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1-on-1 Creative Writing Workshops and Coaching on Zoom
Flash Fiction and Short Stories For Beginners, Experienced & Returning Writers


"You have inspired me beyond words! I will have two stories included in  the upcoming micro fiction anthology from W.W. Norton. My dream. I thought you should know as you started me on this journey". 


--Francine Witte, Author of many books, including The Way of the Wind, a flash novella, and Dressed All Wrong for This, flash fiction.



Fast Fiction, The 1st Writing Guide for flash, micro and short shorts as well as writing longer works using prompts. Available on Amazon in English & in a German Edition.

Roberta Allen

The Playful Way to Serious Writing, Houghton Mifflon, available on


The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself, Houghton Mifflin Available on Amazon 

`Roberta's third story


I am a pioneer of flash fiction or short shorts. I began writing them in 1979 when no one else was and continue writing and publishing them today. The Chinese wrote them 4,000 years ago. They have since enjoyed popularity in other cultures over the centuries, including the 20th. 


I began teaching my own method in the late 80s at various schools and in 1991 I began private workshops. In 1992, I began teaching short shorts at The New School where I taught them for 18 years. I also taught them at Columbia University.


My method of  5 or 10 minute exercises (now called prompts) have since been appropriated by thousands  of teachers and writers in private and college workshops not only here but in Europe and elsewhere.


Besides publishing 3 collections of flash fiction, the first, The Traveling Woman, reviewed in the New York Times Book Review and later excerpted there, I've also published a novella in flash, a novel, a memoir and 3 writing guides, including the first flash fiction writing guide, FAST FICTION.


My flash fiction or short shorts and short stories have been published in well over 100 journals and anthologies, beginning in 1980.


I can help you write flash/micro stories and short stories. Using my  methods, I will guide you through my process and give you specific advice and critiques and--if you need it--inspiration! 


When I work with each writer, I take into account each one's writing practice and skillset. No two courses look alike. Each one is tailored to the writer's specific needs. At every session a revision is read out loud which we then discuss.


There is no "right" way to write but I emphasize language, structure and rhythm.


If you are interested--but not a beginning writer--please send a writing sample of 3/4 to 1 page with your phone number, so we can get acquainted on the phone but please send an email first.

Five 1-hour classes $450. All classes are paid in advance. You may also

take a 1-hour discounted class for $80.

"Roberta really tunes in to each writer and almost by osmosis knows what each one wants to say even before the writer does.I actually got the stories from that Intensive revised + published! I was so happy with the Intensive that I joined the longer prose workshop and am now writing a memoir in micro stories.”


--Susan Shaw, Artist &  published writer



"What you taught me over the years was invaluable. Your encouragement and guidance motivated me to keep writing." 


--Larry Silberfein, Creative Director & published writer



"Roberta's insightful  feedback has greatly improved my writing."


--Paul Wirhun, Artist



"I never thought I had the talent to write until I had Roberta’s guidance and support.”​


--Lisa Grossman, Life Coach, Writer



"Roberta helped me push through writer's block and tell the stories I wanted to tell. Her classes were invaluable."



--Will Ryman, Artist & playwright


book cover_edited_edited.jpg

Roberta's nine books include a novel, a novella, three flash/micro and short story collections, a memoir and 3 writing books. Over 300 of her micro + short stories have been published. She taught at The New School for many years and in the Writing Program at Columbia. Since 1991, Roberta has helped thousands through her writing books, private workshops and classes at  The New School and


"You are always insightful and most perceptive commenting on all students' work, which gives me the confidence to explore without fear."


--Marilise Trotto, Actor


"Roberta's simple techniques and exercises quiet the mind allowing the writer to focus on fresh work. Her workshop inspired me to write micro fictions, a genre I had been attempting. I came away with ten micro fictions and a new confidence in the freshness of immediacy."

-Judyth Emanuel, author of the novel, Yeh Hell Ow

"Roberta has been an enormous help and inspiration on my novel writing journey. She has helped me make a clear and concise outline so for the 1st time I see the trajectory of the plot. As we work line by line on individual chapters, she is sensitive to the rhythm of the language as it appears in narrative, description and dialogue. Within each scene, she helps me further the plot and development of the characters. It is a pleasure and a privilege to have Roberta as an instructor."

--Stephanie Hart, author of Mirror Mirror, a collection of Memoirs and Stories



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