Date: June 18, 2024

Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Duration: 6 weeks

Level: Emerging |

Cost: €165 (€150 Members)

This course will take place in person on Tuesdays (six sessions in total).

Course Summary

This six-week programme is designed for participants who have some experience of writing short stories and who would like to deepen their understanding and practice of key elements and dynamics of the genre.

All sessions will include
a) voluntary sharing and workshopping of participants’ writing-in-progress
b) guided writing time.

Sessions will comprise: discussion of texts selected to illustrate specific aspects of the short story; voluntary workshopping of participants’ stories-in-progress; and guided writing time. Participants will be invited to carry out writing assignments between sessions, on which detailed individual feedback will be given, leading to the completion of at least one story by the end of the course.



Course Outline

Session 1:
• Recap of elements of traditional short story: character, setting, description, story arc, conflict etc.
• Introduction to alternative approaches to short story structure
Session 2
• Exploring Point of View: first, second, third person and alternative story-telling strategies
Session 3
• Use of dialogue as vehicle for character and plot
Session 4
• Role of description in conveying character and theme
Session 5
• Playing with time: foreshadowing, back-story and non-linear storytelling
Session 6
• Stream of consciousness, symbol and theme


Course Outcomes

By the end of the six-week programme, participants will:

• Revisit the fundamental elements of the traditional short story; character, setting, description, story arc, conflict etc.
• Explore different approaches to narrative;
• Practise a range of strategies for expressing tone, register and voice;
• Examine examples of non-traditional approaches to the structure and dynamic of the short story;
• Incorporate the selected elements explored in the programme into their own writing practice;
• Gain experience in giving and receiving constructive feedback on work in progress in a supportive setting.

Liz McSkeane is a writer and publisher. She has four collections of poetry, one novel and a collection of short stories. In 1999, she was overall winner of the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year for her poetry. Her historical novel Canticle was a joint winner in the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair 2016. Liz has had a long career as an educationalist, including tutoring adult and higher education in a wide variety of subjects, including creative writing.




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