Write a short story in a weekend
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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.
Please note - this course incudes a 2-hour break from 12:30-14:30 each day.
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.".
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
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. In order to reduce screentime, there will be a 2-hour break on this course from 12:30-14:30 each day.
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.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No additional costs. Please bring a pen and paper and your ideas!
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.
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.
Jonathan Barnes is the author of five novels, most recently Dracula's Child and The City of Dr Moreau. He writes regularly for The Critic, the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review. He has written extensively in the audio medium, especially in the areas of licensed fiction - Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sherlock Holmes and others.
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.