SHORT FICTION MINI MASTERCLASS

A QUICK INTRO TO BIG LITTLE STORIES

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (see reviews)

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I've come back to this course for the third time, and still haven't exhausted its possibilities. There's no doubt this course has helped me get my short fiction published. I've had so many successes over the past year, and been mightily encouraged. I love Writers' HQ to the point where I think I'm even boring my writer friends mentioning you!
- Jan McCarthy

Part of the WHQ membership

14 days course, rolling access

Join our kickass community

COURSE HOME

Want to know what this short fiction thang is all about? Want to know the difference between a flash and a drabble? Want to know how to harness story ideas and turn them into something tangible? Want to discover the secret ingredient to all worthwhile fiction?

This quick ‘n’ dirty little intro to short fiction has all the answers you’re looking for, including:

  • How long is a short story?
  • How can you turn the most mundane anecdote into a story full of intrigue and conflict?
  • How do you drill down to the ‘fundamental human truth’ of a story?
  • How do you redraft and restructure and rework an idea until you find the *right* one?
  • And how do you make characterisation the juicy, emotive centre of a story?

PLUS: stellar short fiction examples and expert advice from authors like Paul McVeigh and Kit de Waal.

It’s a mini short fic overhaul, y’all.

CURRICULUM
  • How long is a short story?
  • So this one time, at bandcamp…
  • The nugget of fundamental human truth
  • Connecting the dots…
  • The importance of percolation
  • What do you look for in a story?
  • Project salvage
  • Project expansion
  • Enter the story
  • Layering it up
  • Reflect, refine, rewrite
  • And now… we wait
  • What happens next?
HOW IT WORKS

1. Enrol
Once you’ve joined you’ll get an email confirming your place and explaining how you access the course. Spoiler: you click a link. Super simple.

2. Read, watch, do
The lessons are a mix of text, images, videos and exercises. To get the most out of the course, try to give yourself at least an hour a day to read or watch the material and do the exercises. We’ve made them as bite-size as possible but also if you wanna do the thing you gotta do the work.

3. No rush
This course is written to be done over 14 days but if you miss a day or something comes up, don’t panic! Go at your own pace. We’ll be waiting for you in the community forums when you’re ready to catch up.

4. No money? No problem
Periodically we run this course as a freebie so please make sure you’re on our newsletter list to get notifications of that. Alternatively, if you can’t wait and have no cash, have a look at our bursary scheme.

5. Milk no sugar
Drink plenty of tea, stock up on biscuits, gin for later. Enjoy it. It’s supposed to be fun. Love you. Mwa.

WHAT YOU GET
  • This course is exclusive for members, so when you join you get access to all our amaaazing creative writing courses, including this one, which is 14 days of videos, exercises, advice and resources exploring the juicy innards of the short fiction process
  • Inspiration, whip-cracking, writing exercises and prompts
  • Access to our private forum full of super cool people to help and support you along the way, including Team WHQ, our specially-picked and hand-baked gang of badass writers.

Learn the secret that lies at the heart of all short fiction.

Craft a story from start to finish with prompts and advice.

Join our lovely little online community to support you through starting, middling, finishing and beyond.

LOVE FOR WRITERS’ HQ

Everything I wanted and more ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’d been tentatively picking at the second draft of my novel for a while when I signed up for this course, aware that it needed a lot of work, and afraid to properly commit to it. This course kindly but firmly took me in hand and made me look at all the things I didn’t want to look at (ie everything). It gave me a synopsis (wasn’t expecting that!). It helped remind me what I was trying to say in the first place and why that was important to me. It gave me a plan for my next draft. And, most importantly as far as I am concerned, it gave me the push I needed to get back to writing the novel. The forums are also really useful for bouncing ideas around, and it was so good to chat to other people who were at the same stage with their books! Thank you, thank you, Jo and Sarah – I will be back for more soon.

Liz O

Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

Everything you need it to be. And more. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you think you’ve done editing courses before, so you don’t need to do another one, then you’re completely and utterly wrong. This course takes your book by the short and curlies and makes it scream for it’s mamma. Because this course isn’t your average ‘let’s look at some of your prose & pretty it up’ kinda course, it’s a RIP IT TO PIECES & GIVE IT A FULL BODY SEARCH kinda course. Sound brutal? It is. Your brains will ooze out of your ears. But you won’t regret it. Not one bit. Trust me. By the time you’re done, you will know exactly what you need to do to your book to get it to tell the story you want it to tell. What more can you ask?

Lorna

Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

Wow! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Being on draft 9 for the book I wanted to edit AGAIN, I wasn’t sure how this course was going to make me see things differently. But wow, it really did. Breaking a novel down into its mathematical building blocks (and let’s face it, i do have geek tendencies, so if there is a formula, I’m happy) was a unique way to go about editing. Pulling apart first rather than building. Once all those little itty bitty blocks became their own entities, it was so much easier to see where the gape were in my novel and what needed fixing. I will definitely be using this method for all of my other novels and going back over them with this same approach. Sharing with other writers at the same stage, both offering and receiving support gives companionship in a lonely career/hobby etc. So glad that I have now met more writers and hope we can continue to engage. A great way to learn. Also – the humour of Jo (and Sarah) really make the learning curves a little less painful and I can’t count the number of times I’ve have quite literally laughed out loud. Am contemplating coming back for more as wondering what the initial plotting course is all about. Husband….?

Marisa

Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

WHAT A TOTALLY BRILLIANT COURSE!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s my editing blueprint for good, for now, forever! I could write a song about this course .. but instead I’ll sing your praises and say how you’ve taken the huge job of drafting a novel and made it simple .. well, simpler, because you have the knack of getting right to the heart of what a novel is, what it’s for, how it works as an entity, who inhabits it. About midway through the course I had a personal business crash that required my total attention to fix, and it’s a shame because I was enjoying the forum and taking part in it. BUT I was safe in the knowledge that if I could get back to reality and my life quick enough, I could continue and I have – and completed! I have a deadline to fulfil with my writing group and if I can manage it, I will return to the Forum too before the course ends in a few days. I will undoubtedly be returning for the course on Submission to an Agent but I’m nowhere near ready. Can I just say how helpful it was knowing the course materials would continue to be up on the site as I’ve desperately needed this time. My only crit would be, and I mean it in a positive way, is that I felt the whole course could have been double the length anyway – as in 3 months, and then another 6 weeks for the materials to be up on the site. Many exercises of ’60 mins’ or ’45 mins’ took days or a whole week! By the way, more expensive courses I’ve taken (e.g. for thousands!) were NOTHING compared to this!! Bless you, and though I wish you EVERY SUCCESS with your own writing, I hope you DON’T STOP DOING THIS!!! A THOUSAND THANKS.

Nicolle Freni

Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

TUTORS

Sarah Lewis
Half of Writers’ HQ
Procrastinator Level: Set up WHQ and had a baby to avoid writing her novel

Jo Gatford
Half of Writers’ HQ
Procrastinator Level: Set up WHQ and did an MA to avoid writing her novel

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