Short Story Writing  Short Courses

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Wednesday 17 January 2018 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £320.00 CS1205 Apply Now
Wednesday 2 May 2018 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £320.00 CS1205 Apply Now

Course Content

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 the Short Story Writing 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.

Tutor Info

Katy Darby

Katy Darby's short stories have been read on BBC Radio 4, 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 is published by Penguin (paperback title: 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.

She is a former editor of short story magazine Litro, a judge of this year's Cambridge Short Story Prize, and co-founded and currently runs the award-winning monthly live fiction event Liars' League, which has been broadcast on Radio 4 and staged events at the National Gallery and Wilderness Festival.


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


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.

A general resource site that includes recent winners of the National Short Story prize.
Classic short stories to read online.
A selection of new and old short stories in a variety of genres.
Actors read new stories by up-and-coming writers. You can read the text or listen online.
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: