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.

How Fiction Works: A Study of Narrative Using Works by John McGahern

Linenhall Library, Belfast. May 13 & 14, 2019. 10am–5pm, both days.
Claire Keegan will direct this fiction writing course using works by John McGahern to explore and demonstrate the mechanics of writing and narrative structure.

1. The Leavetaking

2. “Christmas”

3. “Parachutes”

4. “The Conversion of William Kirkwood”

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? Why is a reader sometimes not drawn in at all? Keegan will discuss the structure of a narrative and go into what she calls the much-neglected middle, the trunk of the story. Are endings 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 course will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction or reading works is welcome to attend. To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com  Tuition is £300. 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, then the 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 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.

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

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

Deadline Day is Coming! London Independent Story Prize

Just a few days left until the Deadline! 10th of January!

Polish those 300-word short-short stories and take your chance. Become a part of this wonderful community of writers and storytellers. Take the chance of winning the prize! Give your story a chance to be recognised.

Check out the 2018 Calendar from here LISP.

LISP judges are looking for strong and unique voices, check out the interviews with the judges on the website.

‘Originality must come from other resources: from one’s own voice, personality, character.’ Luis Pizarro, LISP judge.

‘Given that the story can only be 300 words, I am looking for something beyond the ephemeral, a story that will make an impression.’ James Kirchick, LISP judge.

‘LISP is based on creating a great community and, of course, all the writers who attend the competition will definitely be a part of this network. However, winners are winners, and they will have the greatest advantage. First of all, the prize and publication, and when you win a competition, it means that your pen has been recognised, which is a great feature for any writer. Not only while trying to reach agents or publishers, but also the personal satisfaction is priceless. Especially for young writers, it’s a way to build confidence.

As an award winner, I can also say that it helps you to improve. Now you see that you can write things that others appreciate as well, which encourages you to be even bolder.’ Ozge Gozturk, LISP founder.

Folk Tales in New Fiction – 1-day workshop

Sara Maitland wrote that folk tales speak deeply to us because they are ‘filled with the reverberations of everyone’s dreams’. On this course, we will explore the different ways in which we can harness the strange power of folk tales in our writing.

Folk tales have long been borrowed by writers, from Charles Perrault’s first ‘literary fairy tales’ in Mother Goose, to Angela Carter’s subversive and riotous remixes in The Bloody Chamber, to Lucy Wood’s Cornish folklore-infused Diving Belles.

Such writers have engaged with folk tales in myriad ways, from full-blown rewrites, to weaving in recognisable characters and symbols, to using tales as jumping off points for completely new work.

As well as exploring folk tales themselves, we’ll look at a range of published fiction that demonstrates this range of approaches. This might include short stories from writers such as Angela Carter, Marina Warner, Sara Maitland, Donald Barthelme, Joyce Carol Oates, Kirsty Logan, Lucy Wood and more.

We will try out these methods for ourselves, using folk tales, themes, characters and objects in writing exercises throughout the day.

If you have a favourite folk tale, or folk-tale inspired short story or novel, please feel free to bring it along to discuss.

This course is aimed at new or established writers, who are either already experimenting with using folk tales in their writing, or who would like to learn about this approach for the first time.

This one-day workshop will be led by London Lit Lab’s Zoe Gilbert, who is currently completing a Creative Writing PhD on folk tales in new short fiction. Her own book of folk tale-inspired stories will be published by Bloomsbury in early 2018. You can read her award-winning stories online here and here.

Course fee: £99 early bird bookings. £129 full fee.

Date and time: 20th May 2017, 10am-4pm (please arrive 15 mins early)

Location: Clapton Laundry, London, E5 8DJ – a luxurious, inspiring space in East London, where lunch will also be provided. For more info, look here.

Places are limited to 12. To reserve yours, or for more information, please contact us at info@londonlitlab.co.uk. Find out more about London Lit Lab here.