Beginnings, Middles, Endings: The Structure of a Narrative with Claire Keegan

Goldsmiths University, London

November 2 & 3, 2019. 9:30am–5pm, both days

Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and fiction-writing coach, will direct this, her most popular fiction writing course, using a novel and two short stories to demonstrate and explore the mechanics of fiction writing and narrative structure.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor

3. “Nobody Said Anything” by Raymond Carver

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? We will also explore the much-neglected middle; the trunk of the story, its denouement and turning points — and ask if endings are natural. Why do stories need to end, to find a place of rest? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel.

This weekend will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction works is welcome to attend.

To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com Tuition is £350. A 50% deposit secures.

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Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, the then world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories and is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.” –Hilary Mantel

The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savoring 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

Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” – Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times

Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” – Richard Ford

NOVELLA FEVER – 6-course with Kiare Ladner returns to Haringey Literature Live

Wednesday evenings, 6.45pm-9.15pm; dates May 15, 22 (half term), June 5, 12, 19, 26; cost £99; venue Writing Room 
If the short story is like a photograph and the novel is like a film, the novella is like a fever.

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.

http://haringeyliteraturelive.com/summer-courses/http://haringeyliteraturelive.com/summer-courses/

Kiare Ladner

The Short Story with Claire Keegan

Short story course held on 13 and 14 April at The River Mill’s Retreat, Co. Down. 10am to 5pm, both days.

This weekend course will explore the short story using works from the anthology You’ve Got to Read This (ed. by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard). Participants will be asked to consider:

  • How fiction works — and why it sometimes doesn’t

  • Where and when stories begin and how and if this differs from the novel

  • The differences between a short story and the novel / a chapter

  • Beginnings, Middles, Endings: Narrative Structure

To book, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com. Tuition is £300. Lunch and tea are provided for all. There are only two places left. Visit CKFictionClinic for full details.

Claire Keegan has written Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards, and have been published in The New Yorker, Best American Stories, The Paris Review. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

That Killer First page, Dublin, Oct 13

That Killer First Page, Oct 13

Venue: Brooks Hotel, 62 Drury Street, Dublin 2.

Date: Oct 13    Time: 10.30-4.30

Places are limited. This event sold out in Adelaide, Bali, Bath, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Kuala Lumpur, Lancaster, London, Melbourne & Singapore.  

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 anthologies and journals inc. The Stinging Fly and Faber’s ‘Modern Irish Writing’. Stories have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and Sky Arts TV. He was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year 2017 at the Irish Book Awards. His short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice and gets 40,000 hits a month and has had over 2 million views. He’s interviewed short story masters like Kevin Barry, Elizabeth McCracken and George Saunders for The Irish Times. Paul co-founded the London Short Story Festival and is Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s national centre for excellence in the short story. He is a judge for national and international short story competitions including, in 2018, the Sean O’Faolain Prize, the Edge Hill Prize and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. He is also the current fiction editor at Southword Journal where he recently commissioned Kit de Waal and twice Booker shortlisted Deborah Levy.                                                                                   

“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.”

Reviews for his short stories:
“Beautiful and very moving.” Booker shortlisted Alison Moore
“How moving and stunning that story is. It’s so raw and incredibly human.” Costa shortlisted Jess Richards
“(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 debut novel The Good Son’ won 2 awards and was shortlisted for a further 5.

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

“Both dancing and disquieting, complex and vivid, I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Bailey Prize-winner Lisa McInerney The Glorious Heresies                                       ‘

‘A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.’ Donal Ryan

Places are limited to 15

FOR CONCESSIONS PLEASE EMAIL: paulmcveighwriter@live.co.uk

Brooks are offering a special lunch deal – two tapas plus a glass of house wine at €18.50 per person.

PaulMcVeigh short story

Flash Fiction Workshop in Clevedon

The Clevedon Community Bookshop is offering a flash fiction workshop from 7-9pm on Thursday 4 October 2018 delivered by Gail Aldwin.

Everyday lives are packed with tasks and activities that leave little time for reading or writing at length. Flash fiction has the ability to fit into the breaks and provides satisfying stories with all the elements of a longer piece of fiction. This workshop will explore opportunities to incorporate flash fiction into your writing and welcomes those who are already writing flash fiction and those who would like to start. Through activities and prompts you will be able to develop new pieces of flash fiction and understand more about the process of writing in this a short form.

Flyer for Gail

Gail Aldwin is an award-winning writer of short fiction and poetry. Paisley Shirt (Chapeltown Books, 2018) was longlisted in the best short story category of the Saboteur Awards 2018. She is a visiting tutor on the Creative Writing BA at Arts University Bournemouth and Chair of the Dorset Writers’ Network.

Booking is through the Clevedon Community Bookshop.  Email: enquiries@clevedoncommunitybookshop.coop or telephone 01272 218318

Online: Advanced Short Story Clinic

Receive direct feedback from your tutor and fellow course participants with this online correspondence course for advanced short story writers.

Develop your stories over four months. Whether you’re an experienced writer working towards the completion of a manuscript or looking to maintain momentum and sharpen your writing skills, this clinic provides specific feedback for the refinement of your own voice and style.

Participants must have had a short story published OR have already participated in a Writers Victoria Advanced Short Story Clinic to enrol in this course.

Stories of up to 1,500 words due Wednesdays 1 August, 5 September, 10 October and 7 November

About Paul McVeigh

Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5, Faber & Faber and Sky Arts. Paul is Director of the London Short Story Festival and Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story. He is also a judge for international short story competitions and prizes including, this year, The Dylan Thomas Prize, The Edge Hill Short Story Prize and The Sean O’Faolain International Short Story Prize. His award-winning debut novel ‘The Good Son’ was published by Salt Publishing in 2015 and his work has been translated into seven languages.

PaulMcVeigh short story

Start your day with a burst of creativity!

Write & Shine runs a programme of writing workshops that embrace the inspirational power of the morning.  Writer Gemma Seltzer will guide you through the sessions, waking you up with words & energising you for the day ahead.

Our workshops take place bright & early in peaceful central London locations & are open to everyone, whether you’re new to writing, have some experience or simply want to add more creativity into your life. You won’t be expected to share your work, which offers great freedom & encourages all kinds of unexpected ideas to emerge.

For the summer series of workshops, we’ll find inspiration in sunshine, the lighter mornings & the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth. Join us from 5 July.

Workshops cost £19 or you can purchase our seasonal membership to motivate you to enjoy all the workshops, events & online sessions we have on offer this summer. Find out more on our website: www.write-and-shine.com