Writers’ Workshop  Short Courses

This is an advanced fiction-writing short course designed to help experienced writers move ongoing work towards a publishable standard.

Students' fiction (chapters from novels or short stories) will be circulated in advance and then constructively critiqued within the group.

You will also submit and workshop a synopsis of your novel; write an author biog and covering letter to send to agents and publishers; and will select a topic for proposed discussion in class (e.g., pace, multiple viewpoints).

The size of the Writers’ Workshop classes will be restricted to 12 students, so early application is advised.

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Friday 9 October 2015 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £320.00 CS3209 Apply Now
Friday 15 January 2016 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £320.00 CS3209 Apply Now
Friday 29 April 2016 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £320.00 CS3209 Apply Now

Tutor Info

Katy Darby:

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.


You should have taken an introductory fiction writing course or be writing regularly, and some experience of workshopping is advisable.

What will I learn?

  • You will learn to: Understand the construction of a sustained piece of fiction;
  • Revise and edit your work;
  • Identify markets and the requirements of publishers;
  • Give, receive and apply constructive criticism;
  • Put together a submission for an agent or publisher, consisting of a synopsis, first three chapters or short stories and covering letter.    

    What will I do on the course?

  • Submit and workshop a synopsis of your novel (approx. 500 words);
  • Submit and workshop 3 chapters of your novel or 3 short stories (max. 5000 words each chapter or story);
  • Select a topic you are interested in for focused discussion in class (e.g., "Pace", "Dialogue", "Multiple Viewpoints");
  • Write an author biog and covering letter to send to agents/publishers.

Teaching and Assessment

Students are assessed by their contribution to class discussions and their work on in-class and homework exercises, as well as their submitted synopsis, chapters or stories.

Recommended Reading

Mittelmark, H. and Newman, S, (2009) How Not To Write A Novel.

London: Penguin. The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook (annual).

London: A & C Black, or Barry, T., ed. (annual) The Writers' Handbook.

London: Macmillan. Mullan J. (12 Oct 2006) How Novels Work. OUP Oxford

Leads To...

The Novel Studio

Application Deadline: