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Writing Short Fiction – Elizabeth Speller

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The Cambridge Writing Retreat

Avenue Farmhouse

33 Smith Street

Elsworth

CB23 4HY

United Kingdom

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Short stories are very much in vogue again some excellent recent collections and anthologies have brought new twists to this genre.

The nature of short stories, and the workshop itself, mean that it will be interesting and fun for people who have already written several stories or those who want to but aren't sure how to start. Quite often poets, too, find a close link with short stories (and vice versa), because both poetry and short fiction must choose every word and image with care.

We'll talk about all this, have fun with some exercises, think about techniques, challenge conventions in style, and consider some ideas for where to find inspiration. I hope anyone who joins will have read at least one or two short stories, whether or not they enjoyed them, and be prepared to share their opinion. But I’ll provide hand-outs with a few more stories to spark discussion.

We'll be looking at a range of short fiction, from classics like those by Chekhov, du Maupassant, Conan Doyle, Somerset Maugham, 'Saki' and Katherine Mansfield, through to contemporary writers such as Lydia Davis, Sarah Hall and Jon McGregor. Even Kafka will put in a brief appearance.

I'll explain about flash fiction and micro-fiction and provide links to the best literary short story competitions.

We'll also be trying to answer questions, which don't have absolute answers but make any writer think hard. These might include:

Why are short stories a popular way to write about the supernatural?

Why are they attractive to writers of comedy?

Are there are any 'rules'?

Is the genius of a short story more about the end than the beginning?

A day is exactly the right length of time to explore the short story: how we might write one, or turn an idea into good prose, and what sort of stories we like to read. By the end of the day I hope everyone will either have written a story or sketched out ideas for one.

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Date and Time

Location

The Cambridge Writing Retreat

Avenue Farmhouse

33 Smith Street

Elsworth

CB23 4HY

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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