The Five Day Short Story

Improving | Fiction
Five days, one story – master the art of the short story in one intense summer week

This creative and inspiring examination of the art of the short story examines the form from a writer’s perspective.

It is also a hands-on experience, turning theory into practical effect as each participant is nurtured and guided towards the completion of a story from beginning to end. Come away with new insights into the genre – and inclusion in our post-course anthology as a tangible record of your immersion.

How it works:

The course runs over five consecutive days. Each day will consist of a three-and-a-half-hour morning session that includes formal teaching and group discussion, plus optional writing time in the afternoons.

Each morning session you will look at a masterpiece of short fiction which you will have had the opportunity to read in advance. The works will be examined in terms of their historical and literary context – and, as importantly, will be used to illustrate essential elements of fiction, such as characterisation, setting, and narrative structure. The aim of this course is to incorporate theory with practice.

Workshops will enable you to share their own emerging story with your tutor and the rest of the group. By the final day, you will have produced a short story for inclusion in a group anthology – tangible evidence of the accumulated skills and a memento of a creative and productive week.

Writing space will be available to all participants each afternoon until 4pm, if you want to stay on and write.

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Monday 10 September

10.00 – 11.00. General introductions, overview of the course, and examination of the form: how it emerged and endured, how it can compact whole worlds into a small space. Technical aspects and structural possibilities.

11.00 – 11.50. Beginnings. Playing with the Book of Ruth, as one of the earliest ever short stories: a look at characters, conflict and time-scale.

11.50 – 12.10: Break

12.10 – 13.30. Openings – where, how, and with whom can a short story begin? Exercise that explores a possible opening to a variation on the Book of Ruth. Ideas and feedback on individual short story projects.

14.00 – 16.00. Writing time

Tuesday 11 September

10.00 – 11.50: The classic form. Examining Chekhov, as one of the nineteenth-century masters, with a particular look at ‘The Lady with the Lapdog’ in terms of voice and style: who tells the story and how? A short practical exercise relating technique to the text.

11.50 – 12.10: Break

12.10 – 13.30: Short story workshop, in which participants read and receive feedback on their emerging story.

14.00 – 16.00. Writing time

Wednesday 12 September

10.00 – 11.50: Modernism and Postmodernism – how did the short story develop into the twentieth century? (Looking at Hemingway’s ‘The Killers’ and ‘Death and the Compass’, by Jorge Luis Borges). Focus on character and dialogue, with a short practical exercise relating technique to one of the texts.

11.50 – 12.10: Break

12.10 – 13.30: Short story workshop, in which participants read and receive feedback on their emerging story.

14.00 – 16.00. Writing time

Thursday 13 September

10.00 – 11.50. From the late Twentieth Century into the present. Looking at Alice Munro’s ‘The Beggar Maid’, with particular focus on narrative structure and time. A short practical exercise relating to the text.

11.50 – 12.10: Break

12.10 – 13.30: Short story workshop, in which participants read and receive feedback on their emerging story.

14.00 – 16.00. Writing time

Friday 14 September

10.00. Deadline for handing in short stories, for inclusion in course anthology.

10.00 – 11.50. Experimentation – how far can the boundaries of the short story be pushed? Some examples with short exercises.

11.50 – 12.10: Break

12.10 – 1.30: Revisiting the works/themes studies studied during the preceding days, looking again at key points and seeing how they can be practically applied. Distribution of course anthology.

14.00 – 16.00. Writing time.

10th - 14th September 2018

Availability: In stock

£550.00
6 Places

Tutor

Shelley Weiner is an acclaimed novelist, short-story writer and journalist who has, over the years, established a reputation as an inspirational cr...

Location

 

Come to one of the world's great literary cities and study creative writing at Faber Academy's home in historic Bloomsbury. Our London courses take place at Faber and Faber's offices.

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