Online Course with Amanda Huggins
Start date: 24th January 2022
The group course is limited to just 12 writers. Each week for 6 weeks a new online tutorial will be released focusing on writing compelling short stories that resonate with readers.
Cost: £250 — JANUARY SALE! GET 20% OFF WITH PROMO CODE DISCOUNT2022!
Work alone option
The work-alone course is start anytime and work at your own pace. You’ll have access for 3 months and can send 2 stories for feedback afterwards.
What a great course! I’ve really enjoyed it, Thank you for the feedback. I am thrilled with such an in-depth analysis. I really needed this in order for me to ‘grow’ as a writer. Maria Roe
What does the course include?
- 6 in-depth tutorials and detailed developmental feedback on 2 stories you create.
- Each tutorial is designed to lead you through the building blocks of writing short stories that resonate with readers.
- Prompts, readings, ideas, exercises and examples show you how to create memorable characters and settings that stand out and write prose that makes your stories shine.
- Chat with your course mates and tutor in the online forum and share your responses to exercises for feedback and encouragement.
Course Tutor – Amanda Huggins
Amanda Huggins is the award-winning author of four collections of short fiction and poetry and a novella. Her work has also been widely published in journals, newspapers, magazines and anthologies, and broadcast on BBC radio.
In 2020 she won the Colm Toibin International Short Story Award, and her poetry chapbook, The Collective Nouns for Birds, won the Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet. She was a runner-up in the Costa Short Story Award 2018 and has also been placed and listed in numerous competitions, including Fish, Bridport, Bath and the Alpine Fellowship Writing Award.
Her debut novella, All Our Squandered Beauty, was shortlisted for the Best Opening Chapter Competition at York Festival of Writing in 2019, was published in January 2021 by Victorina Press, and won the 2021 Saboteur Award for Best Novella.
Amanda’s travel writing has also won several awards, notably the BGTW New Travel Writer of the Year in 2014, and she has twice been a finalist in the Bradt Guides New Travel Writer Award.
The Heart of the Short Story combines a superb overview of all aspects of the short story form with detailed feedback on course participants’ own writing. It bolstered my confidence as a writer and gave me many new tools to take forward into my future writing. Ian Critchley
The tutorials within the course will focus on all the elements you need to write compelling and memorable short stories.
TUTORIAL ONE – WHAT’S THE POINT?
The questions you need to ask about your story before you begin. Understanding why you want to write a particular story and what you want to convey. Why will people care about your story? What will they take away from it? The importance of searching for the deeper meaning in your writing to ensure it will resonate with readers.
TUTORIAL TWO – GRAB AND ANCHOR
Grabbing the reader with a great opening paragraph and anchoring the story with a brilliant last line. Effective ways to begin your story and different types of ending – how deciding on your ending before you begin can inform the way you’ll write your story.
TUTORIAL THREE – SHE’S A REAL CHARACTER
How to create and develop memorable, relatable characters. Understanding psychology of character and psychic distance. Evoking empathy – ensuring the reader feels an emotional connection to your protagonist even if the story is outside their own realm of experience. Exploring different techniques to create deep point of view – using sensory details, body language and symbolism.
TUTORIAL FOUR – PUTTING YOUR STORY IN ITS PLACE
Exploring the power of stories to transport us to another world. How location can affect your character’s decisions, motivation, and how they act and feel. The ways in which a strong sense of place will immerse the reader and make your stories feel real and believable. Bringing your setting to life with sensory details – the importance of being able to see, hear, feel, smell, taste and touch the world you create.
TUTORIAL FIVE – THE WAY YOU TELL IT
The importance of the beauty, rhythm and sound of words. How to use language effectively and employ techniques to make your prose style both economical and lyrical. Understanding active voice and sentence pace, how to create rhythm and realistic dialogue. A consideration of Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory: using as few words as possible to indicate the unwritten story that exists below the surface.
TUTORIAL SIX – LIFE BEYOND THE LAST LINE
Time to revise and edit your work, to make sure your story is as good as it can be. Review your overall story arc, the events which have triggered a shift in your character’s view of the world, the consequences of their actions. Check that every sentence develops character, explores your theme or enhances the plot. Ensure your language is precise and ruthlessly pruned, that the story has the reading rhythm it needs. Ask yourself: Will your story linger in people’s minds long after it has ended? Will the reader feel unsettled, moved, will they laugh or cry? Will they finish your story believing your characters have a life beyond the last line?
I commend it to you unreservedly. The written tutorials are extremely good, well written, well designed, just the right length, and with plenty to do as well as read. Over our six weeks together I felt very lucky both to receive and give feedback on lots of writing from my fellow students. Chris Cottam