Writing the Uncanny short story course with Dr David Hartley

Price: 150.00

Discount Price: 90.00

First come first served for those on benefits.

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10 July 2023

On Zoom

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About the event

Inject some strange into your writing craft with David Hartley as he guides you into uncanny realms to meet the weird creatures and unsettling folk whose tales are waiting to be told. From Gothic horrors to unnerving futures via dark fairy tales, we'll ask how we can think about the thrills and chills of the unreal can be captured in our writing craft.

Learn how to build suspense, how to deftly handle ambiguities, how and when to scare your reader, and how to play around with story form and structure to achieve uncanny effects. We'll ask ourselves: does the uncanny always have to be scary? Can we create uncanny love stories? Weird tales of adventure? Realism with a mere sprinkling of the strange?

We'll journey from that most terrifying of concepts; a blank page, and arrive at a complete and polished story, which we'll publish in a Comma Press ebook. Along the way, David will offer expert editorial advice and ply you with gallons of imaginative prompts whenever you might get stuck.

The workshops will consist of fun and simple writing exercises, in-class discussions, readings of some awesome stories as homework, and the chance to share bits of our writing as it develops.

Course dates and location: Zoom

6-8pm on the following dates:

Mon, Jul 10, 2023 06:00 PM

Jul 24, 2023 06:00 PM

Aug 7, 2023 06:00 PM

Aug 21, 2023 06:00 PM

Sep 4, 2023 06:00 PM

Sep 18, 2023 06:00 PM

David is a highly experienced workshop leader and would especially like to encourage neurodivergent writers to join the course. He has previously lead multiple creative writing workshops for autistic adults and very much enjoys working with neurodivergent people.

About the course

Over the course of 6 sessions, every two weeks on Monday 6-8pm, we'll explore not what a short story "should" be but everything it could be, giving you permission to find out what "short story" means to you. Together we'll read and discuss a dazzling, surprising and varied reading list of short and very short stories of all shapes, styles, genres and forms, using these as inspiration for writing exercises that encourage you to be playful and warm up your writing muscle, so you can write the short and very short stories you want to write in the way only you can write them!

At the end of the course everyone will produce a final short story which will be published in a comma press ebook.

PLEASE NOTE Classes are capped at 15 places to ensure a high-quality experience.


£150.00 per ticket (+Booking Fees - or feel free to email Isabelle below to be invoiced direct) which covers 6x sessions including detailed feedback and end of course publication in a short story e-book anthology.

Considering signing up?

We make our courses as accessible as possible: they span the UK and take place routinely throughout the year; you don't actually need any previous experience - just enthusiasm for short story writing; and you only need a pen, paper, laptop/computer, and internet access in order to take part and keep in contact.

What our graduates say

Past participants on our Short Story Courses have gone on to be published by the likes of Penguin, Canongate Books, The Best of British Fantasy, Granta, and Ambit Magazine, have work reviewed in the The Guardian, The Irish Times, Lit Hub, Sunday Express and Metro and recognised by awards such as the The Brighton Prize 2018 (Highly Commended), Republic of Consciousness Prize (Shortlisted), TS BIFFY Micro Fiction (Winner), National Association of Writing Groups Short Story Competition (Winner), Northern Soul Northern Writer of the Year Award 2018 (Winner), The Brighton Prize 2018 (Highly Commended), Galley Beggar Short Story Award in 2017/18 (Winner), and the London Independent Story Prize in the Best Film Idea Category (Winner).

"As an aspiring writer, I can’t recommend Comma Press’ Short Story Courses enough: ongoing support from top-class published authors writing today, development of close-reading skills and of course that all important trait – rapid improvement of your writing skills. All this and more, as well as the opportunity to meet the next generation of up and coming talent." – Past Participant

David Hartley is a prolific short story writer whose weird tales have appeared in the likes of Ambit, Black Static, The Shadow Booth, The Cloister Fox, and The Ghastling, to name but a few. His latest short story collection, Fauna, was published by Fly on the Wall Press in 2021 and was longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and shortlisted for a Saboteur Award. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing with The University of Manchester and co-hosts the Autism Through Cinema podcast. He is currently writer-in-residence for the Tartu 2024 City of Culture festival where he is working with artist Henri Hütt in an exploration of the edgelands of Estonia. Much of his strangest writing can be found via davidhartleywriter.com, and he often posts pictures of his rabbits on Instagram, if that's the sort of thing that makes you happy. Find him @DHartleyWriter.

Buy 'Fauna' by David Hartley from Waterstones