1,000 word flash fiction

Welcome to your first writing assignment for your literary magazine class.

You will receive your first prompt for a 1,000 word story and will read it to your classmates. This can be scary at first, but it is a very important exercise for a variety of reasons.

Sharing your writing will help you:

  • push past your comfort zone.
  • build confidence.
  • bond with your classmates.
  • understand you are writing as a staff member, not just as an individual.

The prompts were taken from or paraphrased from the NYC Midnight writing challenges.

I entered some of my stories a contest a few years ago. Here are the two I submitted:

As you write your story, here are a few pointers: (Make sure to click on and read the articles linked below and fill out the corresponding questions).


Have fun completing your first assignment!


Writers Tips #101: 17 Tips from Writing the Blockbuster Novel

Great advice for writers!


When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

When Albert Zuckerman wrote his acclaimed book, Writing the Blockbuster Novel (Writers House Press 1994), he made no apologies for directing this how-to-write book at those who want to pen the big story, the one that vaults a writer to the fore of his art, the script that makes movie makers drool. All novelists aspire to that (in the way all children aspire to be President), but few will achieve it. Nevertheless, the tips he shares serve every story well, even the niche novel that only appeals (though rabidly) to a cult of…

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Digital painting — the basics

The Hub

Ok, so you want to start digital painting? This is what you need to know to get started…

  • Photoshop
  • A drawing tablet (ideal–a mouse will work as well)
  • Brainstorm a color palette (what colors do you want to use?)


  • Open up Photoshop.
  • Start a new document. You can press “ctrl” and “n” or click on “file” and “new.” When a pop up window appears, change…
    • “Name” to “digital painting practice”
    • “Preset” to “U.S. Paper”
    • “Size” to “Letter”
    • “Resolution” to “300 pixels/inch”


  • Select a brush from the brushes panel. If this isn’t featured, go to “window” and “brush” and “brush presets.” If you are working with a digital tablet, the pressure of the pen should help you with shading.


  • Make a color palette/shading practice. If you are coloring a face, you will want to make a color palette with flesh tones.
    • Pick a dark color from the “color” or “swatches” panel, select a…

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