Photo © Mike Hannon
Short Stories for Beginners Workshop
with Danielle McLaughlin
Danielle McLaughlin will host a four morning fiction workshop for beginning writers.
Dates: September 23rd - 26th (mornings)
This workshop is suitable for beginner writers, those who are taking the very first steps in their writing journey and those who have been writing for a while. Handouts will be provided, and students who would like to receive a written critique are invited to submit a story/extract from a story no longer than 3000 words in advance of the workshop. (Submitting a story is optional, and critiqued stories will not be discussed during the workshop, but will be handed back to participants at the end). To make the most of our time, participants will be emailed links to a number of short stories that are available to read on-line and will be asked to read them in advance of the workshop.
DAY 1 : Short Stories – what are they, what do they look like? What size are they, what shape? Do we find them, or do they find us? By studying a number of great short stories, we will explore a variety of styles and approaches. We will do some writing exercises designed to kick-start new stories, and we will discuss short story beginnings.
Day 2: Point of view – what is meant by ‘point of view’ and how do you decide which point of view is best for a story? We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different Points of View, looking at various examples, and we will do some more writing exercises. Also on Day 3, we will talk about how to manage Time in a short story, considering things such as what piece of time to choose for a story, and how to slow time down.
DAY 3 : Having got a story off to a good start, how do we keep it interesting? How do we make a reader believe in our story, in our characters? Does there have to be a plot? Today’s writing exercises will be aimed at creating compelling, memorable characters that readers will engage with.
Day 4: Knowing when to stop – tips on when and how to end a story, illustrated with examples of some great short story endings. On this final day of the workshop, we will also discuss submitting stories to journals and competitions, where to send your work, what to put in a cover letter, etc.
Masterclass Workshop with Claire Keegan
Claire Keegan will be delivering a four morning masterclass workshop. This opportunity is open to writers at any level, with no prerequisite.
Dates: September 23rd - 26th (mornings)
In preparation for this course, all participants will be required to read “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Wednesday, September 23rd: Time & Desire
Introducing fiction as a temporal art. How do we go about making the incision in time? How does time lead us from the beginning to the middle to find an inevitable ending? What is the difference between statement and suggestion? Between static and movement? Between poor and fine prose? Keegan will talk about hooking your character’s eyes and feet onto their object of desire and taking them through the story.
Thursday, September 24: The Paragraph
The paragraph. How to handle a unit of time. How to structure your work and thought. How reading works! Fiction is written in paragraphs. If you are not interested in paragraphs and how they work and relate to each other, it’s unlikely that you’ll write well.
Friday, September 25: Scenes
What is a scene? How does time work in a scene? And what’s the difference between tension and drama? And how are they related? Why are highly dramatic scenes sometimes dull or implausible? And how does a scene reveal character?
Saturday, September 26: Trouble and Loss
This morning will focus on the stakes – what your characters stand to win or lose – or fear. Going out into the deep water and discovering, to some extent and uneasily, what it means to be human.
Cancellation Policy (Please read carefully.)
Mobility Requirements: Most of the venues have wheelchair access but not all. If you have limited mobility every effort will be made to accommodate you, but best chance is through an early booking.
Your workshop place will be secured only after full payment. Every effort will be made to make sure that the programme proceeds as advertised but the Munster Literature Centre accepts no responsibility for changes made due to circumstances beyond our control. Refunds will be given only if a workshop is cancelled.
As workshops sell out notification of such will be posted on this page.
How to Book
Phone + 353 (021)4312955
In person at The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O’Connor House, 84
Douglas Street, Cork
Payment will be accepted by cheque/postal order (made payable to the Munster Literature Centre) or by credit card via Paypal (link provided on registration).