Masterclasses and author talks for short fiction lovers

For five years Novel Nights has been at the forefront of live lit in Bristol & Bath, programming author talks with authors like Maggie Gee and Nathan Filer.

This year we’re launching masterclasses, taught by experienced academics and writers. Tom Vowler will teach our first class, From Spark to Flame: Forging The Short Story on 27th April.  Tom is short fiction editor at Unthank Books, has published two short story collections and his third novel is out soon. He teaches at Arvon Foundation and Plymouth University.

“A masterclass to unlock some of the mysteries of this dazzling literary form. Aimed at both emerging and published writers, the class will explore how stories are crafted, how you can bring them to life, give them voltage and vitality.” 

On September 8th, Vanessa Gebbie will lead a day-long flash-fiction masterclass in Bristol. Tickets in advance.

“An in-depth look at flash fiction, aimed at any writer who is interested to start or continue an exploration of this sparkling form. You will create  many fresh pieces thanks to tried and tested games and exercises –  your tutor never asks you to share your writing, so you are unencumbered as you play freely and focus on meeting your new characters, voices and forms within forms.” Vanessa Gebbie has won awards for both prose and poetry, including a Bridport Prize and the Troubadour. Author of ten books, including five collections of short fictions, two of poetry and a novel, she is also commissioning and contributing editor of Short Circuit: Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Salt).

Novella-in-flash author talk 

On May 11th we’ve invited Michael Loveday, judge of the 2019 Bath Novella-in-Flash Award, to discuss writing a Novella-in-Flash and to share insights into the judging process.

Tickets only £8.50 from Novel Nights. Square Club, Bristol. BS8 1HB. Flash writers are welcome to submit to read

 

 

 

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David Gaffney Flash Fiction Masterclass – Sunday October 28th from Haringey Literature Live

‘One hundred and fifty words by Gaffney are more worthwhile than novels by a good many others…’

Flash Fiction maestro David Gaffney will be teaching a very special Masterclass for us at @HLiteratureLive on Sun Oct 28. £50. We’re based in N22, just a few minutes walk from Wood Green tube (Piccadilly Line) and Alexandra Palace overground.

Book via kate@collage-arts.org

http://haringeyliteraturelive.com/masterclasses/ 

Sunday 28th October 11.45am-5pm, £50, Writing Room. Workshop practitioner: David Gaffney Can you tell a story in less than 500 words? David Gaffney thinks you can, and in this workshop you will learn how to reduce ideas to an ultra-short format – how to condense while keeping your story effective, powerful and easy to understand, how to manage character, description, point of view and dialogue, and how to reduce a thousand words to 150 without losing a thing. Full of practical, fun exercises, this session will leave you wondering why anything has to be longer than a side of A4.

David Gaffney is the author of Sawn Off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007), Never Never (2008), The Half Life of Songs (2010) and Sawn Off Opera, a set of operas with composer Ailis Ni Riain. His new collection of short stories, More Sawn Off Tales is out now. https://www.davidgaffney.org

Short Story Masterclass with Tom Vowler

The Unthank School is now offering an 8-week online short story masterclass with Tom Vowler, author of Dazzling the Gods. Whether you’re new to writing or an author with a collection underway, this is a fantastic opportunity to develop your craft with a fantastic writer and experienced tutor.

The Short Story Masterclass is an online course designed for those with a passion for storytelling. We examine what brings a story to life, what gives it traction and vitality.

The Basics

  • Starts September 2018
  • Explore the elements of successful short fiction
  • A friendly and relaxed course to unravel (some of) the mysteries of this demanding form
  • Discover how great stories are crafted
  • Join lively discussions about writing with your tutor and other students

 

Student Testimonial

“I found the course really enlightening in regards to stepping up a notch with writing stories seriously. The resources have been invaluable, as has the feedback and contact with the other members of the group.”   Jayne Sanders

For more details or to enrol, click here. Any questions or queries, email enquiries@unthankschool.com

Fiction Workshop with Claire Keegan

Fiction Workshop with Irish writer Claire Keegan
Goldsmiths University, London
April 21 & 22, 2018. 9:30am–5:30pm, both days.

Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and teacher of creative writing, will run a 2 day fiction workshop in London. This weekend will concentrate on works-in-progress submitted by the participants. Manuscripts (novel excerpt or short story of up to 3,000 words) are distributed to every participant and read with care by all. Keegan will spend between 3-5 hours on each text before the workshop begins and then examine and discuss every text with the group.

Discussion will include the structure of a narrative, paragraph structure, time, tension, drama, melodrama, statement, description, suggestion, conflict, character, humour, point of view, place and time. The aim, always, is to help each author with the next draft.
The weekend will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction works, improving their prose and/or helping others to do so, is welcome to attend. While most participants like to submit a manuscript, this is not a requirement.

Tuition £380. To book your place, email ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com – Enquiries welcome.

Claire Keegan has written Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Walk the Blue Fields was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in The Guardian, 2010 and won the Edge Hill Prize. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, then the world’s richest prize for a single story. The stories have been published in Best American Stories, Granta,
The Paris Review and the New Yorker. Keegan also has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

Of Antarctica: “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English.” The Observer
“Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.”–Hilary Mantel
“Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” – Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times
“Perfect short stories” – Anne Enright
“Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” – Richard Ford
“The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savouring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying new lofty terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work.” -The New York Times

Blogging and Social Media for Writers

Blogging and Social Media for Writers

Crescent Arts Centre

2-4 University Street

Belfast BT7 1NH

August 5th. 2pm-6pm

Tickets: here

Paul McVeigh has become of master of social media with over 9,000 followers on Twitter and a blog that gets 40,000 hits a month internationally –  his blog is fast approaching the 1 million visitor mark. During this time his short stories have been published in literary journals, commissioned by anthologies in the USA and by BBC Radio 4. He has also published his first novel ‘The Good Son’ to critical acclaim.

Content

Find out how to build a social media platform from the ground up.

How to use that platform to help you get published, get reviewed, access to high profile authors, and get paid work! 

Get advice on what will work best for your specific needs and how to manage your time effectively.

Paul’s online presence has led to him be invited to set up the hugely successful international London Short Story Festival, become Associate Director of Word Factory the leading short story salon in the UK and being judge of prestigious literary prizes in the UK and Ireland. It has also gotten him invites to teach and read in Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Mexico and Poland and access to interview authors such as Mary Costello, Kevin Barry and George Saunders.

This class has sold out in Writers Victoria Melbourne, Cork World Book Festival and Waterstones Piccadilly, London.

If you’d like to book for both classes that day (That Killer First Page) please email paulmcveighwriter@live.co.uk for combined package.

That Killer First Page – Submitting to Competitions and Journals

 That Killer First Page – Submitting to Competitions and Journals

Crescent Arts Centre

2-4 University Street

Belfast BT7 1NH

August 5th. 10am-1pm

Tickets: here

PaulMcVeigh short story

This year Paul is judging:

The Penny Dreadful Novella Prize alongside Sara Baume and Colin Barrett. Deadline: Sept 30.

The I is Another Short Story Competiton from Holland Park Press alongside Laura Del-Rivo. Deadline: Aug 31.

The sole judge of the Bare Ficton Short Story Prize. Deadline: Oct 31.

 

Content

You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. You’ll write a short piece and get feedback on that crucial story opening. In a form where every word counts, get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

Focus:
How to get the attention of competition judges and editors
Writing fiction with emotional impact
Writing that killer first page
How to edit your story
Where to send your work

Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in journals inc The Stinging Fly and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4. He has read his work for BBC Radio 5, at the International Conference on the Short Story in Vienna, Belfast Book Festival and the Cork International Short Story Festival. Upcoming at Wroclaw Short Story Festival, Poland.

Reviews for his writing:
“Absolutely loved it. The voice of that story is so arresting.” Jackie Kay
“Beautiful and very moving.” Booker shortlisted Alison Moore
“Its such a clever story, gentle, poignant, emotionally straight as a dart.” Vanessa Gebbie
“(one of) Ireland’s most exciting and talented writers.  Incredibly moving; poignant but utterly real, funny and beautifully observant.” BBC Radio 4
“Paul McVeigh’s story stands out. Funny, moving, poignant. Brilliant.” Metro Newspaper

Paul’s short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice and gets 40,000 hits a month internationally. He’s interviewed short story masters like Kevin Barry, Cate Kennedy, Laura van den Berg, Elizabeth McCracken and George Saunders. Paul co-founded and has been the Director of London Short Story Festival for the last 2 years and is Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s leading short story literary salon. He is a reader and judge for national and international short story competitions.

This event sold out in Melbourne at Writers Victoria, Waterstones Piccadilly, London and Cork World Book Festival.

 Comments on this class:

“Fantastic! Practical, targeted advice like this is wonderful!”
“This was my fav course yet! Informative, entertaining, and engaging. Hard to beat.””I emerged from the sleepy hamlet of my writing infancy last Saturday and was sky-rocketed, hurricaned, tsunamied, autobahned and g-forced out of my head by Paul McVeigh’s “That Killer First Page” Masterclass at Waterstones, Piccadilly. He’s on top of his game, gives instinctive, constructive criticism and in a few short hours, had conveyed the essence of how to make a story compelling and unputdownable from the first few lines. Get on one of his courses if you can.”

Paul’s debut novel ‘The Good Son’ is out with Salt Publishing.

‘A work of genius…’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Robert Olen Butler

‘Outstanding.’ Granta Best Young Novelist Toby Litt

‘I was blown away… A wildly important new talent.’ Laura van den Berg

‘One of those characters you believe in with all your heart.’ Booker shortlisted Alison Moore

‘Establishes McVeigh as an important new Irish voice.’ Lucy Caldwell

Places are limited to 20

FOR CONCESSIONS and for discount for taking both his Crescent Arts Centre classes PLEASE EMAIL: paulmcveigh@writer.co.uk

Arachne workshop and readings at Clerkenwell Lit Fest – Word on the Street

Saturday 9th May  2-3:15 Writing with Your Ears: a workshop hosted by Cherry Potts, author and owner of Arachne Press, exploring how fiction and poetry can be inspired and supported by live music, with live music from multi-instrumentalists and folk singers, Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd, who collaborated with us on the same workshop at Solstice Shorts. Come and discover how your own writing can flourish. Option to perform your story with Arachne Press authors later in the day:

3:30 – 4:30 Readings of London-based stories and poems from Arachne Press authors, Inua Ellams, Dizz Tate, Joan Taylor-Rowan and David Bausor, plus participants in the Writing with Your Ears workshop, with music from Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd.

joan observer spoof (3) photo dizz tate copy Inua Ellams

ian & Sarah

London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB

readings £5, workshop £10,  combined ticket £12