Short Story Classes & Events

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

Word Factory at the London Library: Masterclasses

We are delighted to be partnering with the London Library to present summer Word Factory Masterclasses in this beautiful literary space. Participants will enjoy a morning of writing and a free day pass to the Library to continue writing, reading and reflecting, hosted by Word Factory director Cathy Galvin. 

Staying With the Trouble: Short Story Writing Masterclass with Toby Litt (In person)

Sat, 08 Oct 2022 10:00 – 13:00

Toby Litt and the a room in the London Library

It’s the biggest story of our time – perhaps the biggest story of all time. But many writers are struggling to find ways to include the climate and ecological emergency in their work. Does engaging with climate inevitably mean writing polemic dystopias, or science fiction? Are there ways in which small, personal stories can still be faithful to our present moment? In this masterclass, Toby Litt, short story writer, novelist and editor of the Writers Rebel website, will explore different creative approaches to climate through close reading, group discussion and writing exercises. 

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.

Toby Litt is the author of four collections of stories, eleven novels, a collection of essays and a memoir. His most recent novel, Patience was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2020. His book of stories, Life-Like was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and his story ‘John & John’ won the Manchester Fiction Prize. He is the editor of the Writers Rebel website, Fiction Editor of MIR Online and course convenor of the MFA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck University.

BOOK HERE

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.

BOOK HERE