Short Story Course (SF, Fantasy & New Weird) with Andrew Hedgecock, Nottingham

8 Sep 2016

Location: Five Leaves Bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG1 2DH.

It's a bit tricky to find: in an alleyway opposite the Tourist Information Centre, one minute from the Market square, just before "The Works" and "Primark" (see map)

Description: Six month short story writing course, hosted by Comma Press and Andy Hedgecock

Times: 7-9pm

Price: £180 for the full course (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. They are on the 2nd Thursday of each month:

8th September 2016
13th October 2016
10th November 2016
8th December 2016
12th January 2017
9th February 2017

BOOKING: Book via the Five Leaves website 

Booking deadline: Thursday 25th August 


This course is about the short story in sf and fantasy.  There will be an emphasis on ‘New Weird’ (also known as ‘sf Strange’) the place where sf collides with other forms of writing.

Over the course of six workshops, you’ll get a handle on some of the 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 three 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 publishers of short fiction is always looking for new voices in short fiction and indeed science fiction; stories produced on this course may be considered for future anthologies.

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 you have an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the short story form and a taste for strange or speculative tales.

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.

Whilst this course is geared towards science-fiction, fantasy and new weird - the techniques learnt will be applicable across all genres of short story. 

This course will be taught by Andy Hedgecock, who has worked for many years as an editor fantastic tales and is an established writer with an impressive list of published work (see brief bio below).

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.

About the Tutor

Andy Hedgecock is a Nottinghamshire-based editor, writer, researcher and trainer.  He had been selling articles and reviews for over 30 years when Comma Press challenged him to turn his hand to fiction.  Andy has written for Time Out, Penguin City Guides, The Oxford Companion to English Literature, The Third Alternative, The Breaking Windows Anthology, The Morning Star, The Spectator, Short Fiction in Theory and Practice and the academic SF review Foundation. From 2006-2016 he was co-editor (fiction) of Interzone, Britain’s longest-running British sf magazine and 2013 winner of the British Fantasy Society Award for Best Magazine / Periodical.  He also worked with the writers Claire Massey and Carys Bray to set up and edit Paraxis, an online publication the prolific and respect sf&f author Michael Moorcock described as an endeavour to “return the human imagination to the apex of the arts”.