Short Story Classes & Events

Writing classes, courses and events, online and in-person.

Exploding Wine Bottles: Short Story Writing Masterclass with Zoe Gilbert (In person)

Sat, 05 Nov 2022 10:00 – 13:00

Zoe Gilbert and a room in the London Library

Angela Carter’s retellings of folk tales shock us into new ways of seeing both the traditional tales and our own societies. She was a writer with an agenda, using storytelling to make her political points, since for Carter ‘narrative is an argument stated in fictional terms.’ We may not see ourselves as overtly political writers, but we each have a sense of what matters: where meaning lies in the world, and which messages we want to be heard. In this masterclass, led by acclaimed author, Zoe Gilbert, we’ll take energy and inspiration from Angela Carter’s work as well as from the folk-tale material she used at The London Library. We’ll explore how we can argue for what we believe in through storytelling, drawing on folk tales as sources of deep meaning, enchantment, and the intensity of real lives transposed by story. As Carter said:

I am all for putting new wine in old bottles, especially if the pressure of the new wine makes the old bottles explode.

Come along and write with a bang!

The workshop will run from 10am to 1pm at the Library and all participants will receive a complimentary London Library day ticket (worth £20) so that you can continue writing or using the Library until it closes at 5.30pm. A guided tour of the Library will be on offer after the workshop for anyone who wants to explore. Tea and coffee will be provided throughout the workshop.

Zoe Gilbert’s first novel, Folk was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and adapted for BBC Radio. Her second novel, Mischief Acts, was published in March 2022. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies and journals in the UK and internationally, and won prizes including the Costa Short Story Award. She is the co-editor with Lily Dunn of the recovery anthology, A Wild and Precious Life and is co-director of London Lit Lab, where she teaches and mentors writers. She also teaches courses for other organisations, such as Arvon Foundation and Writers & Artists, co-founded the Word Factory Short Story Club and is a Visiting Senior Fellow in creative writing at the University of Suffolk.