Study at City
  1. Courses
  2. Applying
  3. Fees and funding
  4. Living in London
  5. Visit us
  6. Student support
  7. International students
  8. Order a prospectus
  1. Short courses
  2. Courses
Study at City

Writers’ Workshop Summer School Short Course

Key information

Choose a start date
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Course Code:
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Booking Deadline:
To be confirmed
To be confirmed

This is an intensive, week-long fiction-writing course designed to help more experienced writers take their ongoing work – whether a novel or short stories – towards a publishable standard.

Why choose this course?

This is an intensive, week-long fiction-writing course designed to help more experienced writers take their ongoing work – whether a novel or short stories – towards a publishable standard.

You will learn about structuring a narrative, the core elements of fiction writing, how to edit and redraft your work based on feedback from the tutor and the group, and how to prepare your work for publication.

The size of the Writers’ Workshop Summer School will be restricted to 8 students only, so early booking is advised.

Course overview

The aim of this week-long intensive workshop course is to provide professional and peer critique of students’ prose fiction, as well as insight into the core elements of writing such as character development, plot and description. Work submitted may be a novel synopsis of 500-1000 words plus the first chapter(s) of a novel, comprising 2000-5000 words; OR short story writers may submit two individual short stories of up to 3000 words each. Both verbal and written feedback will be given.

Delivered over five days in a short intensive burst, this workshop serves as both a taster course and an introduction to the ten-week Writers’ Workshop evening course offered at City. Students will read and discuss in class one another’s creative work, as well as aspects of the craft of fiction, to support their development as writers.

The course is ideal preparation both for the ten-week Writers’ Workshop and The Novel Studio.

Prior to beginning the course, students will be asked to submit their work (synopsis plus Chapter 1 OR two short stories) for review by the course tutor and peers.

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Over the course of the five day Writers' Workshop Summer School, you will learn to:

  • Structure a narrative (whether short story or novel length);
  • Set and meet writing deadlines and guidelines (e.g. length requirements);
  • Give, receive and apply constructive criticism;
  • Revise and edit your work;
  • Pitch to an agent or publisher

The structure of each day will be as follows:

- Morning session 10:00-12:00, lunch 12:00-13:00;
- Afternoon session 13:00-15:00.


Morning: Lesson 1 (Description; Place & Time), Fiction Workshop 1
Afternoon: Fiction Workshops 2 & 3

NB: Fiction Workshops consist of one hour of discussion & feedback on one student’s work

Morning: Lesson 2 (Character & Dialogue), Fiction Workshop 4
Afternoon: Fiction Workshops 5 & 6

Morning: Fiction Workshops 7 & 8
Afternoon: Fiction Workshops 9 & 10

Morning: Lesson 3 (Structure & Plot), Fiction Workshop 11
Afternoon: Fiction Workshops 12 & 13

Morning: Lesson 4 (Revision, Submission & Presentation), Fiction Workshop 14
Afternoon: Fiction Workshops 15 & 16



Prerequisite knowledge

Some writing experience, and material prepared as described above.

English requirements

Applicants must have fluent written and spoken English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

Students’ fiction and synopses will be circulated in advance and then constructively critiqued within the group.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

  • Darby, K. and Potts, C. Eds. 2012. London Lies. London: Arachne Press.
  • Gordimer, N. Ed. 2004. Telling Tales. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Taylor, J. Ed. 2012. Overheard: Stories to Read Aloud. Cambridge: Salt Publishing
  • Mittelmark, H. and Newman, S, (2009) How Not To Write A Novel. London: Bloomsbury.
  • The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook (annual). London: Macmillan.
  • Mullan J. (2006) How Novels Work. OUP Oxford

Tutor information

  • Katy Darby

    Katy Darby's short stories have been read on BBC Radio 4 and 4Extra, published in magazines including Slice, Mslexia and The London Magazine, and won prizes in several international fiction competitions. Her historical novel The Unpierced Heart is published by Penguin. She has a BA in English from Oxford University and an MA in Creative Writing from UEA, where she received the David Higham Award. Her latest stories are available in the anthologies Five by Five and An Outbreak of Peace.

    She’s a former editor of short story magazine Litro, and is co-founder and director of the award-winning, internationally franchised live fiction event Liars' League ( Katy has written for the TLS, and the Brixton Review of Books, co-edited four anthologies of short stories with Cherry Potts of Arachne Press, and recently judged the Cambridge Short Story Prize and the International Willesden Herald Story Prize.

Next steps

This Writers' Workshop is a practical journey for writers. Learn how to revise and edit your fiction, learn more about publishing and more. …
The Novel Studio gives you expert, bespoke guidance. You will have the opportunity to develop your novel over a year through revising, editing and developing your work in masterclasses, workshops…