MadLab Short Story Writing Course

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Short Story Writing Course

Monday 11th August, 7:00pm

About the Course

Over the course of six workshops, you’ll be introduced to the three predominant narrative structures used by short story writers and learn how to apply them in your own work. Completing set writing tasks – and receiving structured, peer-driven feedback – you’ll develop three stories to completion, and get in-course tutor feedback on at least two of them. You’ll receive tailored advice on how to shape the story and how to improve characterisation, dialogue and narrative voice. In particular the course will focus on the second major type of short story – the lyrical story – as this will be the focus of Comma’s next ‘new author’ showcase anthology.

Workshop 1: Exploring the short story form and finding ideas 
In this session we’ll discuss the form and how and why it can be so powerful. There will be exercises to generate ideas and we’ll look at how you can develop a writing routine, giving you a grounding for the rest of the course. There will be a set task to get you started with writing your first story.
Workshop 2: Using compelling images

We’ll explore the use of images in the lyrical short story through discussion of texts and writing exercises. We’ll workshop your first story, giving you the chance to receive feedback from your tutor and peers. A set task will help you start work on a lyrical short story.

Workshop 3: Developing characters and narrative voice
We’ll look at characters in lyrical short stories and explore narrative voice using stories from the reading list and your own work. We’ll workshop work in progress on your lyrical story.

Workshop 4: Working with other short story structures
We’ll explore the epical and artifice story structures through discussion of texts and short writing tasks. We’ll workshop your completed lyrical story. You’ll start work on a third story, choosing one of the three story structures to focus on.

Workshop 5: Redrafting and writing skills
We’ll workshop your third story and focus on redrafting techniques. We’ll also brush up on essential writing skills to get your stories ready for submission to publishers.

Workshop 6: Publishing short stories
There will be a final opportunity to workshop your work. We will look at current markets for short stories and ways to increase your chances of having work accepted for publication. We’ll discuss next steps for developing your writing.


About the Tutor

Claire Dean’s stories have been published in The Best British Short StoriesMurmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories About BirdsStill, Shadows & Tall Trees and elsewhere. ‘Marionettes’ and ‘Into the Penny Arcade’ are published as chapbooks by Nightjar Press. A collection of Claire’s new fairy tales is due out from Unsettling Wonder in Spring 2014. She lives in Lancashire with her two young sons.


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Reading List

‘The Sandman’ by E.T.A Hoffman
‘Bliss’ by Katherine Mansfield
‘The Loss’ by David Constantine
‘The Fly’ by Katherine Mansfield
‘The Man of the Crowd’ by Edgar Allan Poe
‘Comma’ by Hilary Mantel
‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson
‘A Painful Case’ by James Joyce
‘Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka
‘Testicular Cancer vs. The Behemoth’ by Adam Marek
‘A Stone Woman’ by A.S. Byatt