Short Story Course with Avril Joy, Newcastle SOLD OUT

17 Jan 2017


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, Avril Joy. 

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.

Cost & Times …

£180 for 6 evening courses (18.00 – 20:00) over a 6 month period. 

The course dates will be:
Tuesday 17th January 2017
Tuesday 21st February 2017
Tuesday 21st March 2017
Tuesday  18th April 2017
Tuesday 16th May 2017
Tuesday 20th June 2017

Location ...

Lit & Phil (Literary & Philosophical Society) 23 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE

About the Tutor, Avril Joy

Avril Joy is a Durham based short story writer and novelist. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including Victoria Hislop's The Story: Love, Loss & the Lives of Women: 100 Great Short Stories. Her work has been shortlisted in competitions including the Bridport, the Manchester Prize for Fiction and The Raymond Carver Short Story Prize in the USA. In 2012 she won the inaugural Costa Short Story Award. Her short story collection Millie and Bird and Tales of Paradise is published by Iron Press. Her latest novel is Sometimes a River Song, published by Linen Press in April 2016. She blogs regularly about writing and life at

Feedback we received from previous courses:

“The course has been absolutely amazing and has improved my confidence”

“It's been brilliant! Excellent, excellent teaching”

“I have loved attending this course”

“Superb course”

“It inspired me"

To book onto this course please contact Becky at