Short Story Courses


About the courses

Our six-month courses specialise in the short story genre, and are delivered by a knowledgeable and esteemed writer in collaboration with ourselves. Over six workshops, you'll become familiar with short story narrative structures, and be able to apply them to your own work. Structured, peer-driven feedback and personalised tuition will contribute to your completion of three short stories.

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 upload your work, download others' submissions, and keep in contact. We've had plenty of positive feedback about our courses in the past:

“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"

"I found the whole course very enjoyable and an excellent learning experience which I think will really help my development as a writer."

“The course was just what I was looking for: informative, interesting and challenging. My short story game has definitely improved! Recommended – whether you’re just setting out or looking to improve your craft.”

"I can never overemphasise the impact this course had on my writing."

We are always looking for new voices in short fiction, and it's hoped that our courses will unearth and develop contenders for one of our showcases of new writing. We also create eBooks of stories from our courses, co-edited by a nominated individual from the group and the tutor. These can be bought online from Amazon, and are a great culmination of 6 months of creative development.

See below for details of our upcoming courses that you can sign up for!

Upcoming Courses

Horror Short Story Course, Derby with Alex Davis (January - June 2019)

Short Story Course, Leicester with Rebecca Burns (February - July 2019)

Short Story Course, Preston with John D. Rutter (February - July 2019)

Further courses in Bradford and other cities TBC in due course...

Course Successes

We love to keep in touch with course alumni, and many of the writers we've seen over the years have gone onto great things in the short story scene. Lara Williams for example, who was on a course led by Anneliese Mackintosh in 2014, recently had her first short story collection published both in the UK and in North America. Treats (Freight Books) was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, and featured the stories that she had worked on in the course. And in 2017, we welcomed Lara back as a tutor on our Manchester course - full circle!

A recent success story is Gaynor Jones, who shortly after completing our 2017 Manchester short story course with Lara Williams, won the Mairtin Crawford Award 2018 for Short Story. She said of her victory on Twitter: "Now that I’ve calmed down a bit I really should credit @commapress and my tutor on their 2017 short story course @Lara_A_Williams for improving my writing massively. Amazing course if you can do it and they offer reduced price places". Gaynor also mentions her experience of the course in this interview and this blog post. Gaynor was winner of the Northern Soul Northern Writer of the Year Award 2018, and credited the course for transforming her writing.

Also Johanna Robinson who completed our 2016 Liverpool short story course with Sarah Schofield, had a story she wrote on the course published in Strix Leeds magazine #4 and another ('Seven Minutes') included in The Brighton Prize 2018 Highly Commended list and it will be published in its anthology. The latter was only the second short story Johanna had ever written! Johanna said of her experience: "Without this course I would never have begun writing, nor would I have continued without Sarah's encouragement. The course was affordable, great value for money, fun and was the kick-start to my writing career. Of the other stories written during the course, one has been published online, another in print, and another longlisted for the Short Story Journal prize."

Other successes include CS Mee, who enrolled on our course in Newcastle led by Avril Joy in 2017. CS Mee won the Galley Beggar Short Story Award in 2017/18 for her story 'Brothers', and is also included in our new writer anthology The Mirror in the Mirror (out in 2018). Read her winning story here. 

Course eBooks

William Faulkner's Typewriter: Short Stories by New Manchester Writers (Michelle Green's Manchester Course 2016)

How Do You Sleep?: Short Stories by New Sheffield Writers (Jude Brown's Sheffield Course 2016)

Threads: Short Stories by New Liverpool Writers (Sarah Schofield's Liverpool Course 2016)

Mismatched Metacarpi: Short Stories by New Nottingham Writers (Andy Hedgecock's Nottingham Course 2017)

In Transition: Short Stories by New Newcastle Writers (Avril Joy's Newcastle Course 2017)

The Upstairs Library: Short Stories by New Liverpool Writers (Michelle Green's Liverpool Course 2017)

Tyto Alba: Short Stories by New Leeds Writers (S J Bradley's Leeds Course 2017)

Me and The Universe Are Sorted: Short Stories by New Sheffield Writers (Michelle Green's Sheffield Course 2017) 

Finesse: Short Stories by New Manchester Writers (Lara Williams's Manchester Course 2018)

Forecast: Short Stories by New Birmingham Writers (C.D. Rose's Birmingham Course 2018)