What is the course about?
This course will help writers of every level improve their writing skills and develop new techniques in fiction writing. The class will explore a wide range of successful short stories and look at ways to help you write your own. There'll be weekly reading assignments and writing exercises.
The Tutor: Maria Thomas is an award-winning writer of short fiction. She has taught writing at the University of Virginia, and as a Promising Scholar and Margaret McBride Lerhman Fellow at the University of Oregon where she studied for her MFA in Fiction. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she researches creative writing pedagogy and is working on a novel. She is an assistant editor at acclaimed literary journal Short Fiction.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
Point of view; narrative time; constructing dramatic scenes; shaping an entire story from beginning, to middle, to end. Issues, opportunities and challenges specific to short story writing.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the basic techniques of fiction
- Recognise the basic techniques of fiction in the work of good short story writers
- Develop these techniques in your own writing
- Recognise what makes a strong short story by reading good short story writers.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This class is open to those with some experience of writing fiction. You will need to be an ethusiastic reader and fluent in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be assigned several short stories to read every week, and a writing exercise.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no additional costs. Please bring writing materials, and a laptop or tablet if you need one.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may wish to continue developing your skills in Short story writing, or if you are ready to submit your work for rigorous critical feedback, you may wish to progress to Advanced fiction writing workshop. If you would like to develop your understanding of writing craft further you may enjoy the Reading and writing group, in which students will read, discuss, and complete exercises from a seminal craft text.
Our Craft Focus series is also available to writers who wish to focus on an isolated element of fiction writing craft. We offer short intensive courses in developing character, plot, setting, point of view, and more. See our website or contact the department for advice on how you can build a programme of fiction writing study.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter. All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.