Course overview

This five week series of workshops will explore writing short stories. Each session will concentrate on one specific aspect of creating short story narratives and at the conclusion of each session students will have created enough material to be in a position to write the first draft of a story. We will explore: Narrative shapes: causative situations, rising action, climax and denouement versus alternative strategies. Plot construction: how to build convincing narratives. Characterisation: how to develop psychologies for your evolving characters. Exposition of themes. Each workshop will be self-contained but taken together will establish the main elements of writing short stories.

Course description

The short story remains a popular genre among writers and readers, and during this course we will explore the variety of forms which the genre offers to writers. We will experiment with traditional narratives and more experimental forms, and discover strategies relating to characterisation. Additionally, the course will focus on the evolution of a consistent writing style, a voice. This will involve discussion of what constitutes good prose and in this we shall explore several examples from known authors and what elements in drafting stories should always be examined editorially by the author.

Each workshop will be geared towards discussion and writing exercises and experiments, all conducted in a mutually supportive atmosphere, in which students will be encouraged to share their work and thoughts.

To support each workshop, examples from well known authors and comments on the writing process will be published on Canvas, along with other articles of interest and general advice. Whether one writes for pleasure or has ambitions to write more professionally, these workshops are a great first step. Stephen Smith has over 30 years experience as a creative writing lecturer in academia, prisons, schools and online formats. Come along and discover your voice in a supportive atmosphere.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

Share this page:

Lady giving a thumbs up to her tablet as she watches a WEA member lecture
Image overlay triangle

Become a WEA member today

For just £15 per year, you can access many great benefits, including our award-winning weekly member lectures.

Need more information?

Need help? Complete our form and our friendly Support Services team will be back in touch.

Course contact
I am most interested in (tick all that apply)

How do we use the information we gather from you?
Please see our privacy policy.