The Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course

Price: £ 495.00

CREATIVE WRITING

Literary Short Story and Flash Fiction Course

Learn how to write winning short stories

All the basics of short story writing in one course

The Literary Short Story and Flash Fiction Course is for you if you’ve always wanted to write stories, but didn’t know how to get started. 

With the support and guidance of an award-winning writer, you’ll learn invaluable writing skills and techniques. What’s more, gain the confidence and expertise to write publishable stories – and submit them to literary publications around the world.

This course helps you ditch the doubts, overcome procrastination and finally write down the stories that have been living inside your head.

The Literary Short Fiction 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.

Unleash Your Creativity in Your Short Stories

A creative writer’s how-to guide

This course provides you with all the tools you need to write short stories. You’ll also get tips and support on getting your stories published in literary print and online journals. Walk away with eight short stories ready for the publisher’s desk!

Our tutors have an open-door policy on questions. The more you ask, the better you are likely to do.

During this course, you’ll discover:

  • how to create convincing characters
  • the structure and plot of a good short story
  • how to write realistic dialogue
  • how point of view affects your story
  • how to write flash fiction
  • how to edit your work before submitting it
  • where to send stories for publication, both locally and internationally

‘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

Course Overview

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

COURSE FEE

Price includes VAT

Other currencies will be converted at time of invoice

NUMBER OF ASSIGNMENTS

10

The assignments vary in length.

NUMBER OF MODULES

10

These modules cover around 200 pages of course notes.

COURSE DURATION

12

Work at your own pace – up to a maximum of 12 months.

START DATE: ANYTIME

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

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

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

Our Graduate Students'

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.

Course Curriculum

Module 1

An Introduction to the Short Story

  • What is a short story?
  • Getting started
  • Getting into a routine
  • Battling writer’s block
  • Some writing tips
  •  

Module 2

Ten Basic Tools for Creative Writers

  • Use Anglo-Saxon not Latinate words
  • Show don’t tell
  • Use the active voice
  • Cut adverbs and replace them with stronger verbs
  • Point of view
  • The three components of creative writing
  • Writing action – reduce stage directions
  • Writing descriptions – be specific
  • Writing dialogue

Module 3

Characterisation

  • Character-driven writing
  • Types of characters
  • Knowing your characters
  • Presenting characters
  • The importance of the ‘back story’
  • The importance of the right name

Module 4

Writing Dialogue

  • The function of dialogue
  • Writing believable dialogue
  • Starting your story with dialogue
  • Writing authentic dialogue
  • The use of ‘said’
  • Using slang and dialect effectively
  • Using silence as part of the dialogue
  • How to convey thoughts

Module 5

Choosing Your Point of View

  • Writing from the first-person point of view
  • Writing from a second-person point of view
  • Writing from a third-person point of view
  •  

Module 6

The Plot

  • What is plot?
  • Key elements of plot
  • Various plot patterns
  • The twist in the tale
  • Sourcing ideas for plots

Module 7

Structure, Setting and Style

  • The definition of structure in a story
  • Structural devices to add interest
  • Writing style: Using metaphors for maximum impact
  • How settings can define your story – or not

Module 8

Effective Editing

  • Why edit?
  • The importance of word count
  • Lean and mean is good
  • Tying up the loose ends
  •  

Module 9

Writing Flash Fiction

  • What is flash fiction?
  • Key elements of flash fiction writing
  • Where to submit flash fiction

Module 10

Publishing Your Story

  • Breaking the rules
  • Outlets for literary work
  • Literary competitions
  • Self-publishing

This course offers an advanced course option

What Our Students Say

Irina NovacLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
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The Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course pushed my writing to its limits and me beyond my comfort zone - I feel I’ve grown so much as a writer as well as a person because of it. I cannot say enough positive things about Alex. Her insight was deep; I felt all my attempts at motifs, themes and symbolism were fully understood by her. There was an elegant, delicate honesty about Alex’s feedback – it was very genuine and constructive as well as very encouraging. She held me to higher standards and also fostered my every attempt to meet the mark. The Writers College is a hidden gem among online writing programs. It has the high, rich quality of an Oxford Continuing Education writing course for an incredibly affordable cost. I cannot recommend it enough in all my writing circles.
Megan FrithLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
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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
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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.
Eleanor TalbotLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
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It was a concise and thorough course; I learnt a huge amount. I have done three courses with the Writers’ College now and realise I have barely scraped the surface of what I need to do and the journeys I have to go on to become a vaguely useful writer. I never anticipated how challenging flash fiction would be so I would like to do more. Alex rocks; she is calm and collected, which is necessary because I reckon new writers are terribly nervous and emotionally immature about their work. We are like toddlers: we need to be guided into maturity with patience and encouragement. She has a very classical eye which balanced out my tendency to want to break the bank, and in the end, I think that yin-yang was good for my writing. She was professional and a pleasant lady too. I’ll be back to sign up for another course.
Faeeza BallimLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
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The course was demanding enough for my writing to rapidly improve, which I am grateful for. The tutor provided a supportive role, which was important. She was very knowledgeable and definitely not a walk-over. She also introduced me to a wide range of new authors and ways of writing. The Writers’ College offers a great way to learn in a time and cost-efficient way.
Marie ChampionLiterary Short and Flash Fiction Course
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This course has given me much confidence and a good understanding of what I still need to work on, especially the editing and keeping to a routine. While completing the modules and assignments I still had time to get on with writing my own short stories. I received valuable feedback and comments from my tutor; she was a dedicated reader that steered me in the right direction. So, although the real work starts now, I feel much more positive that I am progressing in the right direction even more so as English is not my first language. It was an invaluable experience.
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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 Literary Short Story and Flash Fiction 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 ten 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 ten 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 12 months of registration.
  • A minimum average of 50% must be achieved.
  • Basic writing skills are essential.
  • You must be proficient in the English language.
  • Computer skills as well as email and Internet access are required.
  • No previous tertiary qualification is 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. After studying the modules, the exercises should take up to two hours to complete. A complete story could take longer.

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).

‘Alex was amazing and helped me no matter how many times I asked about the same module.’

Nastasha De Freitas, Literary Short Story & Flash Fiction Course

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