Writing Short Stories: an email course – 2017 dates to be confirmed

Short story is an important art; not just something you play around with until you get a novel written. - Alice Munro



giraffeA story recounts a sequence of events. It tells us something about someone somewhere, and that something usually has to do with change … big or small. In short stories, the something is usually just one thing, one specific moment, event, incident, action, or conflict. Short stories are not just shorter than longer stories, they are decidedly more focused and intense.

This course focuses on the craft of the short story which we will explore through reading and writing great short stories. We will read with an eye to understanding how accomplished writers approach the someone, somewhere, and something of short stories. We will write to experiment with ideas triggered by what we’ve read, to build our repertoire of skills, and to explore ways of finding and telling our own stories.



Course outline

Character and setting are two of the most important elements of short story – and of this course: Character is the who (the someone) of a story, while setting is the when and the (some)where of a story. We will also work with specificity and detail; showing, not telling; using real life in creating a story; character driven plots; dialogue and interior monologue; beginnings, middles and endings; climatic moments; finding your own writing process, how to begin, shape, prune and re-write your story; and overcoming the unfriendly critic.

This is an email based course, run over three weeks, with daily reading and writing exercises. Each week ends with an assignment which you are invited to submit to me for feedback.  You need 60-90 minutes per week-day and a little more time over the last week-end to complete the final assignment.


Course facilitator

And the winner is

I love short stories – they are my favourite genre. My debut collection, UnSettled and Other Stories, won the SALA 2016, Nadine Gordimer Award for Short Stories. I look forward to sharing what I know about this form with you during the course.




Dates & Venue:

  • 2017 email course dates to be confirmed
  • This course is also available to groups ranging from 8 - 20 participants. Contact Sandra to arrange dates and venue for your group.
Fee: tbc


Word of mouth

Sandra drew out images, words and stories that amazed, confounded and astonished me. It made me realise that we really all do have many stories and poems within us. Her workshop made me feel that - "yes, perhaps I can write". - Bev

 I have learnt to use all my senses. To let the magic pen dance on my paper. I have learnt to write pictures that 'show', to collect phrases and stitch them together into stories. - Sara 

This course built a bridge that took me from one side to the other, from not being a writer, to being a writer. - Julius 




Contact Sandra today to make a booking for Writing Short Stories.