Introduction to the course and your tutors

Welcome to 'Writing Short Stories'.

At Eyrie Press, we love short stories. So much so that we run an annual short story competition for writers in our area, and it's one of the highlights of our year!

But writing a short story is not a particularly easy thing to do. So we are delighted to have been awarded funding from Arts Council England which has enabled us to create this course.

If you've always wanted to try your hand at writing short stories, or you've given it a go but got a bit stumped, then this course is for you.

Your tutors, Giselle Leeb and Megan Taylor, are both published writers who have run many workshops, and they're keen to pass on their experiences.

During the course, they will take you through the whole process of writing a short story, from the gathering of ideas and developing your writing style, through to editing and polishing, and finally submitting it for publication. Using a mixture of video presentations, exercises and downloadable notes, it’s suitable for all writers, even if you have no experience.

And the course isn’t just aimed at writers seeking publication. Writing can be extremely therapeutic, as a way of working through emotions, or as a welcome escape. If you just want to write with no intention of showing your work to any but your nearest and dearest (and maybe not even them!), then this course is for you too.

There are six sections to complete, and you can follow it at your own pace. Many people choose to study one section a week, but you could take three months over it if you wish, or complete it in a fortnight!

Meet your tutors in the video below, and find out more about what you'll be studying.

What will this course give you?

This course is very much focused on helping you develop ideas for your fiction writing, getting them out of your head and onto the page, and giving you the tools you need to develop your writing.

Each section will look at one aspect of creating a short story and will consist of exercises for focusing your mind on that aspect. By the time you've completed the course, you will:

  • have a much clearer idea about the elements of writing short fiction
  • have learned techniques to start writing
  • have acquired tools to keep you going
  • have learned that writing is a skill that needs to be practised
  • feel enthusiastic to move forward as a writer

Course Structure

The course is broken down into six sections:

  • Section 1: Getting Started
  • Section 2: Character
  • Section 3: Setting
  • Section 4: Plot and Structure
  • Section 5: Editing and Ways of Telling
  • Section 6: Submitting and Moving Forward

Each section comprises several lectures. At the end of the last lecture in each section there are course notes for that section. These give you more information, tips, and recommended further reading.

These notes are downloadable as PDFs. If you wish to print them, you can do so on your own home printer, or you can take or email the PDF file to a high street print shop. They're all set at standard A4 size and designed to work perfectly well in black and white, so printing them shouldn't be an expensive option.

Different people learn in different ways. You may find the course works best if you complete one section, then spend some time doing the further reading and practising what you've learned. Or you may want to move on to the next section immediately. Do what works best for you.

You'll need to work through the sections and the lectures in order, but you can always go back and revisit any that you've completed. You'll have access to the course for six months from the date of purchase.

What you'll need for this course

You'll need paper and a pen.

Some writers prefer to write on paper first, then transfer their story to a computer when they're ready, while others like to write directly in their preferred software. It doesn't matter which writer you are, but for this course there will be some exercises, such as freewriting, that are best carried out on paper.

You may want to complete some of the longer exercises in your preferred software. It's totally up to you!

You'll also need to throw away expectations of perfection! No writer gets it right first time. Writing is a craft which needs to be honed, so throughout this course you need to be prepared to give yourself permission NOT to meet your own expectations! Instead, congratulate yourself on taking one step closer to your writing ambitions - whatever they may be.

Are you ready?

Then grab your paper and a pen and let's get started!