The Advanced Short Story Writing Course

Price: £ 825.00


Advanced Short Story Course

Write an Anthology of Short Stories

Master advanced writing skills in this practical course

The Advanced Short Story Course follows on from the Literary Short Story and Flash Fiction Course. Now it’s time to learn more sophisticated techniques for even better story telling. You’ll learn how to write authentic dialogue, how to use setting to build atmosphere and mood, and how to create tension that leads to strong climaxes in each story.

If you’d like to build up an anthology, this is the course for you.

This Course Gives You...

Expert, Individual Feedback

Get prompt, honest, detailed feedback on every assignment from an award-winning writer. We focus on your unique writing strengths.

No Peer Reviews!

You will only be assessed by your tutor, a leader in their field. No more guessing and wondering how to write; you'll be guided line by line.

No Automated Marking

We use traditional methods of assessing work, as editors at publishing houses would. No generic feedback!

A Flexible Schedule

Work wherever and whenever you want. You can easily fit our courses around work and other commitments.

Relevant, Usable Content

Easy-to-digest course notes that capture a lifetime of writing experience, ready for you to apply to your own writing.

Ongoing Assessment

Your writing is assessed continuously as your course progresses.

Introducing the Advanced Short Story Course

An immersive, practical course in storytelling

Our Advanced Short Story Writing Course is designed to help you write a collection of short stories for a personal anthology, tutored by multi-award-winning authors, Alex Smith and Andrew Salomon.

This challenging course provides 12 to 24 months of expert mentoring and support. There is no theoretical component to this course; it is structured entirely around the stories that you write and develop in response to feedback. Notes will be given regarding compiling and formatting an anthology.

* Please note that this course is only open to successful graduates of our Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course. However, we may take on other students based on the merits of their short story writing.

Assignments consist of eight text installments with feedback, and four read-throughs of edits. While not compulsory, one of the stories should be entered into a short story competition, and if you choose to create a personal anthology of your work, a final review will also be given. You will also submit a review of an anthology or collection you have read.

‘My tutors, Ginny Swart and currently Alex Smith, have taught me so much, especially the power of effective and sometimes ruthless editing.’

Shelley Kirton, Advanced Short Story Course

Course Overview

Start your course at any time – applications open all year round.


Price includes VAT

Other currencies will be converted at time of invoice



The assignments vary in length.



This is a practical course; brief notes accompany the assignment documents.



Work at your own pace – up to a maximum of 24 months.


Working with an individual tutor means you can start the course at any time.


Basic writing skills are essential. Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required. No previous tertiary qualification required.

Our Graduate Students' Successes

We are proud of our graduates who have achieved success. Here are a few among dozens of our creative writing success stories.

Alex smith creative writing tutor at the writers college

Meet the Tutors

Alex Smith

Alex Smith is the award-winning author of five novels: Algeria’s WayDrinking from the Dragon’s WellFour Drunk Beauties, Devilskein & Dearlove (published by Random House/Umuzi) and Agency Blue (published by Tafelberg). 

Her work has received widespread acclaim. Drinking from the Dragon’s Well was longlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and Devilskein & Dearlove was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal in the UK. Agency Blue won a Sanlam Youth Literature Award, while Four Drunk Beauties won the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award. 

Alex tutors the Novel Writing Course, the Advanced Novel Writing Course, the Advanced Short Story Writing Course and the Grammar Skills Course, sharing her knowledge and expertise with students of all skill levels.

Creative Writing Course tutor at The Writers College Andrew Salmon

Andrew Salomon

Andrew Salomon’s young adult novel The Chrysalis was published by Oxford University Press. His latest novel, the fantasy thriller Tokoloshe Song, was published by Random House/Umuzi.

Andrew was shortlisted for the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award, twice shortlisted for the Science Fiction and Fantasy SA Short Story Competition, and was one of the winners of the PEN/Studzinski Literary Award for African Fiction.

He has had short stories published in numerous magazines, journals and collections, including A Thousand Faces: The Quarterly Journal of Superhero Fiction, Something Wicked, New Writing From Africa 2009, African Pens 2011 and the crime collection Bloody Satisfied. More of his short fiction will appear in the collections Dream World and Other Stories and The Journey and Other Stories.

Tania Hutley - Romance Novel Course

Tania Hutley

For many years, Tania Hutley worked as a Technical Writer in the software industry, but she always dreamed of writing creatively. She began by writing literary short stories and has been a runner up in New Zealand’s two most prestigious short story competitions, the Katherine Mansfield Awards and the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition. In 2010 she won the Page and Blackmore National Short Story Award.

After branching out into novel writing, she published two middle-grade chapter books for children. Then she wrote the Skin Hunter science fiction trilogy, and co-wrote The Trouble With Witches urban fantasy series. Under the pen name Talia Hunter, she has also published eleven contemporary romance and romantic comedy novels and even made the USA Today Bestsellers List.  

Though Tania started off with traditional publishers, she’s now enthusiastic about self-publishing and the control it gives to authors.

She was born in New Zealand, but has recently moved to Australia where she’s constantly amazed and not at all freaked out by the weird and wonderful critters. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her with a glass of wine, a good book, and a jumbo-sized can of bug spray.

Course Curriculum

Task 1

Submit first story: 1 500 to 2 000 words with feedback. Submit initial idea for the theme of your collection (optional). 

Time to complete: one month.


Task 2

Submit next story: 1 500 to 2 000 words with feedback.

Time to complete: one month.


Task 3

Submit next story: 2 000 to 3 000 words with feedback.

Time to complete: one month.


Task 4

The Components of Fiction

Submit next story: 2 000 to 3 000 words with feedback.

Time to complete: one month.



Task 5

Learn How to Write Scenes

Submit next story: 2 000 to 3 000 words with feedback.

Time to complete: one month.


Task 6

Write Your Own Scenes

Submit next story: 2 000 to 3 000 words with feedback. Submit a review of a collection or anthology that you have read. Start researching a short story competition to enter one of your stories into (optional).

Time to complete: one month.


Task 7

The Components of Fiction

Submit next story: 3 000 to 5 000 words with feedback.

Time to complete: one month.




Task 8

Learn How to Write Scenes

Submit final story: 3 000 to 5 000 words with feedback.

Time to complete: one month.



Task 9

Write Your Own Scenes

Edit and re-work first two stories and submit. Edits clearly tracked.

Time to complete: one month.


Task 10

The Components of Fiction

Edit and re-work next two stories and submit. Edits clearly tracked.

Time to complete: one month.


Task 11

Learn How to Write Scenes

Edit and re-work next two stories and submit. Edits clearly tracked.

Time to complete: one month.


Task 12

Write Your Own Scenes

Edit and re-work final two stories and submit. Edits clearly tracked. One story to be ready for submission to a competition (optional).

Time to complete: one month.


Task 13 + 14

Learn How to Write Scenes

Final draft of collection, layout and title (including considerations for your introduction). This is optional if you have chosen to compile a personal anthology.


What Our Students Say

Erika TaylorAdvanced Short Story Course
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This inspiring course really helped me discover my strengths as a writer and gain confidence in my writing. I often gave up on my writing before doing the Advanced Short Story Course as my stories just did not “work”. With the support of my excellent tutor Andrew Salomon, the course made me realise that I am a character-driven writer and I do not need to force my stories into contrived plotlines. And as a working mother of two who also works full-time, the course motivated me to start writing again and keep going for the sake of my sanity.
Megan FrithLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
Read More

I liked the fact there were many opportunities to write stories. Having completed the course, I’m glad I picked this one from the many on offer. My tutor was very clear in her explanations, which I appreciated. Her comments were not restricted to course content either. If she spotted something in a story that didn’t ring true, she’d raise it. It was great to get that sort of feedback. She was also super-quick with returning module assessments and sent through an extremely comprehensive report at the end of the course. I loved it. I would not hesitate to enrol in another course!
Emma ShawLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
Read More

I thoroughly enjoyed each course module and looked forward to the next! I am sorry it has now finished. It’s been challenging, and I have learnt a lot. The collection of notes will make very good reference material for my future work. My tutor Alex was very warm, positive and encouraging. I never doubted for a moment that she knew what she was talking about when it came to writing; her feedback made sense, particularly in the context of the module. I was very happy with her. This course opened up and clarified a lot of areas in writing I had been struggling with. It gave me a great opportunity to write and just keep writing. The ten modules in twelve months allowed plenty of time to work at my own pace. The tougher the module, the more satisfying it was to complete it! It was a challenging and instructive course, full of useful examples from great authors.
Nastasha De FreitasLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
Read More

Alex was amazing and helped me no matter how many times I asked about the same module.
Lynn SmithShort Story Writing for Magazines Course
Read More

A richly rewarding experience. Ginny was an excellent tutor. She gave such detailed and positive criticism, which always sought to encourage and support. I thoroughly recommend this course – it’s enjoyable, thought-provoking and given by a tutor who motivates and inspires. This was my fourth course with SAWC and all of them have lived up to my expectations.
Pip MurdochLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
Read More

Very good course. Enjoyed every assignment. Sonny was a perfect tutor and was always encouraging.

Get These Additional Benefits

Lifetime Course Access

Benefit from free lifetime access to future course updates and access to our writing resources.

Join a Community of Writers

You will have access to our friendly Facebook community, daily writing tips and writing inspiration.

500+ Bonus Articles on Our Blog

A superb, constantly updated resource with articles on writing and interviews with writers.

Work at Your Own Pace

Our courses work around you. You can pace your course around your busy life.

Work Opportunities

Top students are invited to join our writers and editors for hire service.

Be the First to Know About Writing Competitions

We'll help you keep up to date with the latest competition announcements

Risk-Free 100% Money-Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you will love your course that if you’re not 100% satisfied with the quality of our training, simply ask for a refund within 30 days.

Complete the Application Form to Enrol on the Advanced Short Story Course

You will receive an approval email and invoice within one working day.

*If the application form doesn’t submit, please contact admin and we’ll assist you.

Questions? We've Got Answers

The course consists of eight modules. Detailed course notes covering the content of each module are emailed to you. At the end of each module, you will be required to complete a writing exercise. In total, the course includes eight short writing assignments, all of which count towards your final result. Once a writing assignment has been completed and emailed to your tutor, you will receive an assessment and feedback, and the module will be considered complete. The next module will then be emailed to you.

Absolutely. You have direct communication with your tutor for the duration of the course. The more questions you ask, the more you will get out of the course.

You will get lifetime access to the course. You will also benefit from future updates and improvements to the course!

For the majority of our courses, only your tutor will see your work. It will remain completely private unless you get it published, a decision that is yours to make.

You will receive a Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided you meet the following conditions: 

  • You must have completed all assignments. 
  • The course must have been completed within 24 months of registration.
  • A minimum average of 50% must be achieved.

Students should be a graduate of the Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course. We may consider students who have not previously completed a course with us. Acceptance on to the course would be based on the merits of your writing.

Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required.

Because you will work with an individual tutor, you can start your course as soon as your application has been approved. There are no specific start dates as would be the case with a traditional college.

An application is usually approved within one working day. Once we receive proof of payment, your can start your course.

You could be starting your course today!

The speed at which you work is entirely up to you. We would estimate that each story would take at least five hours to write and polish. To get one story up to publishable standard may take between 20 and 30 hours per story. This would include several rewrites by the student.

Once your application has been approved, you will receive notification of approval and an invoice via email. As soon as we receive proof of payment, your first module as well as  your tutor’s email address and your login details will be sent to you. Your tutor will also be in touch to welcome you.

Any work created on our courses is owned by you. We will never make a claim to anything you produce. We follow the rule that copyright subsists with the creator (you).

‘My tutor was amazing. She was very prompt with her feedback and marking, and very clear in her feedforward. I highly recommend this course to anybody who needs the motivation to begin writing.’

Victoria Hathaway, Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course

Got More Questions?

We would love to help you choose the best course for you. Tell us what style of writing you want to develop and we'll give you some options.

Our Refund Policy

If within seven days of starting your course you are not happy on your course, we can either transfer you to a different course or provide a full refund.

If you request a refund after seven days and before 30 days we will charge a 5% administrative fee, as well as any bank fees and tutor fees already incurred.

We do not offer a refund after 30 days on the course.

How can we help?

We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our courses. If you need advice about the best course for you, drop us a line below or email us at

We look forward to hearing from you.