Short Story Course with John D Rutter, Preston

20 Feb 2019 - 6.00PM - 9.99

Location: The Harris Building, University of Central Lancashire, Corporation St, Preston PR1 2HE

Time: 6:00-8:00pm

Price: £180 for the full course + 2 x £100 reduced fee places for single-parent writers, or writers in receipt of a means tested benefit, personal independence payments, or disability living allowance (please contact for more information)

Attendees must pay for full course - individual course units not available separately.

Dates: Six workshops are held over a 6 month period, on the second/third Wednesday of the month, to enable you to complete writing assignments:

20 February 2019
20 March
17 April
15 May
12 June
10 July

Tickets can be purchased from Becca Parkinson, to register your place please contact her on

The course is suitable for beginners and more experienced writers, and is open to anyone regardless of educational background.


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 publishers of short fiction is always looking for new voices in short fiction and our courses have a strong history of producing prize-winning short story talent. 

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.

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 …

Dr John D Rutter completed his MA in Creative writing at Lancaster University and PhD on the short story at Edge Hill University. He has worked at Edge Hill, University of Southampton and, presently, UCLan. He has published many short stories and regularly speaks at conferences on the short story.