Short Story Course with Mark Connors, Bradford

3 Apr 2019 - 6.30PM

Location: Bradford City Library, 9 Aldermanbury, Centenary Square, Bradford BD1 1SD

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

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 first Wednesday of the month, to enable you to complete writing assignments:

3rd April 
1st May
5th June
3rd July
7th August
4th September

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


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 …

Mark Connors is an award winning writer from Leeds, UK. He has had over 150 poems published in anthologies, magazines and webzines. Mark's work has appeared in anthologies published by Ilkley Literature Festival, Indigo Dreams, Beautiful Dragons, Half Moon Books and Stairwell Books among many others. Mark's poems have also appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review, Envoi, Prole, The Interpreter's House, Dream Catcher, Strix, Sarasvati, Dawn Treader, Confluence and many other literary journals and magazines. His work has also been published widely in webzines, both in the UK and overseas.Mark's debut poetry pamphlet, Life is a Long Song was published by OWF Press in 2015 and is now in its second edition. His first full-length poetry collection, Nothing is Meant to be Broken, was published in 2017 by Stairwell Books.Mark's debut novel, Stickleback, also now in its second edition, was published by Armley Press in 2016. The second edition features a recommendation on the front cover from the acclaimed poet and novelist, Helen Mort. Stickleback was long listed for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize 2016. Mark's second novel, Tom Tit and the Maniacs, was published by Armley Press in 2018. It was selected as one of Culture Vulture’s Novels of 2018, alongside works by Jon McGregor and James Clarke. Mark's award winning short fiction has won him prizes and commendations at North London Literature Festival, Dartmoor Literature Festival and Otley Word Feast. Mark also won the prestigious open mic competition at Ilkley Literature Festival both in 2014 and 2015. Mark also runs fiction and poetry workshops and seminars in libraries, at literature festivals and for writing days hosted by those running literary magazines. Mark also runs WORD CLUB, a critically acclaimed poetry night, with his partner, Gill Lambert at The Chemic Tavern in Leeds and the bi-monthly Shaken in Sheeptown at Bojangles Bar in Skipton. Mark and Gill also host a monthly poetry radio show, WORD CLUB: The Sunday Sessions. Mark is also a managing editor of the independent publisher, Yaffle, which he runs with Mike Farren and Lorna Faye Dunsire.