Write a short story in a weekend

Course Dates: 25/01/20 - 26/01/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. Through a series of inspiring exercises, you'll be introduced to some key fiction writing techniques and encouraged to draft a short story from beginning to end in two days. Suitable for beginners who are comfortable learning at a fast pace.


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 discovering 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 short story. It will help you to come prepared with an idea you would like to shape into a 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.".

What will we cover?

- How to begin a story
- Finding and developing characters
- Plot and story structure
- Establishing mood, themes, and subtext
- Being imaginative with language
- Finding the right ending.

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?

This course is suitable for beginners comfortable learning at a fast pace. Enthusiastic readers welcome! Fluent written and spoken English is essential.

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

You will learn through interactive tutor presentations, analysis and discussion of published short fiction, and a series of guided writing exercises. You'll be encouraged to share your written work for constructive feedback from your peers and the tutor. You may find it beneficial to spend some time after class developing your story.

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 and your ideas! You are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to use during in-class writing exercises if you feel it will help you.

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

City Lit runs term-long Short story writing and Writing fiction courses in the evening and daytime, that will teach you essential skills and techniques. You may also be interested in learning more about short stories in Reading for writers: the short story.


Customer Reviews 16 item(s)

Write a review

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.

It’s practical and encouraging. Strips the myths about inspiration. Get planning so you have a structure to hold on to and keep you motivated. You will probably not write a short story in a weekend but you will get some paragraphs and perhaps an overall sense of where the story is going to go.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 08/12/2019)
Definitely give it a go in order to get some ideas flowing
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 08/12/2019)
Do it! read up around the subject of the course as much as possible too :)
Course Rating
Review by Soph / (Posted on 14/10/2019)
Enjoyable and informative course, with lots of opportunity for practising your writing.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 14/10/2019)
This is an excellent course and the tutor is very skilled at helping you gain confidence and realise that however skilled or unskilled you think you are, there is a short story within you and that you can write!
Course Rating
Review by Magdalena Bak-Maier / (Posted on 03/06/2019)
A great introduction course to get you writing and thinking about writing.
Course Rating
Review by Anon / (Posted on 02/06/2019)
Brilliant instructor! Great class!
Course Rating
Review by Kate Cruz / (Posted on 02/06/2019)
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!
Course Rating
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.
Course Rating
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.
Course Rating
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.
Course Rating
Review by Lucy G / (Posted on 27/01/2019)
Do a Ways into Creative Writing course first
Course Rating
Review by Iris / (Posted on 11/12/2018)
The tutor is knowledgeable about the subject and very supportive and helpful
Course Rating
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.
Course Rating
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.
Course Rating
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!
Course Rating
Review by Lucy / (Posted on 20/06/2015)
Tutor Biographies
Maria Thomas

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 working on a novel. Maria sits on the editorial board of acclaimed literary journal, Short Fiction.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HW491

Please choose a course date 

Sat-Sun, day, 25 Jan - 26 Jan '20

Duration: 2 sessions

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

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2717

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.