Reading for writers: the short story (a fortnightly course)
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW183
Choose a start date
Duration: 6 sessions (over 11 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
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.
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?
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 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 will be assigned 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.
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?
There are no additional costs. Please bring writing materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may wish to join one of our short story writing courses, or continue to hone a specific element of craft such as character or point of view in one of our Craft Focus courses. Check out our prospectus for further information.
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.
Eleanor Penny is a writer, essayist and poet. She won the Poetry London Competition 2020, the Verve Poetry Festival prize 2020, and was Highly Commended in the 2021 Forward Prizes. She has twice been shortlisted for Young People’s Poet Laureate. She is a former Barbican Young Poet, and an alumnus of the London Writers Awards 2021. She hosts the literature podcast Bedtime Stories for the End of the World. In her current project Albion, she is researching maritime histories of the UK. She teaches creative writing workshops with organisations including the Poetry School, Spread The Word and The Midnight Run. Her debut pamphlet 'Mercy' was published in 2021 by Flipped Eye. She is currently working on her first novel.
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.