Six Days of Short Stories with Claire Keegan

An exploration of the short story over six Saturdays

WEEK ONE

family

March 21: Four Russian Stories

1. “The Overcoat” by Gogol, translated by Constance Garnett.

PDF

2. “Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands” by Ivan Turgenev, translated by Constance Garnett. Text

3. “Family Happiness” by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Constance Garnett. PDF

4. “Gusev” by Anton Chekhov, translated by Constance Garnett. Text

WEEK TWO

lawrence

March 28: Classics

1 “An Adventure in Paris” by Guy de Maupassant.

2. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce.

3. “The Horsedealer’s Daughter” by D.H. Lawrence.

4. “The Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield.

Stories 1–4 are published in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction edited by Richard Bausch and R.V. Cassill. Shorter, 8th edition.

WEEK THREE

why

April 4: Four American Stories

1. “I Want to Know Why” by Sherwood Anderson.

2. “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck.

3. “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty.

4. “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright.

Stories 1–4 are published in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction edited by Richard Bausch and R.V. Cassill. Shorter, 8th edition.

WEEK FOUR

irish

April 11: Five Irish Stories

1. “The Girl and the Sailor” (a folktale).

2. “The Faithless Wife” by Sean O’Faolain.

3. “The Majesty of the Law” by Frank O’Connor.

4. “Irish Revel” by Edna O’Brien.

5. “Midnight Blue” by Elaine Walsh.

Stories 1–4 may be found in The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories, edited by William Trevor. We may also discuss Trevor’s introduction to the anthology.

WEEK FIVE

island

April 18: Four Canadian Stories

1. “Royal Beatings” by Alice Munro.

2. “The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street” by Mavis Gallant.

3. “The Island” by Alistair MacLeod.

4. “Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood.

Stories 1, 2 and 4 are published in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction edited by Richard Bausch and R.V. Cassill. Shorter, 8th edition.

WEEK SIX

short fic

April 25: Stories from Elsewhere

1. “The White Horse” by Yasunari Kawabata.

2. “Signs and Symbols” by Vladimir Nabokov.

3. “The Management of Grief” by Bharati Mukherjee.

4. “Gimpel the Fool” by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Stories 1–4 are published in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction edited by Richard Bausch and R.V. Cassill. Shorter, 8th edition.

All lectures will be held at the Carmelite Community Centre, 56 Aungier Street, Dublin City Centre from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.

Participants are welcome to either book into the full six-week course for 780 euro tuition or pay 150 per day. To book, please contact clairekeeganfictionclinic@gmail.com

Anyone with an interest in short stories is welcome to attend.

New dates for Novella Writing Course!

Work on a novella this Spring with tutor Kiare Ladner in Collage Writing Room’s cosy North London retreat and join a supportive writing community.

Wednesday evenings 6.45pm-9.15pm; Feb 26, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1; cost £99; venue Writing Room, 40 Cumberland Road, London N22 7SG. Contact Kate Pemberton at kate@collage-arts.org for more information or to book a place.

Are you intrigued by the idea of writing a novella? Maybe you’re wondering how to finish that short story that keeps getting longer and longer… or you have a novel that’s run out of steam. Perhaps it wants to be a novella?

Although still very popular in Europe, the novella is a neglected form in the UK in these days of ‘more bang for your buck’ doorstop novels. So why not do something different with this year’s writing resolution and get Novella Fever with short story writer and author, Kiare Ladner. Kiare’s short stories have been shortlisted or received honourable mentions in competitions including the BBC National Short Story Award, the Bridport Prize, the Short Fiction Competition among others and appeared in Ambit Magazine. Kiare’s debut novel Nightshift will be published by Picador in 2021. Here’s what she says about the course:

“In six weeks, we will aim to make a start on (or even finish) drafting a novella. There will be plenty of exercises in class, and the opportunity for your work/ideas to be work-shopped by your peers. We will look at the various elements of fiction: creating characters, plot and structure, dialogue, editing, point of view, voice and tenses. The focus will be on examining the craft, as well as on your own writing practice, and lots of published works will be referenced for your information.

During intensive weekly sessions, we will discuss what gives the novella form its particular power. We will also think about the value of the instinctive in our writing and the general shape a story of this length this may take.”

All levels welcome.

Novella Fever with Kiare Ladner: Spring 2020

Do you have a short story with potential for growth? Or one that’s out of control and getting longer and longer? Maybe it’s a novella in disguise. Join Picador author and short story writer Kiare Ladner for a really intensive work out on all things novella! Novella Fever is for anyone serious about getting stuck into a mid-length piece of fiction. Wednesday evenings 6.45pm-9.15pm; Jan 29, Feb 5, 12, (half term), 26, March 4, 11; cost £99; venue Writing Room, Floor 3, Wood Green Works, Cumberland Road, Wood Green, London N22 7SG

In six weeks, we will aim to start (or finish) drafting a novella. What you work on may be only slightly longer than a short story or slightly shorter than a novel. You may have an idea to explore, or a short story that’s growing, or something resembling a novel in progress. On the course, we will look at what gives this particular form its power. We will think about the value of the instinctive in our writing. We will discuss the general shape a story of this length this may take. In intensive weekly sessions we will workshop both writing and story ideas. All levels welcome.

If interested, contact Kate Pemberton at kate@collage-arts.org or for more information check: http://haringeyliteraturelive.com/spring-courses-2020/

Manuscript-based Workshop with Claire Keegan

December 7, 2019, 9.30am to 5pm

Dublin city centre

A unique opportunity to have your work read and critiqued by Claire Keegan, as well as to learn more about the writing process.

Tuition is 300 Euro with the submission of a 3,000 words manuscript, or 150 Euro without a manuscript.

There is only one place remaining!

To book, email ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com

Read reviews on Claire’s workshops and courses.

 

KEEGAN Claire

Subject: KEEGAN Claire – Copyright: Philippe MATSAS/Opale – Date: 20121017-

Short Story Workshop with award-winning writer Kiare Ladner – starts October 30.

Wednesday evenings, 6.45pm-9.15pm; dates October 30, (no class November 6), November 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11; cost £99; venue Collage Writing Room, Wood Green Works, 40 Cumberland Road London N22 7SG. Click for details of courses. To book, email kate@collage-arts.org

The short story – liberating to get down, exacting to get right! Over six intensive sessions, we’ll explore the art and craft of the form. In doing so, we’ll look rigorously at your own stories, alongside a diverse range by other writers. From the traditional to the experimental, from character-based to thematically driven, from stories that expand a moment to those that cover a lifetime, we’ll discuss what works, how it works and why it works. Come along if you’d like to be inspired, motivated and challenged in your practice. All levels welcome.

Kiare’s short story ‘Van Rensburg’s Card’ was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018. She has a Creative Writing PhD, which focused on short fiction (stories and novellas) while exploring Italo Calvino’s concept of lightness. Before this, she did a Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia for which she was given the David Higham Literary Agency Bursary Award. Her short stories have been shortlisted or received honourable mentions in competitions including the Bridport Prize, the Short Fiction Competition, the Short Sharp Stories Award, storySouth Million Writers Award and Glimmer Train. Kiare Ladner’s debut novel Nightshift will be published by Picador in autumn 2019.

Writing Short Stories with Cynan Jones

Write and edit a complete short story and learn essential fiction-writing techniques on Curtis Brown Creative’s brand new six-week online course, Writing Short Stories led by award-winning short story writer Cynan Jones. Cynan won the Betty Trask award for his novel The Long Dry and he won BBC National Short Story Award in 2017, for which he was on the 2019 judging panel . His short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and in journals and magazines including Granta and the New Yorker.

We interviewed Cynan to find out more about his love of short fiction…

You won the BBC National Short Story Prize for your story The Edge of the Shoal in 2017 and now you’re on this year’s judging panel for the prize. How does it feel to come full circle? And what do you look for when reading short stories for competitions?

Judging the competition has certainly pointed out what an extraordinary thing it was to win. Ultimately, all a writer can do is write as strongly as he or she can, and work on a story until it’s the best possible piece they can produce. What happens to that story is a product of the work and attention put in. If nothing else, I know I’ve really worked hard to write strongly. In many ways then, it feels less of a circle and more of a starting point! What next? I’m always aiming to challenge myself.

The sense a writer has challenged him or herself is in the best stories too. You read great pieces and think, ‘How!? How did they write that?’ Such stories feel both totally impossible to write, but as if they couldn’t be written better.

When reading stories for competitions I look for that. Stories that take narrative risks and show the technical ability to make those risks pay off. That’s much rarer than you think.

What initially inspired you to start writing in short fiction?

I think several elements led me to shorter forms. Firstly, the thing of reading a story from start to finish in one sitting. I loved that as a reader and – as most of us are copyists when we first start writing – wanted to replicate that experience.

I also think that, even in my initial attempts at serious writing, the way my prose hit the page lent itself to shorter form. I aimed always to put a picture down as simply and powerfully as I could and relied on the reader to think and feel in response. That meant I didn’t write a great deal of explanation or back story, or direct a reader how to react. In itself, that makes for fewer words.

In retrospect, perhaps too there were constraints as to how long I could really dedicate to the process of writing when I first started. I usually had about three months for writing at the beginning of the year before the freelance work I did at the time really got going. Perhaps that made me feel I needed to write something I could start and finish in one block. (Which loops back to the first thing I mentioned here, about the immersive experience of starting and finishing something in one go.)

We’re thrilled to have you on board as the teacher of our brand-new Writing Short Stories course. What’s your favourite part of teaching?

Probably how teaching makes you dig into your own process and really work to understand it so you can pass what you know on.

Other than the help of the world-class authors I read, I taught myself to write. Because of that, it’s only since teaching that I’ve really dissected exactly what it is I do, and that’s helped me take things further.

Could you share your top three tips for writers who want to start writing short stories?

Read.

Work at the craft.

Don’t write to be published.

Read the full interview with Cynan over on the Curtis Brown Creative blog.

Curtis Brown Creative’s brand new Writing Short Stories course led by Cynan Jones is open now for enrolment. It starts on October 17th 2019.

Short Stops readers can get an exclusive 10% off by using code: SHORTSTOPSCBC

 

30 Days of Writing, An Online Course

30 days course30 Days of Writing is an interactive online course that encourages and supports writers in the process of writing a book in a month. For the thirty days of the course, the focus will be on your writing, on finding the right voice to tell your stories in, and on exploring ways to expand and layer a collection of short stories.

The course is led by the writer and tutor, Shaun Levin, editor of The A3 Review and author of Seven Sweet Things, A Year of Two Summers, and the writing guides, The Writing Notebooks.

30 Days of Writing is right for you if:

  • you want to create a substantial amount of writing in a short period of time
  • you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the collection you want to write and would appreciate some guidance and detailed feedback
  • you have an idea for a book but are not sure how to go about writing it
  • you like working in the company of others, but also enjoy the comfort of writing in your own space and at a time that suits you
  • you have notes and fragments towards a book, and would like some input on how to organise everything and keep going
  • you’d like to experiment with different ways of putting together a book, whether using text on its own, or combining text with photographs and illustrations

Tutor: Shaun Levin
Dates: 1-30 November 2019
Fee: £380

For just over £12 a day, you’ll receive:

  • detailed feedback
  • daily writing prompts
  • customised prompts and suggestions
  • 2 x one-to-one consultations
  • the company of other writers from around the world
  • 2 x the 12 Doable Writing Projects Writing Map
  • and the support to figure out what it takes to write your next book.

For more details about 30 Days of Writing, click here. Please email maps@writingmaps.com for any questions about the course.