Write a short story in a weekend

Course Dates: 01/06/19 - 02/06/19
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Jonathan Barnes

Through a series of inspiring and practical exercises, you'll be encouraged to tap into your imagination and draft a story from beginning to end in two days.


What is the course about?

This hands-on course uses a series of guided exercises to get you writing in new ways, exploring unfamiliar territory and discoveirng new connections and turning points. You'll be led through the process of drafting a story from beginning to end, and will come away with an improved critical understanding of what makes a good story.

Students say: "Great teacher, great environment and group"; "A fantastic, succinct course which really helped me to kick-start my writing"; "Very well-taught and inspiring - I gained valuable knowledge to help me write better short stories"; "Super-stimulating - I have confidence and many more ideas to work with now."

The Tutor: Jonathan Barnes is the author of three novels. He writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review and has contributed to the Arts pages of The Lancet. He is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Kingston University. He is also the author of several full-cast audio dramas from Big Finish Productions, featuring characters from Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein and Doctor Who.

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?

- How to begin a story
- Finding and developing characters
- Exploring structure and turning points, contrast and conflict
- Establishing mood and themes
- Being imaginative with language and symbols
- Finding endings, setting up epiphanies, twists, and denouements.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Complete a first draft of a short story.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No previous experience of creative writing is required, though practised writers will also benefit from stimulating approaches to generating new material. Fluent written and spoken English is essential.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- Existing writing will be analysed and discussed to find out what makes a story successful
- You'll participate in a variety of writing exercises that will produce characters, plots, and new ideas
- Group feedback and constructive criticism offered to individual students.

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?

No additional costs. Please bring a pen and paper.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit runs term-long Short story writing courses in the evening and daytime, as well as a range of Writing fiction courses that will teach you essential skills and techniques.

All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit www.citylit.ac.uk/citylittalksback for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at www.citylit.ac.uk/betweenthelines. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 9 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Hard work because we covered all the essentials for a short story but this course has really moved me beyond my expectations. The tutor knows her stuff!
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Review by Veegee / (Posted on 17/03/2019)
The course provides a framework for short story writing in a supportive and friendly environment. Not only will you be able to write a first draft, there will be plenty of inspiration for further reading, analysis of published authors and inspiration for further stories.
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Review by Jenny / (Posted on 17/03/2019)
This course provides a platform to get you writing, even if you've never written a short story before . The atmosphere is interactive and supportive and no-one is put on the spot. The teacher is knowledgeable, perceptive and inspiring.
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Review by John / (Posted on 28/01/2019)
I would urge you to sign up. There is no better way to start writing than this short story course. A fantastic investment and a hugely enjoyable and empowering experience.
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Review by Lucy G / (Posted on 27/01/2019)
Do a Ways into Creative Writing course first
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Review by Iris / (Posted on 11/12/2018)
The tutor is knowledgeable about the subject and very supportive and helpful
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 09/12/2018)
I learnt a lot. Not for shrinking violets, you benefit from reading your work and having suggestions, critique back from class members. Sunday I was tired in the afternoon session, but overall it was very useful.
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Review by ladybegood / (Posted on 21/02/2017)
A well planned and well taught course. The pace was good and everyone was encouraged in positive ways to participate and almost everyone did.
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Review by Bluebird / (Posted on 21/02/2017)
We had a wide range of experiences of writing- plenty of private scribblers, people who'd published and everyone in between - and we all achieved something creative on the page by Sunday afternoon, thanks to Linda. She created a positive, encouraging and well balanced group where everyone was listened to carefully, and we had a good time to write and share (if desired).
Good for kickstarting your creative writing, feedback or just fun- it must be a good sign that I didnt even miss the sunny days of early summer going on outside!
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Review by Lucy / (Posted on 20/06/2015)

Sorry, this course is now full

Course Code: HW085

Full Sat-Sun, day, 01 Jun - 02 Jun '19

Duration: 2 sessions

Full fee: £99.00
Senior fee: £99.00
Concession: £40.00

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.