Jordan picks one or two stories and helps the class unravel and rediscover them through a layer-by-layer analysis of its elements including sensory detail, plot, voice, setting, and pacing. After reading aloud a story twice or thrice, Jordan highlights the turning points and artistic choices made by the writer, casting a whole new dimension to it in the hour which is not just a workshop but a meditation of the story’s essence. Each story he brings to class, tiny as it might seem, packs a creative writing curriculum within itself. Interspersed with Jordan’s analysis is the writing time based on his thoughtful prompts. During Kahini classes, I have drafted work I am proud of. Highly recommend to any writer at any phase of their writing journey. ~Sara C.