A six-week course for beginners with UEA Creative Writing PhD Claire Griffiths designed to introduce the fundamental techniques of writing short fiction, culminating in a reading open to the public at Ink@84. This course is for anyone who has a story to tell but isn’t quite sure what that story might be or how to express it! Over six weeks, experienced tutor and published writer Dr Claire Griffiths will help you uncover the short story hiding inside of you and give you the tools to start transferring it from your imagination to the page. Along the way, you’ll encounter fiction by a diverse range of writers, undertake enjoyable writing challenges, engage with a supportive writing community, and learn the essentials of great story-making.
What makes this course unique is its inspiring bookshop setting and small group size (max. 8 people). By the end you will have:
Produced a worked-through and redrafted 500-word short story.
Developed your knowledge of the fundamentals of good storytelling.
Built your own writer’s toolbox – essential skills to enhance your future writing.
Learned to read more attentively, to discern how writers do what they do.
Increased your observational skills, enabling you to pick up on ‘storyable moments’.
Developed the confidence and ability to turn develop these moments into stories.
Each week we will focus on a different element of writing fiction: What makes a good story?; Creating memorable characters; The point of point of view; Show don’t tell?; Writing dialogue; and ‘Failing better’: redrafting. To get inside these ideas, we will read stories by great writers including Sally Rooney, John Steinbeck, Annie Proulx, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ernest Hemingway, Angela Carter, James Baldwin and Jean Rhys. You also will be led through a series of useful writing exercises, and have the opportunity to share your ideas with the class and receive feedback from the tutor.The course culminates with a celebratory reading event held at Ink@84 on Friday 22 November at 7pm, where brave volunteers will read their work aloud to family, friends and interested passers-by! Maximum number of 8.
Autumn Workshop: Short Fiction Mon 7-9pm Oct 14th - Nov 18th
This six-week course will introduce you to the fundamental techniques involved in writing short stories, including the ‘rules’ of writing and when to break them, creating characters, devising a plot, scene-setting, dialogue, language style, imagery and subtext, and editing. Designed to be supportive and inclusive, it will provide a friendly and inspiring environment in which to build confidence as a fiction writer.
We will read and analyse works by classic and contemporary masters, including: Angela Carter, Annie Proulx, Raymond Carver, Ali Smith, Ernest Hemmingway, Daphne du Maurier, Kate Clanchy and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Each week you will be set a writing challenge to complete at home, as well as one short story to read, and you’ll receive constructive feedback from group members and the tutor.
Our goal is to create an original, critiqued and redrafted piece of short fiction of at least 500 words in length. At the end of term, we’ll hold a celebratory event at Ink@84 for family and friends at which you will have the opportunity to read aloud. No previous writing experience is necessary for this course, and all genres can be accommodated.
Claire Griffiths teaches on the UK’s top-rated creative writing programme at the University of East Anglia. She completed a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the UEA in 2015, joining an alumni list which includes Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Anne Enright. Her short fiction has appeared in print and online publications including the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, where her story ‘Tata and Mama and Me’ placed second. ‘The Painter and the Dybbuk’ won a national competition for broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Both feature in her forthcoming debut collection, ‘The Lagermuseum’, which focuses on artworks created by Auschwitz prisoners.
PRAISE FOR CLAIRE'S COURSE FROM OUR SUMMER WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS:
'I thought the course had just the right balance of content, discussion, homework and teaching. It was a joy to do!' Jonty
'The sessions were always very lively and enjoyable. I looked forward to each one...the group's atmosphere was always harmonious and everyone seemed to feel free to discuss and disagree in a friendly way.' Rachel
'It was well prepared, well thought out and well constructed. The selection of readings was helpful and relevant. You were a very good tutor, lots of encouragement but no flannel.' Emma
'Workshopping each others' material was a particular highlight. Also your warmth -- I was nervous and you put us all at ease.' Abi
'Overall I had an excellent time and I looked forward to each week -- both for the material and the discussions...it always felt as if we were in safe hands.' Katie