Date: February 14, 2023

Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Duration: 8 weeks

Level: Beginner | Emerging |

Cost: €240 (€220 Members)

Online/In Person: Online


Course Summary:

In this workshop attendees will explore the short story, what defines it, and differentiates it from other forms of prose writing. Through a range of readings and writing exercises, we will examine story structures, how to create memorable characters, the importance of point of view, and how to use imagery, dialogue and setting effectively. We will also talk about that all-important ingredient: conflict. With the aid of writing prompts, participants will have the chance to put into practice what they have learned, receiving feedback on their work in a fun and supportive environment.

Course Outline:

We will begin our course by discussing what exactly defines a short story, looking at its main characteristics. We will read the short story Reuben by John O’Donnell and discuss how the story is structured and how an alternative point of view would completely alter the story.

We will also discuss the reliable/unreliable narrator. Students will be given a “first line” writing prompt to write a short story in their own time. From there, we will read Geraldine Mills story Hellkite, exploring characterisation, use of imagery, setting, tension and external conflict. Students will be asked to write a short piece on the theme of revenge. Finally, we will read Why Don’t You Dance? by Raymond Carver. Carver is the American master of the short story, known for his economy of style, naturalistic dialogue, portrayal of troubled relationships, and use of suggestion. Students will be assigned exercises in writing dialogue.

Course Outcomes:

By the end of the course participants will have completed set writing exercises to hone their skills in each aspect of fiction writing. Through a mix of teaching, practise and production, they will have gained an understanding of how the short story works. Each participant will also have completed drafts of two short stories.

Tanya Farrelly is the author of four books: two short fiction collections: When Black Dogs Sing (Kate
O’ Brien Award 2017) and Nobody Needs To Know. (Arlen House, 2021), and two psychological thrillers: The Girl Behind the Lens and When Your Eyes Close (Harper Collins) She holds a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from Bangor University, Wales and was appointed Writer-in-Residence at NUI Galway in 2021. Tanya is a recipient of an Arts Council Agility Award and has been selected for the Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme. She is currently working on a new novel.