The short story is uniquely magical – and a fantastic place for writers to develop their powers. Following the publication of her second collection Twisted Branches, author, coach and creative writing lecturer Dr Rachel Knightley leads a 4-week course guiding you through the process from first ideas to full stories.
By the end of the course, you'll have a full draft of a story and know what you need to do to create a full collection, plus how to select and approach your choice of agent, magazine or independent publisher.
Week 1: Your Ideas and How to Catch Them Demystify the process from first throught to full draft: which idea do you pick? How do you begin – and end? Clarify your vision and build confidence in your writing world.
Week 2: Capturing the Moment With less space available than in a novel, every moment counts; often, the story is the moment! Utilise your dialogue and your character's five senses to build momentum and keep those stakes raised.
Week 3: Themes and Collections Writing our individual stories is always part of a wider process: explore how to hone your tastes, experiences and questions about the world into a theme to weave your stories together.
Week 4: Approaching Agents and Independent Publishers When you've taken your story as far as it can go on your own, it's time to begin the next phrase of your writing life: find out how to identify the right market, agents, editors and independent publishers to approach and how to make this next phase of writing the most exciting yet.
Dr Rachel Knightley is a fiction and non-fiction author. Her most recent title, Twisted Branches, was published in October 2023. Her stories have also appeared in anthologies and magazines including the British Fantasy Award nominated Dreamland, Uncertainties vol. 3, Great British Horror 5, Writers' Forum (First Prize for Fiction) and Starburst. She writes and presents audio and visual essays for film companies including Severin, Indicator and Second Sight Films. Her non-fiction includes Your Creative Writing Toolkit and Hodder Education's Drama GCSE Study and Revision Guide. She lectured in creative writing at Roehampton University.