Short Story Course with Lara Williams, Manchester

6 Jul 2017 - 6.30PM - 0.00

This course is about the short story …

Over the course of 6 workshops, you’ll get a handle on the predominant narrative structures used by short story writers, and implement them in your own work. Completing set writing tasks between workshops, and receiving structured, peer-driven feedback, you’ll develop 3 short stories to completion, with tailored advice on how to shape the story, and how to improve the characterisation, dialogue, and narrative voice. Comma Press, one of the UK’s leading publisher of short fiction is always looking for new voices in short fiction and it’s hoped that this course will unearth and develop contenders for one of their showcases of new writers.

What you need to be familiar with …

You don’t necessarily need any practical experience of writing stories, nor of supervised creative writing of any kind, but it’s important that you have an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the short story form. To get the most from the course, you should be prepared do some background reading, undertake writing tasks between sessions, read the work of others on the course prior to each session, offer tactful – yet frank – feedback, and receive constructive criticism on your own work. The course isn’t geared towards any particular sub-genre within the short story form – be it literary fiction, sci-fi, or horror – we’ll be looking at techniques applicable to all these genres. This course will be taught by author, Lara Williams. 

What we won’t cover …

This isn’t a course devised to help you write a novel, a novella, poetry, micro-fiction, or biography – it’s all about the short story, which presents its own specific demands and opportunities to writers (for the avoidance of doubt, short stories typically weigh in at somewhere between 1500 and 8000 words long, for the purpose of this course we will be looking at stories up to 5,000 words long).

Equipment you’ll need …

Something to write with (pen and paper will do) during sessions, and a computer and internet access at home, to upload your work in progress to the online drop box, or email to the group. If you prefer to print out other people’s work to read prior to the sessions (rather than reading from a screen), you’ll need to do this at your own expense.


STARTING JULY 2017

Location: Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, M4 7JA

Times: 6.30-8.30pm

Price: £180 for the full course, plus 2 x £100 bursary places for single-parent writers, or writers in receipt of a means tested benefit, personal independence payments, or disability living allowance. 

(attendees must pay for full course- individual course units not available separately).

Dates: Six workshops are held over a 6 month period to enable you to complete writing assignments:


Thursday 6th July

Thursday 3rd August

Thursday 7th September

Thursday 5th October

Thursday 2nd November 

Thursday 7th December


About the Tutor



Lara Williams is a writer based in Manchester. Her debut short story collection Treats was published by Freight Books in 2016; and has been shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Edinburgh First Book Award and the Saboteur Award, and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. A story from the collection has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and another will appear in the Best British Short Stories 2017 anthology. She has also written journalism and criticism for The Guardian, The Independent, the Times Literary Supplement, Vice and many more. She is an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing and Journalism at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is currently working on a novel and full-length piece of creative non-fiction. Lara is on Twitter as @Lara-A-Williams.

How to Book

For any enquiries about this course, or to book a place, please contact Becky Harrison on becky.harrison@commapress.co.uk