Short Story Writing  Short Courses

This short story course enables both new and experienced writers to gain confidence in exploring and developing their creativity through short story writing, reading, and group discussion. You will learn how to write short stories for pleasure or professionally, and you will develop your understanding of short story elements, such as character, dialogue, structure, plot, and setting.

Throughout the course, you will develop your writing skills through in-class writing activities and professional feedback on your writing. You will also critique the work of important contemporary short story writers. By the end of the course, you will produce a complete short story.

Why Choose a City Short Course?

Our Short Story Writing short course is delivered over 10 weeks and is ideal for anyone looking for expert and inspiring tuition combined with maximum flexibility.

Taught in the evening, the course is designed for anyone looking to improve or further their short story writing knowledge and skills.

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Wednesday 7 October 2015 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £295.00 CS1205 Apply Now
Wednesday 13 January 2016 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £295.00 CS1205 Apply Now
Wednesday 4 May 2016 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £295.00 CS1205 Apply Now

Tutor Info

Katy Darby (Autumn Term only)

Katy Darby's short stories have been read on BBC Radio, published in magazines including Slice, Mslexia and The London Magazine, and won prizes in several international fiction competitions. Her first novel, Victorian drama The Whores' Asylum was published by Penguin in 2012 (the paperback title is The Unpierced Heart). She has a BA in English from Oxford University and an MA in Creative Writing from UEA, where she received the David Higham Award. From 2010-12 she edited short story magazine Litro, and she co-founded and currently runs the monthly live fiction event Liars' League, involving regular collaborations with Granta Magazine.

Dr Kate Cantrell (Spring and Summer Terms)

Kate Cantrell is an award-winning writer, editor, and critic. Her short stories have been published nationally and internationally in a variety of magazines and journals, such as Swamp, Voiceworks, Wet Ink, The Mascara Literary Review, Overland, Mslexia, and The Lifted Brow. Her poetry has been published in Islet, and her travel writing has appeared in The Sunday Mail, Bradt Travel Guides, and The Independent on Sunday. She is the recipient of a prestigious Smart Futures Fellowship, and she has won several writing awards and prizes, including The Bradt/Independent on Sunday Travel Writing Prize, The John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers, and an Express Media Nomination for Best Non-Fiction. She has performed her work on National Radio and at several international writing festivals. In 2014, she was the resident writer at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Centre in Australia, and in 2016, she is the writer-in-residence at Stiwdio Maelor in Wales and at the Heinrich Böll Cottage in Ireland.

Kate holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Queensland University of Technology, as well as a Masters from the University of Oxford. From 2011 to 2014, she was a lecturer in the Creative Writing Department at QUT.

Eligibility

Short story writing applicants must have a passion for writing and reading, and an ability to meet deadlines. You will need to submit one short story to the tutor by the end of the course.

English Requirements

Fluent written and spoken English.

What will I learn?

You will learn the skills and knowledge required to work with the short story form. In addition, you will also:

  • Develop your creativity and critical thinking, as well as your editing skills.
  • Practise a range of writing techniques from traditional approaches to more experimental methods.
  • Receive professional feedback on your work from a published writer and editor.
  • Gain insight into the writing industry, including publishing advice.

Course Overview

  1. Introduction
  2. Ideas and Inspiration
  3. Character
  4. Setting
  5. Plot and Structure
  6. Voice, Dialogue and Point of View
  7. Genre + Short Story Workshop 1
  8. Editing + Short Story Workshop 2
  9. Publishing + Short Story Workshop 3
  10. Future Opportunities + Short Story Workshop 4

Course Objectives

  • To produce a short story in a style and genre of your choice.
  • To understand how a short story works on different levels.
  • To learn strategies for improving your short story writing.
  • To practise using different fictional devices and techniques.
  • To engage with your work and others’ work both creatively and critically.
  • To experience short story writing as a combination of imagination and disciplined practice.

Teaching and Assessment

You will be assessed by three criteria: (1) your contribution to class discussions, (2) your in-class work and homework exercises, and (3) your submitted short story. Throughout the course, you will receive ongoing feedback from both your tutor and your peers.

Recommended Reading

Books

Carter, A. 2010. Burning Your Boats: Collected Short Stories. London: Vintage.

Carver, R. 2003. Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories. London: Vintage.

Darby, K. and Potts, C. Eds. 2013. Lovers’ Lies. London: Arachne Press.

Gordimer, N. Ed. 2004. Telling Tales. London: Bloomsbury.

Hemingway, E. 1994. Men Without Women. London: Cornerstone.

Keret, E. 2015. The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God and Other Stories. New York: Riverhead Books.

Taylor, J. Ed. 2012. Overheard: Stories to Read Aloud. Cambridge: Salt Publishing.

Websites

www.theshortstory.org.uk
A general resource site that includes recent winners of the National Short Story prize.

www.classicshorts.com
Classic short stories to read online.

www.short-stories.co.uk
A selection of new and old short stories in a variety of genres.

www.shortstoryradio.com
Actors read new stories by up-and-coming writers. You can read the text or listen online.

www.duotrope.com
The single most useful site for the short fiction writer submitting or selling a short story nationally or internationally.

Leads To...

Writers' Workshop.

Career Outcome

This course will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to prepare your short stories for publication. The course will also provide you with publishing ideas and resources for continuing your writing after the course is finished. The tutor will also offer you publishing tips and advice.

Application Deadline: