Short Story Essentials

Short Story Essentials

Your blueprint to create compelling, polished yarns

This creative writing course is ideal for: Anyone keen to develop their fiction writing skills, enter writing competitions and build a body of work

You will:
Learn the essentials of short form fiction
Discover 20 storytelling techniques you can use immediately
Build memorable characters with clear narratives
Write a polished 2500 word short story
Receive personalised feedback on your final piece






At your own pace

Let’s cut a long story short

Short stories are the new black. Their popularity is growing among readers and publishers alike – bite-sized gems and fully-formed pieces that elicit the same emotions as their bigger siblings. In short, there has never been a better time to pen your own short story.

  • Have you ever struggled to finish a story?
  • Are you looking for new opportunities to showcase your work?
  • Just starting out on your creative writing journey?
  • Want to feel the rush of entering (and winning) writing competitions?

If you answered YES to any of the above, then developing your short story writing skills could be exactly what you need.

With our online course, Short Story Essentials, you’ll be shown the techniques to create your own 2500 word short story – learning at your own pace as you piece the parts together. Then, once you’ve completed it, you can submit your story to course creator Cathie Tasker – a fiction editor with more than 25 years’ experience – for invaluable feedback!

Short stories defined

As a reader, a good short story will immediately draw you into another world. It can move and intrigue you in your lunch break or on the train. One that introduces you to compelling characters that you’ll never forget. It pulls you into a narrative for a brief period of time, but makes you want to come back for another dose.

For creative writers, short stories are a fantastic tool to help you better understand plot and technique. If you have ever struggled to finish a story (whether a novel, short story or anything in between) then this shorter format is the single best way to practise and polish your writing skills. Requiring similar techniques in a more condensed form, short stories can help you understand how to get those longer projects to the finish line too.

What you’ll learn in this course

This online course focuses on helping you to write a 2500-word short story – the ideal length for entering most short story competitions (where you can win cash prizes!) or submitting to publishers of anthologies.

Specifically, you’ll discover how to write stories that move, entertain and compel readers to want more. That’s the main aim of this course – to have you create a story that you can be proud of, and which could even be the basis for a future novel.

This course is split into seven modules – each a milestone to complete as you work towards writing your full story. You'll discover how to:

  • Write your short story in the classic 3-act structure
  • Write an opening that grips readers from the first line
  • Build your characters, especially your protagonist, create a narrative voice, and a dialogue voice
  • Use storytelling techniques that will keep readers riveted
  • Identify and write about your protagonist’s journey, their setbacks and joy
  • Create powerful dialogue and other aspects of style
  • Keep your reader's interest with tension and good pace
  • Write a climax that is both astonishing and satisfying, leaving your reader thunderstruck and wanting more
  • Write an ending that really works
  • Polish your story with effective editing techniques
  • And much more!

In each module, you’ll learn the steps you need to take to master each of the sections of a short story. You’ll also be given great real-life examples so that you can see what works – and what doesn’t.

What you’ll get out of this course

This course has a very clear goal – to help you write your own short story that you can be proud of. One that you can enter in short story competitions and share with your friends and family.

By completing all seven modules, you will have created your own short story. We give you the blueprint to structure it, teach you vital techniques so that your characters come to life, and give you the tools to bring your own ideas and creativity to the process.

The final (optional but extremely worthwhile) assignment at the end of your course allows you to submit your story and get personalised feedback from course creator Cathie Tasker. A fantastic opportunity!

And of course, all of the principles you learn can be applied to longer forms of storytelling too. If you’re an emerging creative writer, then writing short stories is a wonderful springboard into longer works like novels. They’re also a great way to get publishers interested in your writing.

  • Make short work of your short story
  • Work at your own pace to learn the essentials of short story writing
  • Receive invaluable feedback about your finished piece
  • Start today!